Several strains of Merinos evolved in the United States. The
type "A" Merino was developed in Vermont through selection and
inbreeding. This Merino carries a very heavy, wrinkly hide. In form, the type A
is angular and has little carcass value. It is not advocated for commercial
lamb and wool production. The "B" type Merino was developed
principally in Ohio, a result of breeders selecting for a heavy fleece on a
sheep that has a fair mutton form.
Its body is fairly free of wrinkles, but it carries heavy
neck folds and frequently wrinkles or heavy folds behind the shoulders and on
the thighs and rear flanks. The type B is larger and better adapted to everyday
conditions than the type A. The type "C" or Delaine Merino is the
most practical Merino and is especially adapted to range sheep production in
the western and southwestern parts of the U.S.
Delaine Merino are medium size sheep. Mature ewes with full
fleece average from 125 to 180 pounds. Rams are larger ranging in weight from
175 to 235 pounds. The Delaine has a smooth body and is free of wrinkles. In
the U.S., over 95 percent of Merinos are smooth or nearly smooth.