Cotswold sheep are a breed of sheep originating in the Cotswold hills of the southern midlands of England. It is a dual-use breed. I like the wool part best:)
Those are some scrumptious locks! I have such itchy fingers. Cotswold is considered a coarse wool, usually between 32 and 40 microns, and has the greatest range of grades (38 to 48) found in the long-wool breeds. Usually the tighter the curls the finer the fiber. Cotswold fleece hangs in locks. The fibers have a lustrous, silky sheen and a slightly golden colored wool. This trait gave them the nickname of the “Golden Fleece Breed,” and the luster of Cotswold wool has also caused it to be called “poor man’s mohair.”(info from the Cotswold Breeders Association).
The sheep have a heavy forelock falling over the face is a characteristic of the breed. The fleece has an eight to twelve inch staple length and weighs thirteen to fifteen pounds, with ram fleeces weighing more. Hairs or kemp should be absent in the wool. The fleece will mat or become cotted rather easily and unless it is kept clean and in good condition may become somewhat unsightly. Because the wool is so long and naturally parts along the sheep’s spine, hard cold rains can cause health problems, though low temperatures and heavy snows do not trouble them.
I had to look up cotted as it is a term I had never seen used so here is the dictionary definition.
Cotted-said of wool which has become matted or felted while on the sheep, due usually to continuous wetting.
Until recently, only white sheep were eligible for registration in the Cotswold breed. CBA now registers natural colored Cotswolds as well as whites. These sheep are called black but their colors vary across a beautiful range of silver, bluish gray, and charcoal shades and are much in demand by handspinnners and other fiber artists.
The Cotswold is a large, polled breed, with ewes weighing up to 200 pounds and rams 300 pounds. The ewes are excellent mothers, with few birthing problems and quick to accept lambs. They are a very friendly sheep and there is definitely a queenly quality about the ewes.
Awwww animals are too cute!