The Clun Forest takes its name from the ancient market town of Clun in the southwest corner of Shropshire, England, near the border. Clun Forest isn’t actually a dense forest, but rather an upland grazing area that is ideal for raising sheep. The breed has been shaped by natural selection and by Shropshire shepherds over two centuries for hardiness, fertility, prolificacy, milking and mothering ability, and longevity. The sheep are alert and active in disposition, but good-natured and easy to handle.
Clun Forest Mountain Sheep
Clun Forest sheep are white with dark brown faces and legs. They have forelocks of white wool, but no little below the knees and hocks. Both rams and ewes are polled. The wool is medium, with a staple length of 6 to 10 cm and a fleece weight of 4 to 7 pounds. Fiber diameter ranges between 25 to 33 microns. The wool is dense, relatively free from kemp and black fibers, and uniform in quality.
Clun Forests were first imported to North America in 1970, and the North American Clun Forest Association was established in 1974. The breed has proven adaptable and useful, and it is now distributed from Ontario to Hawaii. As part of its emphasis on production qualities, the breed association prohibits showing and will only register rams that are born as twins. The breed’s characteristics make it a natural choice for grass-based production, as they are easy keepers and excellent producers.
Did you know:
The Livestock Conservancy is America’s leading organization working to save over 150 heritage breeds from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants, and donations from the public to raise the $700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare breeds of farm animals. Click here to learn how you can help.