A spotted hair or shedding sheep. Rams are horned and ewes may be polled (no horns) or horned. The ewes generally weigh from 60 - 120 pounds and rams generally weigh 75 - 200 pounds.
The Corsican Group of Sheep (Painted Desert, Texas Dall, Black Hawaiian, American Blackbelly, Desert Sand, and sheep referred to as Corsicans) is actually the result of initial crosses decades ago between the shedding, wild, European Mouflon Sheep (Ovis musimon, native to Corsica and Sardinia) with a wide range of more well known "wool" breeds of sheep including: Rambouillet, Churro, Merino, and Jacob.
At times, some of these crosses also included a hair or shedding sheep called the Barbados Blackbelly (Ovis aries)which were imported from the Caribbean island of Barbados, West Indies with bloodlines originally coming from Africa.
One of the very first crosses happened in the mid 1900’s at the YO Ranch in Texas between Mouflon Ewes and Rambouillet rams resulting in beautiful snowy white, shedding sheep now known as the Texas Dall. The two lambs which were produced by the Rambouillet X Mouflon cross were found by Bob Snow of the Y.O. Ranch and were originally called Snow Sheep.
The crosses continued to produce multiple colors: from all black sheep (Black Hawaiian), all white sheep (Texas Dall), spotted sheep (Painted Desert), brown to fawn and black sheep marked like Barbados Blackbelly sheep (American Blackbelly), fawn and black or fawn and cream colored sheep (maintains Corsican name), to Champagne and white sheep (Desert Sand).
Originally, these sheep, were primarily used for “Trophies” due to their nice horns. As the popularity of the sheep increased, the focus has become on achieving recognition for these sheep for other markets such as meat, show, pasture/fenceline clearing, etc., and for simply being unique sheep deserving of recognition as unique breeds.
As with other breeds of sheep and even other animals, Texas Dalls, Black Hawaiians, Desert Sands, Corsicans, American Blackbelly and Painted Desert Sheep started out as hybrids or composites of 2 or more different breeds - with one parent being the Mouflon Sheep. Once the special characteristics of these wonderful sheep became more popular, efforts to get these sheep recognized as a unique and individual breed were underway by dedicated breeders.