During the 14th century, the Rambouillet was bred in Northern Africa by the Moors. Immigration by the Moors with their sheep resulted in the appearance of this immensely popular breed. Today, the Rambouillet is an influential part of the sheep industry in the USA. It is bred successfully across most climates, ranging from Wisconsin’s harsh winters to the Texan desert land with a scarce brush.
Breeders recognised the endless possibilities the Rambouillet offered in being bred in diverse environments such as Canada, India, and Mexico. This breed is versatile and highly valuable for its ability to produce both high-quality wool and meat. Consider that this sheep requires little food and breeds well, regardless of extreme weather conditions; breeders experience maximum profits per acre. This increased efficiency that the Rambouillet provides USA breeders, increases its attraction as the most profitable sheep.
The continued efforts to keep this an exclusive, highly regarded breed comes with strict standards for excellence.
Fleece; general condition and appearance are required to be dense, uniform, bright and attractive. It must offer high yielding wool that is a long staple and fine, with its colour whiter than cream. The sheep’s skin appearance must be a healthy pink and bright.
The fleece must be as dense as possible with minimum bare areas in the armpits and flanks with a well-covered belly. The staple length must produce a minimum of 4 ½ inches for every 12-month’s growth.
The wool’s character and fineness must be uniform and well-defined over the whole body. It must be pliable, yet soft and bulky to the touch, with no objectionable fibres or kinks.
The general body appearance requires it to be active, alert and stylish as distinctive Rambouillet characteristics. The body must be broad and deep, having straight underlines and top, with the ewe distinctly feminine and the ram strongly masculine.
The neck and shoulders must blend perfectly and be of medium length, with no folds, while the rump must be full and long level with thickly muscled legs. The legs must be medium length with the pasterns up-right, strong and well-filled out, while the hooves must be amber coloured.
Its back and loin must be broad, strong and straight with a long, wide loin and its chest must be wide, deep and well sprung.
The Rambouillet’s head is as important, to be classified as excellent. Its face must have no wool under or around the eyes, its lips must be pink and thick, while nostrils are large. Its eyes must be well set, alert and clear with light eyelashes. The ears must be free from pigmentation and medium in length. The rams must have widely spiralled, well-developed horns.