Tunis is one of the oldest American livestock breeds, dating to the 1700s when a handful of sheep were introduced from Africa and were mixed with other breeds until a distinct new American breed was developed. Since the breed’s inception, the meat has been in high demand in the finer eating establishments of the eastern US, where its mild, sweet flavor and tenderness have always been appreciated. Thomas Jefferson and other early prominent American figures kept and promoted the breed, and it thrived until the Civil War, when the fighting resulted in the breed being almost completely lost. With only a few flocks left, and a new emphasis on breeds that specialized in either meat or wool production, the breed was slow to recover, and is still listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Tunis breeders often point to the excellent taste of the meat, the quality of the wool, the ability to breed out of season or in hot weather, the easy lambing, good mothering, and heavy milk production when explaining their dedication to the breed. Others are simply attracted to their unique appearance, calm demeanor, and easy handling.