We raise moderate framed heritage American Tunis sheep. We are interested in preserving the moderate frame, thrift, and parasite resistance this beautiful breed is know for. We searched far and wide for a good genetic base for our breeding stock and are pleased to be a part of the effort to preserve this wonderful breed.
The Tunis is one of the oldest breeds of sheep having descended from ancient fat-tailed sheep referred to in the Bible. As the name indicates, the Tunis originated in Tunisia on the Northern coast of Africa.
Tunis sheep spread throughout the mid Atlantic and southeastern United States and were well adapted to the heat and humidity of these regions. The Tunis was the mainstay of sheep production in the upper South and mid Atlantic regions until the Civil War, when nearly all Southern stock was destroyed. Credit for saving the breed from extinction at this time is given to Maynard Spigener of South Carolina. During the war he protected the last flock of Tunis by hiding them on his land along the Congoree River near the city of Columbia. After the war the Great Lakes region and New England became strongholds for the breed. It is only recently that the Tunis has again been seen in the Southeast.
The Livestock Conservancy has Tunis listed in the Watch category of their Conservation Priority List, and although the breed has been steadily gaining in popularity in recent years there are certain strains which are not being maintained. These are the more traditional, old-style Tunis which have not been bred specifically for the show ring.
We breed for hardiness, fertility, and foraging ability. We want Tunis that are easy keepers, allowing them to thrive in forage based production systems.
We also breed for quality wool! We love our Tunis and are proud to join other farmers who are preserving is wonderful breed. We maintain a waiting list of those interested in raw fleeces. Our flock is uncoated, so we only sell carefully selected fleeces that both showcase the wonderful fiber qualities of the breed and that lend themselves to processing by hand.
The majority of our fiber is processed at small, family-owned mills. We use Blue Mountain Farm (PA), Mitten State Fiber Mill (MI), and Round Barn Fiber Mill (IN) to process our fleeces into lovely yarn and roving. We are proud members of the Livestock Conservancy, and participate in the Shave Em’ to Save Em’ challenge, an effort to promote the wool of endangered breeds of sheep.