There was an entire barn full of sheep and goats at the Salon de l'Agriculture.
Most of the breeds were meat or milk breeds, but there was a handful of gloriously fibery merinos and Rambouillets. Like the horses, there were a lot of France-specific breeds and some unusual rare breeds.
There were some beautiful bald-faced Bleu du Maine sheep being judged in the showring.
This woman had the most wonderful sheepy vest and chapeau that blended right in with livestock.
Sadly, most of the animals seemed pretty stressed. Unlike Rhinebeck, which is mostly outdoors in covered areans, this was completely indoors in a big heated building. It was hot. I had taken off my winter coat and spent most of the time a bit on the swampy-pits side of my temperature range. Most of the sheep had not been sheared and had been outside for most of the winter, and they were visibly panting and uncomfortable.
Another thing that agitated me is that pretty much every pen had a sign that asked you to not touch the animals and to just let them be (most of them were hiding out of reach anyway) and not only were people poking at any animal within reach, I saw a lot of grown-ass men doing rather dick things taunting the animals- grabbing at a ram's horns and shaking them or lifting their kids into the pens with them. Poor, terrified sheep.
A rather nightmare-inducing Rouge de l'Ouest:
I didn't know sheep could get that ugly. Slap a red, hairless face on one and suddenly an herbivore looks like it's out for blood.
I thought this Mourerous had a lovely, thoughtful face:
As you can see, I spent hours wandering around the sheep and goat pens. I was hoping there would be more wool/yarn/crafty things. There was a couple- someone had some very nice mohair yarns and another lady had mostly pre-made garments from her wool and a few skeins of millspun yarn, but the rustic yarn craze has yet to really hit France. I'm a merino and cashmere kind of gal in an acrylic kind of crafting scene.
A Rambouillet, keeping clean for the show ring:
There was only one shepherd who brought tiny Ouessant sheep:
These are a fairly rare breed from Brittany- the French version of a Shetland or Icelandic primitive-style sheep. They look lamb-sized, but these are as big as they get. They are almost always black in color.
Oh, and there were lambs!
I have no idea what kind of sheep these are, but they were adorable with their raccoon masks and lop ears. They were shy about all the people around them, but occasionally would ignore the crowd enough to leap around and play and just be as cute as possible.