St Croix Home

More about St Croix

Current Rams

Sheep for Sale

Grassfed Lamb

Breeding Issues (Conservation Genetics, Scrapie, et)

Sheep Care

Contact Us






Howling Oak Ranch




Lineages of St Croix Sheep at Howling Oak Ranch

A brief description of the 3 lineages of St Croix sheep that are managed within our conservation breeding plan can be found below.

A son of USU 1003

Utah State University (USU) is the “birthplace” of the St. Croix breed. Dr. Foote imported 22 bred ewes and 3 rams from the island of St Croix in 1975; a registry for descendents of these sheep opened in 1988 and the St Croix breed in the US today is descended from these original imports, supplemented by 2-3 small importations of semen and sheep from the University of the Virgin Islands on the island of St Croix, in the late 1990s / early 2000s. The USU flock is one of only a few remaining research flocks of St Croix sheep; the flock was downsized to about 30 ewes in 2006. All St Croix sheep (with the exception of recent imports) trace back to this flock.

Gibson ewe

1. Gibson Line: Mrs. Gibson was one of the first private breeders of St Croix sheep, and obtained her sheep directly from Utah State University. Registration numbers in her flock started at #161 (Gibson HH35). The Swan Ranch obtained some Gibson-line sheep in 1993 via Delmar Burch of California. This line is long-lived and productive, a product of both intensive inbreeding and culling; ewes have raised twin lambs to 15 years of age. Our Gibson-line sheep are line-bred descendents of Gibson HH802T (#796), and Gibson HH808T (#804), with some influence of Gibson HH804T (#801).

2. Simpson Line: Neil Simpson obtained his sheep from USU; his flock’s registration numbers start in the 100s. Some Simpson sheep were sold to the USDA research facility in Boonesville, AR, where several were purchased by the Harris’s of Oklahoma. We obtained our Simpson sheep during the Harris’ flock dispersal in 2006. These sheep trace back to Simpson 29 (#139), 37 (#142), 46 (#144), 50 (#157), 159 (#588) and the ram Simpson 230 (#594).

3. Menig complex:

This line is built on a combination of 3 early flocks (Cal Poly, Walding, and Spillet) that are found in the ancestry of many west coast St Croix. The Menigs combined sheep from these 3 lines, and later sold sheep to the Barnes of Portland OR. Cal Poly, Pomona, had obtained 5 rams and 3 ewes from USU in 1978 and eventually sold some of their progeny to private breeders. The Walding flock included both Cal Poly and early USU stock. Juan Spillet’s flock included sheep with registration numbers in the 400s, and came from USU via Dr. Homer Ellsworth. Some of the sheep that have descendents in our flock include Cal Poly 7240, 7903 (#366), 8542 (#390), 8546 (#389) and 8413 (#388); Walding 658 (#487) and 740 (#701); and Spillet 3508 (#421), 3521 (#644), 3434 (#428), and 3496 (#638), often via Menig sheep such as Menig 18 (#708), 19 (#709)and 23 (#718).


Last modified 28 July 2008
Copyright 2002-2008
Howling Oak Ranch

All information, pictures, and graphics contained on this website belong to Howling Oak Ranch, and cannot be reproduced without written consent. All Rights Reserved.