Greater Wisconsin Rambouillet Association

GREATER WISCONSIN RAMBOUILLET ASSOCIATION

Rambouillet








The Rambouillet Breed

Mature Rambouillet rams weigh between 250 and 300 pounds, and ewes average from 165 to 200 pounds. Most adult Rambouillets will have a fleece weight of 8 to 14 pounds, with a clean fleece yield of 45 to 60 percent. Typically, fleece staple length will vary from two to four inches, and range in fiber diameter from 18.5 to 23 microns or 64s to 70s spin count. Rambouillets in the United States, identified by many as a range breed in Texas and Western states, have become popular in farm flocks as well. Typically, range ewes will raise single lambs, although farm-bred ewes will frequently exceed a 200% lamb crop.

The history of the Rambouillet sheep is a fascinating one that began more than two centuries ago. The Rambouillet breed originated with Spain's famed Merino flocks which were known from the earliest times as producers of the world's finest wool.The Spanish government was so protective of their Merino flocks that any exportation was forbidden. This policy changed in 1786, however, when the King of Spain granted a request from the government of France and sent 359 carefully selected rams and ewes to help improve the native French stock. The sheep were sent to the Rambouillet farm near Paris where, according to government records, they have been bred since 1801. Other Merino sheep were introduced into Germany during the last quarter of the 18th century, and German breeders made extensive use of Rambouillet sires as the breed's fame spread throughout Europe. Many present day American Rambouillets can trace their ancestry back to either German von Homeyer flocks or the flocks of Rambouillet, France.






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This page last updated: 24 February 2014
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