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Wensleydale Sheep

Breed Standards


Wensleydale sheep are easy keepers and thrive on average pasture conditions


I began raising longwool sheep in the mid 1980s with purebred Lincoln Longwool sheep from a flock that was known for its outstanding fleeces. Over the years, I have bred to maintain these excellent fleeces as well as selecting for outstanding conformation and strong maternal qualities including heavy milk production. In 1999, I changed the focus of my longwool production to Wensleydale sheep which have a finer, more purled fleece with good luster.

Carlson Farm is a charter member of the North American Wensleydale Sheep Association (NAWSA), which was organized to establish Wensleydale sheep in North America. Since importing live animals and embryos from the U.K. is prohibited, developing purebred Wensleydale sheep must be accomplished through the use of successive generations of imported semen.

Purebred lambs at 9 months of age.

The original Carlson flock of Lincoln Longwool sheep built a strong foundation for my upgrading program. Their large size, excellent conformation and consistent, lustrous fleeces have been an asset to the progress being made to establish the American Wensleydale Sheep. The Carlson flock now consists entirely of purebred Wensleydale sheep.

Healthy sheep produce healthy lambs and fleeces, and I take care to protect the flock against diseases and conditions that may affect the species. Carlson Farm has been a closed flock since 1996, with new bloodlines introduced only by artificial insemination. The flock continues to test negative for ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP).

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