Mouflon Sheep are found running wild in a few locations throughout the world but have dwindling populations in some places. European Mouflon are native to Corsica and Sardinia.  These sheep are considered by many to be one of the two original wild sheep from which the domestic breeds of sheep descended while other research points toward Mouflon Sheep being a domesticated sheep that grew to be feral.

However their beginnings, Mouflon sheep are a shedding sheep, shedding their thicker winter coat in the Springtime which seems to be more like the first sheep. Some research indicates that the need for shearing sheep (because the “wool” sheep do not naturally shed their wool) is a result of selective breeding through the years by breeders to increase and improve wool for use in fabrics.

Eventually, Mouflons made their way into several zoos in the United States. After several years, the zoos released some of the Mouflons to large ranches with a concentrated release in Texas. In the United States,after 1946,  the wild Mouflon Sheep crossed with the more well known wool sheep breeds as well as the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep and the wonderful breeds (Painted Desert, Texas Dall, Black Hawaiian, American Blackbelly, Desert Sand, and Corsican) were born.

Originally, the Mouflon and the new sheep breeds were primarily used for “Trophies” due to the rams’ beautiful horns.  As the popularity of the sheep increases, the focus has become on achieving recognition for these sheep for other markets such as meat, show, pasture/fenceline clearing, etc., and for simply being unique sheep deserving of recognition as individual breeds

If you would like to buy a Mouflon, check the links below:

United States of America: List of Mouflon Sheep Breeders

Sources:

http://www.unitedhornedhairsheepassociation.org/

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