Learn - Heritage Breeds

Heritage breeds possess critical genetic diversity that is threatened by the increasing homogenization of modern industrial agriculture. These heritage breeds are often slightly smaller, slower growing or have characteristics such as horns that make them less suitable for the large scale farms where animals are often kept in close confinement. 

Our flock consists mostly of Dorset Horn and Tunis. These breeds are our focus because of the long family history that goes back to the mid 1920’s when Ben's great grandfather started sheep farming. There are many more heritage breeds that are being raised by other farmers and hence protected for future generations. To learn more about heritage breeds visit The Livestock Conservancy's website where they list and track a variety of rare breeds in need of support.

Dorset Horn

The Dorset Horn is an ancient breed developed in the southwestern valleys of England. It was imported into the United States in the 1860s. Dorset Horn sheep are medium size sheep with lofty white to cream fleece. Both ewes and rams have horns. They are excellent grazers and the ewes are high milk producers and good mothers. Dorset Horn can breed in the fall or the spring which can extend the availability of lamb almost year round. The Dorset Horn is currently listed as threatened by The Livestock Conservancy.


The Tunis breed originated from “fat-tailed” sheep given to George Washington as a gift from the Bey of Tunis in the 1700s. It is one of the oldest breeds developed in the United States and was the primary breed raised in the South until the Civil War when the breed was almost entirely wiped out. Tunis have cinnamon colored faces and legs, and a soft cream fleece. They are generally friendly, small to medium sized, good grazers and good mothers. The Tunis is currently listed on the watch list by The Livestock Conservancy.