The Cotswold breed originated in the Cotswold Hills in Gloucester, Britain. Although original records have since been lost suggestions have been made that this breed were in the hills at the time of Caesar’s conquest of Britain. The first Cotswolds were brought to the United States in 1832.
The Cotswold are one of the largest breeds of sheep with a mature ram weighing about 350 pounds and ewes weighing around 300 pounds. They are nicknamed “the gentle giants” for their docile nature. They are rather rectangular in form with a straight strong back. Their appearance can be described as “deep bodied and show great width.”
They have very strong “mothering” abilities and will often steal lambs from others. Again, we never separate the young from their mothers, they wean according to their schedule.
They are a “long wool” breed and their fleece is carried in long bold locks usually 8 to 10 inches in length. Their wool is favoured by hand spinners.
The Cotswold are listed on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Priority List as “threatened.” This represents fewer than 1,000 annual registrations in the United States and estimated fewer than 5,000 global population.