California Red Sheep

California Red Sheep

The California Red sheep breed is originally from the University of California after combining the Barbados Blackbelly and Tunis breeds. Unlike the other hair breeds, the California Red does produce wool in addition to its red hair growth.

Why Raise California Red Sheep?

Docile and easy to manage, this breed of sheep is known to be very gentle and are an excellent choice if your children are interested in raising sheep. The California Red is also an exceptional producer of milk.


At birth, their lambs appear to be red in color, but the color changes as they get older. It is typical for older California Reds to be a light brown or tan in color and for some parts of the sheep to remain red (such as their head or legs – inherited from their Tunis ancestors). 

California Red Sheep Breed - California Red Ram

California Red rams are distinguishable by their thick mane that covers their chest – clear evidence of their Barbados Blackbelly heritage. They do not have horns.

Other Unique Characteristics

Breeders appreciate that the California Red has a unique type of wool that is comparable to silk – making it a sought after wool for many hand spinners.

California Red ewes are typically capable of breeding throughout the year which, combined with their milk production, makes them suitable for brood ewes.

California Red Breed Information

Mature Body WeightRam: 175 – 220 pounds
Ewe: 120 – 150 pounds
Average Fiber DiameterMicron 28 – 31
USDA Wool Grade 50’s 54’s
Grease Fleece Weight5 – 7 pounds
Wool Staple Length3 – 5 inches

For more information about this type of sheep, or to find a breeder near you, visit the California Red Sheep Registry website.

Photos on this page are courtesy the California Red Sheep Registry.