|Alder Brook Farm
Registered White & Natural Colored Romneys
USDA SFCP Flock #CT51
Romneys are a dual purpose breed of sheep, bred for their wool and their meat. The breed was originally known as Romney
Marsh Sheep, named for their native region surrounding Kent, England known as the Romney Marshes. To survive on the
marsh the Romney developed in to a breed with hard feet that are resistant to foot rot, fleeces that could stand up to the
weather, and excellent mothering abilities. The modern Romney continues to have hard feet, a lustrous fleece and excellent
mothering abilities that allow the ewes to easily raise twins and triplets. They also have a very gentle nature that makes them an
excellent breed choice for youth looking for a livestock project for 4-H or FFA or for new shepherds just starting out. Romneys
are also proving to be productive in properly managed grass fed operations.
A Romney fleece has a staple length of about 6" and a shine to it called lustre. It is also nicely crimped and not too greasy, two
more features that make Romney fleeces a favorite with handspinners. The long staple makes for easy drawing and is great for
beginning spinners. Romneys come in white and natural colors of black and various shades of grey and an occasional reddish
color called Moorit. These wonderful natural colors and the various telltale patterning that occurs with them come from
recessive genes that have been obscured by a dominant black gene. Armed with a better understanding of how to recognize
sheep carrying recessive genetics we are beginning to select for them in order to be able to offer a wider selection of color in
For those who enjoy the culinary attributes of lamb, the Romney breed excels in producing quality cuts with a mild taste. Long
after the flavor of the meat of other breeds has become stronger tasting, the meat of a Romney will still retain it's mildness.
Because of the quality of the carcass and the characteristics of their wool Romney rams are frequently used in crossbreeding
for commercial flocks and are the foundation of several other breeds.
For more information on Romneys and breeders in your area visit the website of the American Romney Breeders Association.
Our sheep are shorn in early Spring. The fleeces
are skirted and bagged with a tag identifying each
fleece by the sheep's name along with the weight
of the fleece. Any fleeces that are not sold for
handspinning are either sent out to be carded in to
roving, spun in to yarn, or pooled with the wool of
other sheep producers in Connecticut to become
part of the Connecticut Blanket Project.
The roving and yarn products from our white and
natural colored Romneys not only make
wonderfully soft sweaters, vests, hats, scarves and
socks, but the fleece and roving are also suitable
for felting projects. Currently in our flock we have
fleeces in white, dark charcoal and a medium grey.
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We have been raising White & Natural Colored Romneys in Southeastern Connecticut for over 15 years. We began our sheep raising
adventures with two cross bred ewes and when the children got older and joined 4-H one of them decided to raise Romneys and the other
decided on Natural Colored sheep. The girls are grown up and gone now and Sarah has taken her sheep with her leaving us with just the
purebred Romneys. Our increasing market for natural colored handspinning fleeces led us to adding three recessive patterned ewes from
Tawanda Farms in Montague, CA in June of 2011. Their fleeces are wonderful and we can't wait to see their offspring.