Thursday, August 20, 2009

What the heck is a CVM?

Good question! CVM stands for California Variegated Mutant and it's a sheep. No, really! CVM's are Romeldale sheep with certain markings and fleece characteristics. All CVM's are Romeldales, but not all Romeldales are CVM's. You can read all about it here.

I have been on a mission to improve the fineness and softness of my fleeces for some time. I had Romney sheep for many, many years and loved their personalities and fleeces. I have noticed that more and more spinners are looking for really soft fleeces and so, a few years ago, I added Bluefaced Leicesters to my flock. After getting fleeces that weighed 10-12 pounds or more from my Romneys, it was a shock to see how small the BFL fleeces were. For the last several years, I have been cross-breeding the two to produce the fleece type I wanted. I now have a group of ewes I'm really happy with in terms of personalities and fleece characteristics. After doing much research, I decided that using a CVM/Romeldale ram on those ewes should produce more color and compliment the fleece type I already had. The CVM/Romeldale breed is classified as a critically rare breed and, to do my part in promoting the breed, I also bought two ewe lambs in order to have purebred CVM/Romeldale lambs born here. I am so excited about this adventure, I can hardly wait for lambing to start! (I'm sure someone will remind me I said this, when I start complaining about how tired I am, come spring!)

I began corresponding with Chris Spitzer of Yellow Creek Cottage Farm months ago and finally settled on a small starter flock to bring to Kentucky. We now have two ewe lambs and one CVM/Romeldale ram lamb and one moorit Romeldale ram lamb. Chris did a terrific job of putting together a combination of genetics that should give me what I am hoping to produce.

The lambs made the trip just fine, even though it was about 90 degrees for most of the 5 hour drive. I am so impressed with the calm, sweet personality of these boys and girls. Mike was not home yet, so I had no help getting them out of the back of the truck. I backed the truck up to their pen, stacked a few hay bales by the tailgate and opened the back of the pen in the truck. They hopped down and went into the pen, as if they had been trained! Their first night here, when I went to check on them at bedtime, I sat down in the middle of their pen and they all came right up to me and ate a little snack right out of my hands. I love these little guys already!
I haven't come up with any names for these babies yet. Anyone have any suggestions?


  1. They are gorgeous, Dianne! I am so excited for you and your new venture!

  2. That's a beautiful sheep! What a noble face. Which one is in the last shot?

  3. That's the biggest of the two ewe lambs. She seems a little more independent than the others. She was exploring the chicken pen (outside looking in) and playing in the Sweet Annie. I've never had any other animal who was attracted to Sweet Annie! I let it grow up around the outside of the chicken yard...just because I love the smell of it.

  4. They're lovely! I'm not very good at naming things, but their colors kind of remind me of various spices, if you like themes. (Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove...)

  5. Oh, I LOVE them !!!! Their colors are wonderful !!!!I can't wait to hear what you name them !!!!
    My mom used to buy me Sweet Annie wreaths all the time ....... I love the smell !!!! Can you buy the plants or seed ????
    I hadn't thought of it for so long .... Thank you for the memory !!!!! :0)

  6. Ranch 101-I love the spices idea! Think I'll use that for the girls, for sure. Thanks!