Breed is considered "threatened" and is still fairly rare in the United States.
Known for their docile nature.
Mature Rams can weigh between 140-330#. Mature Ewes can weigh between 110-220#
Wool growth for one year ranges from 5 to 14 inches
Fleece weight: Ewes from 6 to 14 pounds, and Rams 9 to 20 pounds.
These sheep are considered a "longwool" breed. Other examples of longwools include Coopworth, Cotswold, Border Leicester, Lincoln and Teeswater.
Longwools tend to have very defined "locks". These locks can be combed, carded, or left in their curly state and used as doll hair or spun into art yarns!
Yarns made with Longwool breed wool are more durable than those made with fine wool. Longwool bred wool has a higher lustre than any of the fine or medium wool breeds. It also takes dyes exceptionally well.
Lamb’s wool from this breed can be next to skin soft.
Longwools can also be shorn twice a year, whereas fine wools, such as Merino or Rambouillet are shorn once a year. Because of the high lustre quality of longwools, the sheep tend to glisten in the sun, like silk, after shearing!
Leicester Longwool Rams make excellent crossbreed sires. The ewes are often used as the foundation for "upbreeding" many other breeds, including Gotlands and most recently, Valais Blacknose Sheep. However, it is better off using Leicester Longwools for their superior siring capabilities in crosses. It is detrimental to the breed to take ewes away from the already small gene pool.
There is only one other Registered flock in the state of Montana, in Bozeman although there may be other uregistered LLs sprinkled throughout. For a breeder directory, click on the direct link in this text.