This standard is designed to preserve and enhance the inherent good qualities of the Finnsheep breed. No restrictions on registrations are involved since we have no mechanism for inspection of flocks. The standard, however, can help us move in a more uniform direction as the breed develops.
Points have not been assigned to the different sections – as many other breed associations do – primarily because Finnsheep are not shown or judged solely on their physical characteristics. Sixty to seventy percent of the standard’s significance is in the section titled “Reproductive Characteristics.”
- should reach puberty by 4-8 months of age.
- must have two descended, well-developed testicles.
- a triplet or higher birth type is favored.
- should be aggressive breeders
- should lamb by 12 months of age.
- should have a minimum of 5-6 lambs by two years of age, and 9-10 by 3 years when managed in an intensive year round breeding system.
- should be aggressive breeders.
- should have no difficulty in lambing.
- should exhibit outstanding maternal characteristics.
- should produce adequate milk for at least two lambs and possess at least two well-formed, functional teats.
- Mature ewes in average condition will weigh 130 to 180 pounds.
- Mature rams in average condition will weigh 170 to 240 pounds.
- Long and fine with good hair coat
- Free of wool and horns
- Eyes that are clear and alert
- Dark pigment around the eyes is desirable on white animals
- Proper jaw alignment is essential. An overshot or undershot jaw is not to be tolerated.
Body & Tail
Smooth and well blended
Of medium length and height
Back straight and strong.
The very characteristic Finnsheep tail is undocked, wool-covered, with hair at tip, and 4 to 6 inches long.
Legs & Feet
- Straight and well-placed
- Fore legs set apart
- Wooled to knees and hocks, clean below
- Strong pasterns.
- Single coated with soft hand and medium length.
- Uniform and free of coarse britch and mattings.
Most of the Finnsheep in the USA are white. They are also increasingly available in a variety of colors and patterns. Finn wool has an unmistakably soft handle and luster. Fleeces average 4-6 lbs with 3-6” staple and a micron count of 24 to 31 (50’s spinning count).
Finnsheep produce a lean, succulent carcass with delicate flavor. Due to the breed’s year-round lambing ability, Finns can produce lamb for many seasonal and holiday markets.
Renowned as prolific breeders producing multiple births, the Finnsheep regulary has triplets and quadruplets. Our history records show several litters of octuplets and septuplets. It is not uncommon for ewe lambs, twelve months of age, to have twins and triplets. Finnsheep are excellent mothers with plentiful milk for the large litters.
Early Reproductive Development
Unlike many other breeds, the Finnsheep matures very early. Rams mature at four to eight months and ewes are bred to lamb by 12 months of age.
The breed as a whole has a friendly dispostion. The Finnsheep tends to have greater tolerance to heat and cold than most domestic breeds. They exhibit greater foraging ability, enjoying leaves and brush as much as cultivated pasture.