I was a bit confused in the last couple of weeks trying to determine what a mule sheep was vs a masham sheep. I understood that a masham was the result of
teeswater ram(or wendleydale ram) + Swaledale ewe (or dalesbred or rough fell ewe) = masham
These ewes are highly desireable due to the fact they are basically the perfect sheep, for milk and wool, are quite hardy and great mothers. Masham ewes are medium sized and polled. The fleece is long staples, 8-10 inches on a yearling and 6 to 7 inches on a ewe, with a good degree of luster.
A mule is different it’s a crossbreed like the Masham but it’s a 3 way cross. It was originally done to create a better meat animal but the wool was really good as well ( a bonus?).
Here is the cross for a mule.
Bluefaced leicester +local ewe (usually from the blackfaced mountain sheep, cheviot,welsh or sometimes clun forest) = mule
These mules are then crossbred to larger meat breeds like suffolk or texel. They name the mules by the breed of the dam. example: a cheviot mule had a cheviot dam. You can see the BFL in the fleece of the mule.
Interesting they were making designer sheep before designer dogs.
I couldn’t wait to show you! I finished my skywalker shawl this weekend.