We're Working On It!

Dor Galen is a small farm in Dover, Indiana. We're about half way between Lebanon and Crawfordsville, and about 5 miles south of Thorntown. Our name comes from the Elvish language of J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion - it means 'the green land (or acres)". And while we don't have a pig named Arnold, we do have a sheep named Pig!

Our flock was established in 2003 for handspinners - we initially focused on Scottish Blackface sheep whose fiber is very easy to work, with a long staple and incredible durability. However, it's not the softest of wools - putting a Blackie woolen blanket over a baby would be more torture than comfort!

In 2006 we acquired several Horned Dorset ewes, planning on breeding for a buyer of meat sheep. Before we could get a matching ram, the deal collapsed, and our Blackie Ram got in with the new ewes. The result was intriguing, to say the least. Various combinations were tried until we arrived at what we consider to be a new breed - one with considerable hybrid vigor and very desirable traits.

Dor Galen sheep are smaller (like the Blackies) but with a meaty, square body shape (like the Dorsets). The fleece has the staple length and durability of the Blackface fiber and is consequently easy to work, but is considerably softer and springier. All the sheep are horned, and the horn shape is pretty obviously from the Blackie side of the line.

The fleece has been remarkably well received by hand spinners, and has sold out every time we've offered it for sale. Next spring will see the second generation of our Dor Galen flock, and we'll be adding some more genetic diversity from new Blackie/Dorset crosses along the way. We should be ready to sell breeding stock by the spring of 2012.

We have another flock of various breeds as well - we concentrate on raising the finest fleece sheep we can manage. But over the long run, our future is with the breed developing as we watch, and we're very excited about the future.