This weekend is my road trip to Southwestern Colorado. Even though we got a huge rainstorm in Bayfield, CO I was still able to visit the Wensleydale sheep ranch in the afternoon. I want to thank Jim and Linda for taking time out of the very busy schedule to show me their sheep and angora goats including the babies. They own and operate DeGoatnsheep Ranch in Bayfield, CO and are one of the rare Wensleydale sheep ranches in the West. The animals are beautiful and coated to protect their fleece. I have been told that they are sheared twice a year and are solely fiber animals due to their high purchase price ($1,000/animal). The sheep originate from the UK and there are a few ranches in the U.S. that carry this breed. Apparently one can import the sperm of the animal into the U.S. and breed it with a similar type of sheep until you can get your herd to be 90% or more pure. Importation of animals is not allowed – go figure! This herd is predominately white but they do have 2 dark sheep (rams I do believe). And yes I did pick up some roving and have an idea of the fleece I want next spring.
Towards the end of my visit their billy goat made his presence known and he has the most beautiful horns. He was quite friendly but I was a little shocked when he stood up on the fence to be seen by us as I had been at the ranch for over an hour at that point without knowing he was even there. He is in the top picture above – those horns are very long.
Today it is off to Norwood, CO (past Telluride) to visit the Shetland sheep ranch in the area. My son has graciously decided to travel with me today as it will be a 3+ hour road trip each way.