Fur sheep?

Steve Quintavalli

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Hello, I read an article and actually did some research on a sheep that is called a fur sheep, not hair or wool but fur. Apparently the still born lamb or a really young lamb generates the best "fur". The breed is called Karakul. but is that the only "fur" sheep or is this possible with all sheep or maybe hair sheep? I thought the pelts might have been called shearling but I guess not. Anyway, is there any other breed similar to that or is it just a normal sheep and any breed can produce the same?
 

Kusanar

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Well, those certainly are not hair sheep, and being endangered, I don't know that I would be breeding them for lamb pelts. I would imagine any lamb pelt would have super soft fleece on it, especially wool breeds.
 

misfitmorgan

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Karakul are a fat-tailed wool sheep. The use of "fur" is a sort of sale point. Also definitely a threatened/endangered breed which makes sense if people are killing all the lambs.

Basically yeah most any double coated carpet wool breed sheep is going to have lambs with short tight soft curls at birth because the double coat part hasn't come in yet. Any of these breeds Icelandic, Karakul, Navajo Churro, and Scottish Blackface.

I'm not a save the babies kind of person but the entire killing the newborn lambs for their pelt seems like a huge waste. I mean if they are at least 3-6 months old you would get some meat out of the deal. Personally I would never be ok with it, seems disrespectful to the animal and it's mother. You are wasting a life to use a very small percentage of the carcass.
 

Kusanar

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I'm not a save the babies kind of person but the entire killing the newborn lambs for their pelt seems like a huge waste. I mean if they are at least 3-6 months old you would get some meat out of the deal. Personally I would never be ok with it, seems disrespectful to the animal and it's mother. You are wasting a life to use a very small percentage of the carcass.
Exactly, now, if you wanted to skin any stillborn lambs you have and tan those hides, that would be saving what you can of a death that already happened. Also, at a few days old you typically have no idea if you would want to keep that baby for breeding purposes or not so you could be butchering some really nice babies for a few square feet of hide.
 

misfitmorgan

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Exactly, now, if you wanted to skin any stillborn lambs you have and tan those hides, that would be saving what you can of a death that already happened. Also, at a few days old you typically have no idea if you would want to keep that baby for breeding purposes or not so you could be butchering some really nice babies for a few square feet of hide.
Yeah. I mean could see someone justifying the males only with not needing more males but even so the meat and hide would be more valuable and less wasteful then just hide.

According to online sites, each approx 2sqft lamb hide sells for $5-10usd which is nothing. An adult sheep hide tanned and ready is $150+ so really makes no sense to me. I mean the lamb hides are not some rare luxury product, this is literally what every newborn suffolk lambs looks like, dark black, curly and shiny.

Most ironic part is the information says the hides are prized for being dark black, then the ones you find for sale shows dark black skin side(suede)....means they dyed it black :lol:
 
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Kusanar

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Yeah. I mean could see someone justifying the males only with not needing more males but even so the meat and hide would be more valuable and less wasteful then just hide.

According to online sites, each approx 2sqft lamb hide sells for $5-10usd which is nothing. An adult sheep hide tanned and ready is $150+ so really makes no sense to me. I mean the lamb hides are not some rare luxury product, this is literally what every newborn suffolk lambs looks like, dark black, curly and shiny.

Most ironic part is the information says the hides are prized for being dark black, then the ones you find for sale shows dark black skin side(suede)....means they died it black :lol:
Lol wow. I hadn't even looked up the price! Most meat sheep are butchered at around 5 months give or take a bit, at that point they are 95-100 lbs or so. That's a lot of meat in no time and they are nearly full grown and that hide should be worth quite a bit more at that point. They even have a good bit of fleece at that age.
 

Ridgetop

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Actually there is very little market for hides here. The cost of having a hide tanned (if you want one of your own done) runs abut $200 and has to be sent back east somewhere. I have done one for each of my children. Then there is the whole how to clean it if its gets dirty. Cleaning fur is not cheap.

On to the subject of "fur" sheep. There used to be a type of fur coat years ago known as "Persian Lamb". Supposedly the hides were from "unborn lambs". The coats were very soft with curly black hair or wool. Most likely the lambs were not "unborn" since who wants to slaughter a ewe at term just to get her unborn lambs for the fur market? Most likely the lambs were newborn or very young. Since "Persians" (old Iran) like to eat lamb that is milk fed, the lamb pelts were probably from that age lambs after the lambs were slaughtered for meat. They were probably fat tailed lambs since those would have been the breed raised many years ago in that part of the world. With no fur market here in the lower 48 states the only fur sales now are in Alaska.

While fat tailed sheep may be prized for ethnic markets, the Karakul is a small breed with a large fatty deposit above or below the tail. In its native desert habitat the Karakul can store nutrients for survival in that fatty tissue like a camel.

Shearling is from a lamb of an age that has just had its first shearing. Usually 6-12 months old. The sheared wool is extremely thick and plush. Heavy jackets used to be made of shearlig with the wool side turned in to wear against the body.
 

secuono

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The lambs are killed at birth or the ewes are killed & the lambs removed to get the most "luxurious" wool coat out of them.
Obviously, they do keep some to raise and continue production for the future.
 

Ridgetop

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Pretty wasteful to me, but if the hide market $$ was better than the meat market $$, killing the lambs early for their hides would have been the profitable thing to do. No place for excess emotion in farming. Ram lambs would have been the option to slaughter.

Persian Lamb has not been available for many many years I think. Along with the rest of the fur market here in the US no one wears fur anymore. Probably contributing to the extinction of the mink. While leather shoes and jackets are still ok, why is wearing fur looked on as bad? I can understand the elimination of wild caught fur to protect species in the wild, but farmed skins? There is no doubt that fur is much warmer in frigid climates, just like wool, and down. Wool can be harvested from living animals, that is not the case with goose down and lots of people use down coverlets on their beds and don't think anything about it.

Is this another instance of political insanity? Or just people not being educated in the business of farming and ranching? :idunno
 
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