Finnsheep ewe

Finnsheep Breed Standard

Finnsheep ewe

Finnsheep ram

Photos courtesy Stillmeadow Finnsheep

This standard is designed to preserve and enhance the inherent good qualities of the Finnsheep breed. No restrictions on registrations are involved since we have no mechanism for inspection of flocks. The standard, however, can help us move in a more uniform direction as the breed develops.

Points have not been assigned to the different sections – as many other breed associations do – primarily because Finnsheep are not shown or judged solely on their physical characteristics. Sixty to seventy percent of the standard’s significance is in the section titled “Reproductive Characteristics.”

Reproductive Characteristics

Rams

  • should reach puberty by 4-8 months of age.
  • must have two descended, well-developed testicles.
  • a triplet or higher birth type is favored.
  • should be aggressive breeders.

Ewes

  • should lamb by 12 months of age.
  • should have had a minimum of 5-6 lambs by two years of age, and 9-10 by 3 years when managed in an intensive year round breeding system.
  • should be aggressive breeders.
  • should have no difficulty in lambing.
  • should exhibit outstanding maternal characteristics.
  • should produce adequate milk for at least two lambs and possess at least two well-formed, functional teats.

Size

Mature ewes in average condition will weigh 130 to 180 pounds.
Mature rams in average condition will weigh 170 to 240 pounds.

Fleece

Single coated with soft hand and medium length.  Uniform and free of coarse britch and mattings.

Body and Tail

Smooth and well blended, of medium length and height. Back straight and strong. The very characteristic Finnsheep tail is undocked, wool-covered, with hair at tip, and 4 to 6 inches long.

Head

Long and fine with good hair coat, free of wool and horns. Eyes that are clear and alert. Dark pigment around the eyes is desirable on white animals. Proper jaw alignment is essential.  An overshot or undershot  jaw is not to be tolerated.

Legs and Feet

Straight and well-placed. Fore legs set apart. Wooled to knees and hocks, clean below. Strong pasterns.