Located in the Potomac Highlands of eastern West Virginia, we have a small, select flock of registered natural colored and white Coopworth sheep, and Coopworth/Bluefaced Leicester crosses. We have been raising sheep for about 40 years. After trying several breeds, we discovered Coopworths. We found the Coopworths to be calm, excellent mothers, earlier maturing, more fertile and hardier than some of the other breeds we had raised.
Although we no longer breed, we continue to sell clean, well skirted fleeces, roving and yarn.
At left, Martha with ribbons for first and second place Coopworth fleece at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!
The Coopworth Breed
Coopworth sheep are a medium sized, dual purpose, longwool breed, with an alert but quiet disposition, The Coopworth breed of sheep was developed at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand by Professor Ian Coop and colleague Vern Clark during the 1950s and 1960s by crossing Border Leicester rams and Romney ewes, and the best of the resulting progeny were interbred over many years. The purpose was to create a highly prolific and easily managed sheep that would excel in the production of both meat and wool for commercial use. The Coopworth is now New Zealand's second most numerous breed.
Coopworths continue to be selected for productivity and easy care characteristics. Difficult births are of low incidence and ewes have very strong mothering instincts, seldom leaving their lambs after birth. Multiple births are most common and the Coopworth ewe will provide an abundance of milk. Their lambs grow well with the addition of grass, making this breed ideal for low-input, pasture-based systems. Rams are virile and settle the ewes quickly.
Because selection has historically been based on measured performance, rather than phenotype, several wool styles are acceptable within the breed. However, only one style should be present on the body of a particular animal and it should be uniform throughout. The crimp should be well defined. Both white and natural colored fleeces are acceptable.
If you would like to read more about the Coopworth breed and find breeders in your area, please visit The American Coopworth Registry website.
See our Coopworth History and Breed Information Page for more information on the breed, and an article on Coopworth Color Genetics by Dr. D. P. Sponenberg.
At right is a photo of a "blue" Coopworth ewe. Read more about color genetics in sheep on our Coopworth History and Breed Information page.
Fiber Arts Information
Our love of the Fiberarts was one of the reasons we selected the Coopworth Breed. Our Fiberarts Articles and Fiber Links Pages contain information on Spinning, Dyeing, Felting, Knitting, and Locker Hooking. We also sell supplies for Locker Hooking.