The California Reds was developed in 1970. It is a cross between Barbados and Tunis sheep. They are a medium-sized sheep, the rams weighing from 200 to 250 pounds and the ewes from 110 to 140 pounds. The rams sometimes have manes and both sexes are polled. The breed is non-seasonal and can be bred for three lamb crops in two years.
The lambs are born red, a color that is retained on the legs and head as mature animals. At maturity the fleeces turn a beige or oatmeal color. The legs and faces are free of wool with long pendulous ears which emphasize the animal’s appearance.
The wool is silky in texture and has found a specialty market with hand spinners and weavers. The staple length is three to six inches.