How did it all begin?
It all began with a former purebred Romney show ewe named Harriett that Scott's niece adopted for a 4-H sheep. She was the beginning of a small champion flock and when we moved to Rose Butte Ranch, Harriett and the flock came along. More sheep joined shortly after and the rest is history.
What sheep breeds are represented in the Spoiled Sheep flock?
Corriedale, Corriedale/Rambouillet, Gotland, Leicester Longwool, Romney, Romney/Rambouillet, Suffolk/Finn/Merino cross, Wensleydale, Wensleydale/Rambouillet, Wensleydale/Border Leicester
How much does a fleece weigh?
After the waste wool is removed (skirting), our fleeces weigh between 3 - 13.5 lbs. Usually 6 - 11 lbs.
How much yarn does a fleece produce?
1.5 to 8 lbs of yarn.
What percentage of a fleece's weight becomes yarn?
44 - 70%. The big variance is due to the amount of suint (sheep sweat) and lanolin in the fleece prior to washing, plus fiber loss that occurs during the picking, carding, pin drafting, and spinning processes.
How many yards of yarn does a fleece produce?
Our fleeces have produced between 2,900 - 9,600 yards of yarn. Tara, one of our natural-colored Corriedale ewes, is the big winner. A typical amount is 5,000 - 6,000 yards, which does vary depending on the diameter of the spun yarn.
How many sweaters does a fleece produce?
1500 yards is fairly typical amount of yarn needed of light worsted weight yarn for a medium sized adult sweater (of course it varies depending on design, etc). So a fleece producing an average of 5500 yards of light worsted weight yarn would produce almost 4 sweaters.
How many tons of hay do the Spoiled Sheep eat every winter?
Depending on the weather, we feed 180+ days a year, which equals 6.5 - 7 tons of hay! Our sheep eat hay that is grown right here at Rose Butte Ranch.
Why "Spoiled Sheep"?
Because they ARE spoiled! Our sheep live the good life. They have a big barn that is warm in winter and cooled with a misting/fan system in the summer. They drink free running spring water that is piped directly into their trough. Their winter hay is grown on the ranch. They graze 40 gorgeous acres of pasture irrigated from the same spring. They also get lots of treats from the garden and apples from the apple trees. They are protected around the clock by their dedicated and loving team of livestock guardian dogs. And they enjoy this lifestyle from lambhood through their natural life.
Why is the yarn processed in single batches?
Naturally colored wool is unique to every sheep, and every shearing is different. It's like buying wine - every year has subtle differences. We're lucky to be able to partner with Fibers First, a local North Idaho processor who is willing to spin our yarn to the ideal diameter for each sheep's shearing. We think all the extra work is worth it!
Why are there different color numbers for the same sheep?
Naturally colored sheep are much like people - they come in a wide variety of colors, and they become grey as they age. Fluctuations in climate and grazing from year to year also cause subtle changes in the color and diameter of the fleece. Shearing at Rose Butte Ranch is a little like Christmas - you never really know what color will appear until the sheep is unwrapped from a year's worth of growth. The sunbleaching on the tips of the wool hide the true color waiting to be revealed.