Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meet the Black Cotswolds

I thought I would share with you the "other sheep" I have at Harvest Thyme.....the black Cotswolds. These actually were the first sheep that I started with. Because they are classified as "threatened" by the American Livestock Conservatory, it is difficult & requires a lot of patience to build a flock. They are one of the long wool breeds of sheep just like the Lincoln's that Juliann featured in her recent blog. In the beginning, I had purchased Martha, my ewe, & George, a wether (he passed away this winter). It was about 3 years later that I acquired T.J., my first black Cotswold ram & my dad & I drove to Maryland to pick him up! Martha produced 2 rams when she finally got bred & of course I ended up keeping them, though they are wethers with some very beautiful fleece! Then in a 2 years absence of breeding ( due to me finishing my Master's Degree in History, I did NO breeding in those 2 years, had enough stress )Martha this year gave birth to a ewe & ram. For circumstance unknown to me & only to God, the ewe passed away 2 days later. It was a very emotional time for me because the ewe had meant so much to have. However, little Benjamin, the ram, who will be a wether next week, is very healthy.

Over the past couple of years I ended up concentrating on the Shetlands, though not breeding due to that MA thing, but instead just buying. So this year, was the Shetland year & next spring I hope to acquire 2 more black Cotswold ewes, or at least black-factored ones. Anyways, let me introduce you to the Cotswolds!

This is Ira Allen, one of the wethers. Ira, along with his brother Ethan Allen, are the most loveable guys who cannot get enough of a good chest rub. I guess he probably weighs a good
150# but is such a baby!

I love this winter shot of Ethan!
Please enlarge to see his face:)

And this is Martha with her baby Benjamin. Martha has one of the loudest voices in the barnyard & as soon as the light goes on in the kitchen in the morning, she starts talking to me. The barn she is in with the baby is the closest to the house so I listen to her until she has grain in her bowl.

This is baby Benjamin below. He has some serious tight curl on that fleece.
I'll have to get some fleece pics up in the next post.

I didn't have a summer pic of T.J. so I'll use the winter one. I LOVE T.J. !!!
He is the sweetest ram anyone could wish for......oh, he is the one to the far left in the pic. T.J. can do no wrong in my eyes. However, the 2 Shetlands he is with are another story. Yankee is the ram in the middle. He is a mioget yuglet, he is from Heather at Windswept. He can have attitude, I call it male PMS. He gives me that side glance & I just lecture him about bad manners......well it at least makes me feel better:) That is his son, Samuel, next to him. I really need to sell Samuel. He has beautiful horns & for the most part he is a good boy when not with his father! But this is about the Cotswold, not other personal issues on the homestead!

Don't forget to enlarge to see the faces up close & personal!
So, those are the "other sheep".......I love them all !!!


Nancy K. said...

In the smaller photo, I thought that Ethan looked like a Buffalo! But in the big one, he just looks CUTE!!!

What is their wool like, compared to the Shetland?

Pat in TN said...

I am amazed at all of the animals you have on your homestead and love reading about them and looking at their pictures.

Tammy said...

Your Cotswalds are very lovely! They are really cool looking. I am also curious about what their wool feels like. I started out with Dorsets (and a Merino ram) so I still have some 'big sheep' too, that'll live out their lives here.
Great pictures!

Susan said...

I stumbled upon your blog, very nice!
It takes about 6 months for hens to start laying so it might be October before you get an egg. Then the decrease in sunlight going into winter might slow them down. (They need 12 hours of sunlight to produce an egg!)Love your coop!