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Romeldale Breed Standards


Courtesy of Custom Colored Critters


Todd, courtesy of Reflection Farm

The Romeldale is a dual purpose breed of sheep developed by A.T. Spencer. Spencer purchased New Zealand Romney rams in 1915 at the Pan-American Exposition in San Francisco to breed with his Rambouillet flock. He felt that the Romneys would increase the staple length of the wool and improve the carcass quality of the Rambouillets. Many years of selected breeding brought about this new American breed, the Romeldale.

Romeldales are known for fine, soft wool, extremely high yield and uniformity of the fleece. Romeldale carcass cutability is suprerior to the other white face breeds. The entire clip of the original Romeldale flock was sold to Pendleton Mills for many years. The J.K. Sexton family developed the highest quality Romeldale flock in the world, during the 40's and 50's, at their Stone Valley Ranch in California.

1. Face and Head: Generally open faced, although some wool on the forehead and cheeks is allowed. Eyes should be large, clear and alert with ears medium in size and generally horitonzal.

2. Body: Sturdy and well boned with a long straight back. Neck and shoulders should be largely free of skin folds. Legs should be strong, medium in length, with pasterns strong and upright. Sheep should move well with a free, easy walk.

3. Rams: Weigh from 225 to 275 lbs. and are virile breeders able to cover more than the average number of ewes. Rams should appear strongly masculine.

4. Ewes: Weigh from 140 to 175 lbs. Ewes should be excellent mothers, who are very protective and have enough milk to easily raise twins. They are prolific and long-lived, and they should have a feminine appearance.

5. Lambing: Twininng and ease of lambing are part of the breed emphasis. If left with the ram, ewes have been known to breed while still suckling lambs.

6. Fleece: Annually, each sheep grows an average of 6 to 12 pounds of wool with an average yield of 65%. Fleece should be bright, dense and uniform from front to britch. Belly wool shall only be allowed on the belly. Staple length averages 3 to 6 inches with a Bradford count of 60 to 64 or the Range for Average Fiber Diameter (um) 24.94 to 20.60. The wool is soft and can be worn next to the skin. The wool should have a well defined crimp from base to tip with no kemp or hair present.

7. Color: Romeldales come in two varieties. White and Natural Colored. White Romeldales should have entirely white fleeces. They may have spots on their face, ears, or legs. Natural Colored Romeldales can be solid, reverse badger, and can have spots (which are particularly prevalent on their faces). They may also have darker legs than their body.

California Variegated Mutant (CVM) Pattern

CVMs have the same standards as listed under Romeldale, with the exception of markings and color.

1. Markings: CVMs must have badger markings, which are stripes from the muzzle to the eyes and/or dark legs and underbelly. CVMs might also have spots, but must have the badger pattern as well.

2. Color: CVMs come in a wide variety of colors including dark gray, gray, black, brown, and moorit. Unlike most breeds, CVMs will not fade with age, but rather darken from birth to their first year.

American Romeldale / CVM Association, Inc.