Snook Farm

Conservancy of Jacob Sheep


One of the world's most beautiful and rare sheep comes from the hills of the Cotswolds in England. They are thought to be descended from a long wool introduced by the Romans in the first century A.D. This prototype sheep gave birth to the Cotswold, Lincoln and Leicester.

The Cotswold was well established by the 15th Century and the wealth obtained from these ''gentle giants'' paid for many of the great Cathedrals and churches in England, most notable Gloucester Cathedral. The word Cotswold stems from the wolds (hills) and cotes (enclosures) which housed the sheep in bad weather, hence the wolds of the sheep cotes.

Cotswolds played a great part in early American farming history even though today they are rare.

They were first introduced by Christopher Dunn into New York, near Albany in 1832. By 1879 this was the most popular breed in America. By 1914 over 760,000 were recorded and it was still a very popular breed in the West until Merinos were introduced from Australia. Merinos had the finest fleece and quick maturing lambs. By the 1980's there were fewer than 600 Cotswolds in all of Britain and in the US; in 1993 there were less than 400 lambs registered.

Thanks to the American Livestock Breeders Conservancy and other groups, Cotswolds have been removed from the ''rare breed list'' and are enjoying popularity among spinners. The Cotswold can yield 15 pounds of wool per shearing with the fiber up to 12'' long. It is highly lustrous fleece with a micron count in the 40s and is sometimes called poorman's mohair.


Snook Farm Raise Pedigree Jacob Sheep and Cotswold Sheep