cormo sheep

American Cormo Sheep Breed: Information, Behavior, And Care

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The American Cormo sheep breed is famous for producing high quantities of white, long, and fine fleece with a remarkable fiber consistency. You will distinguish these fine animals by the lack of wool between the topknot and the cheeks, giving them an open face.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of these sheep and explore why you should start rearing them.

Quick Facts About The American Cormo Sheep Breed

Country of Origin Australia
Breed Name Cormo
Breed Purpose Wool
Horns No
Breed Size Medium
Rarity Common
Climate Tolerance Almost Every Climate
Color Mostly White
Yield 50-65%
Mature Body Weight Ram: 160-200 pounds
Ewe: 120-160 pounds
Grease Fleece Weight Ewe: 5 to 8 pounds
Staple Length 2.5 to 4 inches
Average Fiber Diameter USDA Wool Grade: 46s-56s

Micron: 17-23

Care Level Low

READ ALSO: What Is A Yearling Ram?

cormo sheep

History of Cormo Sheep

The American Cormo Sheep was developed in Tasmania, Australia, in the early 1960s after Corriedale rams were crossed with Saxon Merino ewes. This breed gets its name from the parent breeds- Merino and Corriedale.

Ian Downie, Dungrove’s owner, had a high-quality Superfine Saxon Merinos flock in 1960, and commercial considerations resulted in two conclusions:

  • A larger framed, higher wool producing, more fertile sheep was needed.
  • A trend towards purchasing wool based on a breeding program and objective measurements should be initiated to meet the demand.

Mr. B.C Jefferies, Tasmania’s Agriculture Department’s Senior Sheep And Wool Officer, developed a breeding program according to the Trangie experiments. It was structured to satisfy the requirements of Mr. Downie.

Since the 1960 initial cross-breeding, a ram-breeding nucleus flock has been maintained within Dungrove’s main commercial herd.

In 1976, Travis Jones introduced the American Cormo sheep breed to the United States by importing two stud rams and twelve bred ewes from Mr. Downie. This breed is promoted as an economic value sheep in the United States instead of a show-type sheep.

You will find the American Cormo sheep mostly in Australia’s South East states. However, they are also available in Argentina, the United States, Italy, Belgium, and China.

The original criteria for selection included:

  • 17-to-23-micron fiber diameter
  • High fertility
  • Clean, high fleece weight
  • High fertility rate or fast rate of body growth

Characteristics of The American Cormo Sheep

The American Cormo sheep are primarily white, mid-sized, with open faces and a staple height of 2.5 to 4 inches. In addition, the ewes and rams are typically polled, with the ewes carrying 5 to 8 pounds of fleece.

When it comes to body weight, a mature American Cormo sheep weighs 160 to 200 pounds, while a mature ewe weighs 120 to 160 pounds. The lambs grow faster, and the ewes are well-known for their high fertility.

Multiple births with American Cormo sheep are rare, but it does happen. Where there is assisted lambing, lambing crops can be 150 to 180% higher.

Moreover, these powerful and hardy animals don’t have horns and are well-adapted to nearly all climates, including harsh conditions and environments. You can rear the American Cormo Sheep in humid, hot, and wet climates.

The primary reason for rearing the American Cormo sheep is wool production, with the breed fast becoming among the best wool-producing sheep breeds in the industry. Their wool is highly sought after by fiber artists like welters, knitters, and spinners.

The breed generates high-quality wool throughout the year with approximately 18-23 microns of fiber diameter. Cormo wool is pretty soft that you can wear next to your skin.

The perks of owning an American Cormo sheep don’t end with wool production. Besides, they are easy to care for, have a high muscle-to-body ratio, and don’t have wool blindness.

Considering Cormo’s smaller body size, this sheep consumes less food compared to other breeds, making them economical.

According to The American Cormo Sheep Association, this sheep needs 40% less feed compared to larger breeds. Furthermore, the Cormo ewes have a reputation for being excellent mothers.

READ ALSO: Suffolk Sheep Breed: Information, Behavior, and Care

American Cormo sheep

Typical American Cormo Sheep Behavior

The American Cormo sheep is a gentle, friendly, people-loving breed that’s easy to manage. They are quiet, easy-going sheep with strong flocking instincts, feeling safer in a group.

Additionally, they have peaceful dispositions, so you won’t find them fighting unprovoked, and they are highly adaptable to various environments. They are known for easy management without artificial feeding or stalling.

How To Care For The American Cormo Sheep

Cormo is easy to take care of, and you will not struggle to keep them full since they require less feed compared to larger sheep breeds. They are also highly resistant to mycotic dermatitis and fleece rot.

While this sheep does well in open grazing, ensure your Cormo receives enough nutrients, minerals, water and salt.

Furthermore, you must watch out for parasites and pests on top of providing proper nutrition to keep your Cormo sheep healthy. Be consistent with deworming and vaccination sessions to protect them from disease.

It’s also essential to groom your Cormo appropriately. Since they are wool-producing sheep, you will need to shear them atleast once a year to prevent the wool from overgrowing and harvest the wool for economic purposes.

In addition, you should provide appropriate shelter to protect them from predators and harsh weather conditions, despite being highly adaptable to different climates. They are ideal for small suburban farms and open rangelands.

READ ALSO: Do Wolves Kill and Eat Sheep?

Final Remarks

The American Cormo sheep breed is a resilient, low-maintenance wool-producing breed. The Cormo is an excellent choice if you want high-quality wool from easy-to-care-for, highly fertile sheep that don’t require a lot of food.

In addition, their friendly nature and peaceful disposition make them excellent animals to keep among humans, including kids. You also don’t have to worry about harsh climates because these rugged sheep thrive in adverse environments.

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