BREED STANDARDS & CHARACTERISTICS
Where are Cluns found?
The Clun Forests are very adaptable living equally happily in the downlands of the South of England or the hills of Wales and Scotland. They are very popular on the Continent, particularly the Netherlands, France and Czech Republic and in parts of North America, especially Virginia. A Clun is for all climates!
They are highly resistant to disease and have a low mortality rate and most importantly finish their lambs off grass, so are low input. The Clun ewes when crossed with any terminal sire ram produce early maturing lambs with excellent weight for age results.
When they are crossed with a BFL they produce a Mule Ewe second to none, these ewes crossed with Texels, Charollais and Suffolks giving offspring ideal meat trade, with great confirmation and quick growth rates that finish on grass alone. They are the ideal foundation ewe in a 3 tier production system The fleece is generally of a high quality, and popular with spinners, knitters and for making futons.
What to look for in a Clun?
A clean open dark-brown face, free from speckles, top of head nicely covered and free from dark wool. The ears are not too long or broad, free from speckles and carried high set at '5 to 1'. The body has a strong muscular neck, lengthy good back, deep rib, strong loin, good hock, deep and well rounded thighs, good through heart, strong bone, standing square on its legs. The legs are free from speckles, fairly free from wool, hock and knee down.
Uses of the breed
Pedigree flocks, Production of Mules and Halfbred ewes or crossing with Texels, Charollais and Suffolks giving offspring ideal meat trade, with great confirmation and quick growth rates that finish on grass alone.
This is a strong point of this breed with records showing ewes can still be breeding at 12 years of age. The ewes are excellent mothers, lamb easily, and have plenty of rich milk. They make ideal sheep for the small holder or commercial farmer as they have good feet, lamb on their own, good mouths, high scrapie, resistance and finish their lambs of grass so cost less and make you more money.
Cluns make excellent mothers and are particularly free from lambing difficulties with many flocks laming outside. She gives a rich abundance of rich milk and assures her lambs a good start in life. Clun rams are used on a large number of ewe lambs up and down the country as they fine heads allow easier labour for the younger sheep.
The meat is grass fed it is generally lean, dark and flavoursome. Pure Clun finished lamb has a carcass weight of 16/20kg from 12/17 weeks and up to 29kg under a year old. Clun mutton is especially sought after.
The Clun is highly resistant to disease and has a low mortality rate and a high rearing and weaning rate.
Average fleece weight 2/5-3kg
Staple length average 6-10 cm
Bradford count 56-58
Main uses are fine hosiery, felts, knitting wools and futons. It is becoming increasingly popular with spinners, both experienced and novice.
The Clun averages 175 lambs per 100 ewes and can easily achieve a lambing percentage of 200%. A well grown Clun ewe lamb will easily rear a lamb and will continue to lamb and rear until she is 7 or 8, thus out performing shorter lived Hybrids.