History of Miniature Cheviot Sheep: The Miniature Cheviot is not a true miniature as it never selected for reduced size. Instead, it's the old-time Cheviot as the Cheviot breed appeared until it was bred up to modern meat-producing standards. Therefore, the history of the Cheviot breed is that of the Miniature Cheviot sheep as well. The foundation flock of small Cheviots came to America from Canada via a livestock auction in Washington State; beyond that, its origin is uncertain. Early promoters named their little sheep after a similar but unrelated breed, the Brecknock Hill Cheviot of northern Wales. However, when the registry was reorganized in 2006, the name was changed to American Miniature Cheviot sheep.
Conformation: Miniature Cheviots resemble their larger peers in every way except they're not as tall: their long, deep bodies are set atop sturdy, wide-placed, but comparatively short legs. Miniature Cheviots are naturally polled; they have wool-free legs and faces and many sport a ruff of wool behind their ears. Some breeders prefer Roman-nosed Miniature Cheviots while others opt for a straighter profile; in either case, these are regal-looking, alert and graceful little sheep with wide faces and small, upright ears. White sheep have white faces and legs with black noses, eye-rims, and hooves. Colored sheep have called "fairy kisses"; white leg splashes sometimes occur as well. Maximum height at two years of age is 23 inches measured at the withers after shearing; mature rams weigh 55 to 100 pounds, ewes between 45 and 85 pounds.
Special Consideration/Notes on Miniature Cheviot Sheep: Miniature Cheviot ewes are attentive mothers, milky, and they lamb with remarkable ease; twins are the norm. Like all of the British Hill breeds, Miniature Cheviots are tremendously easy keepers and very long-lived, many ewes lamb well into their teens.