Museum adds New Mexico breed of sheep


LAS CRUCES – The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has added a third breed of sheep to their breeding program – a breed created in New Mexico.

Three Debouillet sheep – a ram and two ewe lambs – from the RC “Punch” Jones ranch near Tatum, NM, arrived on Tuesday. The Debouillet breed was created by the Jones family in the 1920s from Delaine-Mérinos and Rambouillet crosses. In an oral history interview with the museum in 2009, Jones spoke about his father’s goal of combining the size and body type of the Rambouillet sheep with the wool of the Delaine-Merino.

The museum also has Navajo-Churro sheep, as well as Suffolk. The other animals in the breeding program are Boer and Angora goats, Holstein and Jersey dairy cows, horses, donkeys and seven different breeds of beef cattle: Angus, Brahman, Brangus, Charolais, Corriente, Hereford and Longhorn.

In an accreditation review last spring by the American Alliance of Museums, examiners called the museum’s breeding program a “national model.”

The museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces and is part of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $ 5 for adults, $ 4 for seniors, and $ 3 for children aged 4 to 17. Children aged 3 and under and museum members receive free admission.

For more information, call 575-522-4100.

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