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The Clun Forest takes its name from the ancient market town of Clun in the southwest corner of Shropshire in England, near the border with Wales. Clun Forest is actually not a dense forest, but rather an upland grazing area which 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 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 6-10 cm and a fleece weight of 4-6 pounds. Micron count ranges between 56s and 58s. 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.
Status: See CPL