ATSA General Info
The American Teeswater Sheep Association (ATSA) serves to protect and preserve the American Teeswater Sheep in North America.
This amazing long wool breed is in the process of being established here in the United States and Canada and is renown for it’s unique long lustrous curls and distinct markings.
The American Teeswater Sheep Association keep a registry of animals, provides breed up guidelines, tracks blood percentages and works to promote and preserve this lovely breed. Breeders and Fiber Enthusiast & Artists are encouraged to join the ATSA Fleece & Fiber Discussion on our Facebook Group or follow along on Instagram. The American Teeswater Sheep Association was formed to register and track animals that qualify for registration as North American Teeswaters.
While the US government does not allow the importation of live sheep to the US, we have developed a breed up program that serves to reproduce the UK Teeswater breed. The rules are spelled out in the "Upgrade Guidelines' contained within our Bylaws.
How did it begin? Foundation ewes were selected from a list of qualifying breeds (see a list of the accepted breeds in our Upgrade Guidelines contained in our Bylaws) and became the recipient of frozen UK semen which is inseminated via Laparoscopic Artificial Insemination (AI).
Blood percentages are used to indicate roughly the amount of original UK Teeswater genetics that are carried in any one animal. The dams in that first generation (F!) carry no Teeswater genetics, and are given 0%. The semen used on this first cross is 100% Teeswater. The resulting F1 lambs are 50% blood ( take the percentage of the dam and the sire, add them together and divide by 2 to give a close estimate of how much actual Teeswater blood and genetic material is present in the lamb ). If that first generation lamb is a ewe lamb, she is entered into the ATSA Registry and given a Certificate of Registry with her pedigree and blood percentage (50% in this case). Ram lambs are not eligible for registration at 50%. Once the ewe lamb matures, she can be inseminated with frozen semen and her offspring will be the second generation in the process (F2), and will carry a 75% blood percent. Rams are eligible for registration at 75% and above. Rams must be codon tested at genetic marker 171 for resistance to scrapie and must be RR which is the highest score of Scrapie resistance, to be eligible for registration.
Embryo importations have recently been approved, and we look forward to new genetics arriving to help keep our animals genetically diverse.
Look for the 'Fiber of Distinction" when acquiring fleece, fiber and yarn to be sure that you are purchasing the real deal. Member breeders use this label to identify their outstanding products.