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Rare Sheep Breed Ideal For Spinning
One of the rarest breeds of sheep on earth
are the CVM/Romeldales, with fewer than
2,000 head in existence.
Developed with hand spinners in mind,
CVM stands for "color variegated mutant"
and Romeldale is a breed created in the
1900's. The Romeldales were selected for
high yield, uniform white fleeces and superior
carcasses to other whiteface breeds. When
two spotted lambs showed up in a breeder's
flock in the 1960's, he crossed them to form
the basis for the CVM breed.
"The fleece is every bit as soft as Marino
and Rambouillet," says Chris Spitzer, an Ohio
CVM/Romeldale breeder. "The really cool
part is that you can have 10 gray animals,
and when you shear them, you see as many
as five different colors on a shaft of wool."
Spitzer is no amateur when it comes to
evaluating wool for handspinning. When she
decided to expand her handspinning hobby
to raising sheep, she wanted the best breed
she could find. She proceeded to buy and
process more than 60 fleeces from around the
country to find what she was looking for. It
was love at first spin when she discovered
CVM's. The fleece has a staple length of 3-4
1/2 in.
Spitzer is now one of only 18 breeders in
the country, and when contacted for this
article, reported only 8 animals available for
sale among the other 17 flocks. This number
will increase after spring lambing; however,
numbers continue to be limited due to tight
restrictions on registration. All animals must
be traceable to the founding flock.
Bred ewes go for up to $800, and rams start
at $500, according to Spitzer.
CVM's would seem perfectly suited for
small, intensive breeding flocks. Not only are
they excellent out-of-season breeders, but
they also frequently produce healthy twins,
weighing from 10 to 13 lbs. each. Rams
weigh in at 225 to 275 lbs., and ewes weigh
from 140 to 175 lbs. Fleece weights range
from 6 to 12 lbs. and sell for as much as $20
to $25 per lb. direct market to spinners.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chris
Spitzer, Yellow Creek Cottage, 2520 Shade
Park Drive, Akron, Ohio, 44333 (ph 330 668-
2414; E-mail: cspitzer@lek.net or Website:

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3