One of the first breeds to be found in the United States is the Gulf Coast Native sheep breed. For centuries they have been found in the southern areas of the U.S. The Gulf Coast sheep history is unknown, however they do appear to be descendants of stock imported from Spain in the 1500’s. These original lines which were brought to Lousiana from Mexico City were likely crossed with sheep brought to the Americas by the French.
This crossbred vigor is likely that the reason for their survival for all this time.
About Gulf Coast Native Sheep
The Gulf Coast sheep breed is able to live in a wide variety of conditions. Their face is open and is typically either brown or white in color. These sheep are small sized and tend to be very structurally sound and agile. They are free of wool on the underline and legs, which helps to keep them cool in their native climate.
The fleece produced by the Gulf Coast Native breed is medium-grade and lightweight. These sheep are durable animals that can thrive in the humid climates, such as in the southeastern part of the U.S.
This breed is renowned for its ability to naturally fight off internal parasites and ewes can breed during the summer as well. These characteristics make the breed a great fit for farms in the south and on islands where conditions are not favorable for many other types of sheep.
|MATURE BODY WEIGHT||Ram: 145-180 lbs.|
Ewe: 85-115 lbs.
|AVERAGE FIBER DIAMETER||Micron: 26-32|
USDA Wool Grade: 48’s-58’s
|GREASE FLEECE WEIGHT||Ewe: 4-6 lbs.|
|STAPLE LENGTH||2 1/2 -4″|
Cover photo courtesy Gulf Coast Sheep Breeders Association website. Please visit their site to learn more about this breed or to locate a breeder near you.