SVF Foundation

Navajo-Churro Sheep

Navajo-Churro Sheep

The Navajo-Churro sheep of the southwestern United States have a remarkable history. In the early 1800s, the Navajo people took prized Spanish Churro sheep and bred them for specific traits, including fleece character and adaptability to the arid desert climate, to create the unique Navajo-Churro breed. 

These sheep are extremely hardy and well adapted to the harsh climate of the southwest. They have long legs, a narrow body and light bones. Both ewes and rams can be polled or have two or four horns. Vigorous lambs are easily born to excellent and protective mothers. Considering the environment these sheep are accustomed to, the lamb survival rate is high. Navajo-Churro’s are found in many beautiful colors, including white, silver, blue, brown, red, black, and spotted.  Patterns such as badger face are common.   

The Navajo-Churro Sheep Association was formed in 1986 in order to help bring the traditional herders and weavers of the southwest together in support of the breed.  Navajo-Churro sheep are intimately intertwined in Navajo philosophy and spirituality. These sheep are considered so important, that the Navajo use the expression, “Sheep is Life”. Although still very rare, this breed’s chance of survival is steadily increasing with the help of focused conservation efforts.


Breed Association:
Navajo-Churro Sheep Association
http://www.navajo-churrosheep.com

About the Breed

Sheep graphic

Origin:
Developed in the southwestern United States from Churro sheep imported from Spain

Distribution:
United States and Mexico

Uses:
Wool and meat

Status:
Threatened

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