Tunis Lamb & Wool
When we began our small farm, we were immediately drawn to the Tunis breed because of its history. After buying our first pair of lambs from our mentor in Anderson, SC, we had a chance to taste the meat for the first time. For us, it was like tasting the most flavorful and succulent ribeye steak imaginable. We shared this feedback with Ashley, our mentor, and he retorted that this was heresy. There is nothing that compares to Tunis lamb. His passion is accurate, and we certainly agree, but don’t just take our word for it. Please read on to see what many others say about Tunis lamb.
“One has to respect a breed that is referenced numerous times in the Bible (see fat-tailed sheep) and is reputed to be 3000 years old. It’s even harder to imagine the Tunis not being completely delicious since the first three U.S. presidents raised and consumed them.
John Adams mentioned the breed in his diary in 1782 when the Tunis had an excellent reputation for delicious mutton — and tail (not sold today!). Thomas Jefferson ordered the importation of a second herd from Tunisia because he loved them so much, he thought they should be more readily available. George Washington bred them —one of his early legacies was the proliferation of his particular Tunis crossbreed on farms and dinner tables along the East Coast.
The tail is now smaller and the color ranges from tan-to-red with the occasional white spot on the head and tail. Ewes usually birth twins although the Tunis still remains on the ALBC-USA.org Conservation Priority List.” Excerpt from hertagefoods.com
“Fancy Meats from Vermont, Manager, Lydia Ratcliff, who represents a Vermont cooperative selling lamb and other meat products to high-end New York and Boston restaurants, says “Tunis are on our short list of superior breeds. There are not many high-quality meat breeds, for reliably high quality. Tunis is definitely on that list.”” Excerpt from The Tale of the Tunis – Sheep Once Rare Now in Demand - Cornell Small Farms
Wikipedia article: American Tunis - Wikipedia
Historical reference: Sheep: Their Breeds, Management, and Diseases - William Youatt - Google Books reference pages 124 & 125
Tunis Lamb – meat
Lamb Chops: $18.00/lbs.
Leg or Shoulder Roast: $15.00/lbs.
Stew meat package: $15.00/lbs.
Lamb Shanks: $12.00/lbs.
Ground Lamb: $15.00/lbs.
Lamb Bones: $8.00/lbs.
Raw Tunis Fleece
Full Ewe or Ram fleece: $35.00 plus shipping
Full Lamb Fleece: $20.00 plus shipping
Do you want to spin wool from the breed Thomas Jefferson liked better than his Merinos and was kept by him on the White House lawn?
Tunis wool is favored by hand spinners for its varied shades of cream, ivory, and off-white, as well as its lustrous, bouncy 24-30 micron diameter fiber. Ewes shear a fleece weighing around 6 pounds, a portion of which is removed by skirting. The wool’s Bradford count is 56-58, and the staple length is 3-4 inches.