Painted desert sheep are the result of initial crosses decades ago between the shedding European Mouflon Sheep with a wide range of more well-known “wool” breeds of sheep, including the horned Rambouillet, Churro, Merino, and Jacob.
What sets this particular breed of sheep apart is its colorful markings. They are often marked in a combination of colors such as white, buff, taupe, champagne, fawn, cinnamon, red, mahogany, chocolate, sable, charcoal, and black. They can be bi-, tri- or quad-colored, and most breeders agree that you just never know what color your lambs may turn out to be.
The painted desert sheep is a double-coated breed that casts its wool in spring. In the fall, they begin growing their undercoat of wool, which gets even thicker as the weather gets colder. The rams will grow a luxuriant mane, often starting at the shoulders with a thick bib at the front of the neck. In the spring, the wool is shed in clumps along with some of the longer, outer guard hairs, leaving behind a short, slick coat of hair.
The size of these sheep can vary a good deal, mainly due to the influence of other breeds. Average ewes can weigh from 60-120 lbs. and may have heights from 21″-25″ at the shoulders. Average rams can weigh 75-200 lbs. and maybe 30″ or more at the shoulders.
It is a breed well known for the Trophy Class horns grown by the rams. The most desired horns are symmetrical and well balanced, with both horns being of close to equal size and shape.
Rams have different-shaped horns according to the influence of other breeds. Tight horn curls growing close to the head are indicative of Barbados blood while large ones that sweep out and curve behind the neck, heart-shaped horns, or those that sweep outward in a spiral are of Mouflon influence. Ewes do not carry horns.
The painted desert sheep have a strong flocking instinct when disturbed, but when at peace will scatter about the pasture. They can be very docile if handled from birth.
This breed has a good jumping ability and are a lot like deer in this aspect. Many breeders have nicknamed them “Flying Sheep” because of their ability to ‘fly’ through the air with ease.
Another reason for hunting these magnificent animals is their meat. The meat of the painted desert sheep is wonderfully delicate with a mild flavor that is raved about by many. It is typically a lean meat with no mutton taste even with older animals.
The impressive horns, the beautiful coat markings, and the excellent-tasting meat are more than enough reasons for you to indulge in a Painted Desert Sheep Hunting adventure at 303 Ranch Outfitters. We make your dream hunt a reality!