WILD 'N' WOOLLY COOPWORTHS & WILDLIFE 
         * 36Yrs.-Coopworth Sheep!                                     20Yrs.-Highland Coos!           

Wool from Our Sheep to Ewe       WALKABOUT
                                                     BLOG



Raising COOPWORTH SHEEP--35 Years!

Since 1984 we have owned and bred Coopworth Sheep
 descended from Pine Park and Alford Park Flocks...
F
oundation New Zealand CSSNA Registered Ewes and Rams!**  


We have reduced our flock from 150+ ewes to 25 total older ewes and yearlings.  They are pastured here close to the house on 40+ acres all year and supplemented with hay during the winter months.  

Lambing is scheduled for early March.  Sheep with lambs can then be turned out to graze nutrient-rich, wonderfully nutritious, early grasses mid-April.  

Ewes are fed a BARLEY MIX for the 6-weeks prior to lambing and another 6-8 weeks during lactation -- grasses are marginal here at that time.

Only a few select rams have been selected from within our breeding program and retained for use. They are pastured with our Highland steers. 


Herbal, homeopathic, and essential oil therapies and 'alternative & integrative' methods are used in treating all injuries and illnesses.*  

    *Vaccines and conventional antibiotic therapies are ONLY used if and when
     situations dictate "no stone unturned"!  

Three Anatolian Livestock Guardian Dogs-"SISSY", "ANNIE", and "MIKEY".....our one horse-"DOG".....and her companion donkey-"EOYORE" protect our sheep by night and amuse us by day wherever we are...working, relaxing, gone walkabout, on rides, and most joyously, at feeding time (ours and theirs).





COOPWORTH GENETIC SELECTION

  

  • Higher Lambing Percentage
  • Easy Lambing
  • Excellent Mothering
  • Strong, Get-Up'n'Go Lambs
  • Easy Mustering / Handling
  • Exceptional Wool
  • Hardiness

 




**Wild 'n' Woolly Farm has had sheep since 1983; COOPWORTHS since 1984.  Four of the original Coopworths were CSSNZ registered Pine Park and Alford Park New Zealand Coopworth Sheep, imported by Jonathan May of Timberville, Virginia. We have bred our ewes to direct sons of New Zealand AI Sires (imported semen), and for two of our 35 years breeding Coopworths, to original Tasmanian imported English Leicester Longwool rams-obtained from the Williamsburg Foundation...to enhance wool luster and crimp definition.  Our selection process has centered around hardiness, ease of lambing, and wool quality--softness, yield, crimp, luster, staple length, uniformity, and 'whiteness'.  We have remained true to the New Zealand philosophy of an "Open Book' registry allowing 3rd and 4th generation outcrosses to be kept as registrable stock, provided they meet production criteria and represent only the best of the best.  For our flock I have ONLY ever retained <30% of any year's ewe lamb crop and <10% of any year's ram lamb crop for breeding stock, either to keep or sell.  Often, these were further culled in their second and third years if they did not perform as expected.


Our COOPWORTHS are white.  We have never used colored genetics in our breeding program. as is the case in all of the New Zealand breeding schemes for Coopworth sheep.  Any degree of black wool contaminates commercial-use white wool and cannot be tolerated.  The COOPWORTH registry-CSSNZ-did not allow the appearance or use of any colored genes.  Occasional, randomly natural colored Coopworth commercial sheep and outcrosses that exhibited color were imported into the US via Canada in the 1980's!  The American Coopworth Registry does permit the registration of both white and natural colored Coopworth sheep. 


Coopworth ewes are narrow polled, deep-but not 'broad' chested, and long-bodied. They are built to accommodate ease of lambing.  They are heavily muscled and stout.  Their bones are thick and substantial and strong.  Ewes weigh 130-160 lbs.  Rams weigh 200-250 lbs.  COOPWORTH rams look like "TANKS".  Black noses, hooves, and "eye liner" are the standard.  Coopworths may or may not have a top knot of wool on their heads and wool down their legs.  It is the breeder's selection process that determines the degree to which their flock exhibits characteristics more like that of the Romney or Border Leicester from which they were derived.


Wild 'n' Woolly sheep have little to no wool on their faces and legs. We have selected for clean faces and clean legs in part because the head and leg wool is short, full of chaff, and dirtier than the primary fleece.  It's not particularly fun to shear, skirt, or wash independent of the rest of the fleece...and not as desirable for hand spinning or felting.  Also, research has shown that "clean" faces are directly proportional to the "Number of Lambs Born", ewes most likely to produce an average lamb crop over their lifetime >180%.  And did I mention I do NOT enjoy blade shearing leg wool!  For the spinner & craft market, it's wool I simply skirt and throw aside!  For the commercial WHITE wool market, however, it's WEIGHT and that's a good thing if you've 10,000 sheep and hire experienced world champion shearers to do the dirty work of shearing!

 





           






'COOPWORTH WOOL-TO-DYE-FOR'

  • 35-39 micron
  • 8-18 lb fleeces
  • extremely lustrous 
  • exceptionally white
  • long, 6-10 inch staple length
  • soft and even staple
  • well-defined crimp
  • quality belly and leg wool
  • higher 70-80% yield