SCIENCE CLUB: BREEDING & RAISING MINIATURE SHEEP IN LINCOLN
In 2008, Ray Tomlinson and Karen Seo began working on establishing Ouessant sheep in the United States, beginning in Oregon, later moving to Lincoln in 2010. This breed is the smallest in the world - 25 to 45 lbs. and 16 to 20 inches at the shoulder - about 1/4th the size of an average sheep. Unfortunately, they exist only in Europe from where it is illegal to import any kind of ruminant (cow, goat, sheep, etc.) into the U.S. So this has meant importing semen and upbreeding from a breed already present in the U.S., using artificial insemination to slowly, generation by generation, build a flock of increasingly purebred Ouessant sheep. Each succeeding generation of females is inseminated laparascopically with 100% Ouessant semen. So the filial generations are 1/2 Ouessant, then 3/4ths, then 7/8ths, and so on. Join Karen as she talks about her sheep, the statistics and process of upbreeding in a suburban environment, caring for and selling the sheep, and more.