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A few of the sheep in the snow                                                                 Click to enlarge

 

 

Our sheep are all raised under natural western range conditions.

 

 

                             A Targee Merino ewe

Lamb in green grass. Click to enlarge.

Lamb soaking up the sunshine

Our sheep are Targhee and Targhee Merino bred for a predominance of the Merino cross, greatly improving the quality and staple length of our fleeces.


A Targee ram

TARGHEE sheep are an American produced breed. They were developed by the Duboise, Idaho Research Station, beginning in 1926. Their name comes from the Targhee National Forest in Idaho which is in the area they were first produced

Their original breeding stock came from breeding Rambouillet rams to ewes of Corriedale x Lincoln-Rambouillet bloodlines.

Developed under range conditions with rigid standards based on range performance, the resulting breed of Targhee sheep are intermediate sized, polled, free from skin folds, and open faced. They shear about 11 pounds of wool a year, and the length of the wool is about 3 inches. They are good mothers, produce a good quantity of milk, and do well in our western range conditions. 

Our initial Targhee sheep carried a finer wool than average which already gave their wool added softness.


A Merino ram

MERINO sheep began their ancestry in Spain and are the foundation sheep stock for many of the fine wooled breeds. They have very fine fleeces and pronounced flocking tendencies. One disadvantage of the early Merinos was their abundance of skin folds which made them very difficult to shear. 


The Merino influence came to our herds from semen imported from Australia in 1987 by Dick Everett. Dick introduced this cross on his Targhee ewes and discovered he had a unique "nick" in an extra long staple length of fiber while still retaining a very high quality, fine wool. We have steadily improved our wool since then. 

 

Our Targhee Merino sheep produce an average fleece weight of 13 pounds with a staple length of 3 to 4". The wool has a micron diameter of about 22 (very fine). The wool has a very tight outside layer, which makes the fiber slick, giving it a soft, luxurious texture which is very comfortable next to the skin. The products made from our sheep will surprise you with their softness and comfort level. This is why they carry the "WoolSoft" designation.

By 2001 we were producing enough of this special wool that we formed Montana Shepherds' Market so that we could offer to others unique products made from these fine fleeces.


WoolSoft   
"Quality wool products without the itch."





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