Painted Desert Sheep
Painted Desert sheep are known for their adaptability and resistance to disease. They thrive in a variety of climates from the high temperatures and humidity of the southern US to the cold, long winters of New England. We can attest to this personally, as our breeding ewes were purchased from Arrow J Ranch in Selma, Texas and our current breeding Ram, Patrick, was purchased from a farm in Massachusetts!
Painted Desert Sheep are known as a hair sheep; however, this doesn’t mean that they have no wool, just that they don’t need to be sheared. They are a double coated breed that begins to grow a thick undercoat of wool in the Fall as temperatures drop, and in the spring the wool is shed. Additional unique characteristics of the Painted Deserts, as compared to other breeds, include their wide variety of stunning coloration and the unmistakable gorgeous manes sported by the Rams. Further, the tails of Painted Desert sheep are not docked like many wool breeds, as they shed their thick undercoat in the spring and do not require shearing, there is no reason to dock their tails.
The temperament of Painted Desert Sheep could be described as cautious. While they will certainly come for feed and follow a bucket, they do take a bit longer to relax and feel comfortable around people or allow themselves to be brushed or scratched. We highly encourage working with the lambs and spending as much time with them as possible to get them accustomed to being around people if you plan to keep and raise them as pets.
Painted Desert sheep are raised for a few primary reasons. The rams are selected for their manes & large, impressive horns and are often used for trophy hunting. Additionally, Painted Desert sheep are raised for meat production and are often preferred because they are leaner than other sheep breeds and don’t produce the typical mutton flavor. Finally, some keep them as pet lawn mowers, while they are a bit pickier than goats in the type of vegetation they prefer, they are certainly a good option for keeping weeds in check.
If you are looking for a breed of low maintenance sheep that don’t require tail docking or shearing, that have a good resistance to parasites and bold coloration- the Painted Desert sheep may be the breed for you! Our lambing schedule begins in early spring and our For Sale page will be updated accordingly. If you have any questions about our flock or Painted Desert sheep in general, please reach out! Our breeding stock is registered through the United Horned Hair Sheep Association and lambs are able to be registered upon purchase. Additional information about the breed is available on the registry website.