American Cotswold Record Association

The Original Registry Of Purebred Cotswold Sheep

Black Cotswold Breed

(Background of this page is an actual photo of super-lustrous Cotswold fleece)


About Cotswold Sheep
Where To Get
Breed Standard
Cotswold Origins
How-To Articles
Site Map
Black Cotswold Breed
Official Documents
Bob Gillis: "Mr. Cotswold"
The Black Cotswold is a distinct breed (separate and apart from the Cotswold), with its own official breed registry, the Black Cotswold Society (BCS).

The BCS had been registering Black Cotswolds for years, when a so-called "color factor" fad erupted during a cyclical high point in naturally colored wool prices.

Genetically there is no single "color factor."  Many genetic factors must line up in order to produce sheep of the Black Cotswold breed from Cotswold parents.

Some color enthusiasts encouraged "color fever" to the point that sometimes even a white sheep that never sired or gave birth to black lambs sold at a high price anyway because a parent or twin was black.  

This Black Cotswold was bred by Robin Nistock of Nistock Farms, Prattsburgh, New York.  Variety in color allows growers to provide a good choice in natural color wool to fiber craft artisans.

The Black Cotswold breed is similar in most respects to the Cotswold breed, primarily differing in color.  The true Black Cotswold breed differs from black sheep of partial and/or questionable Cotswold ancestry in its prepotent ability to thrive under "hill" conditions.  "Hill breeds" (like the Cotswold and Black Cotswold) must be able to survive and thrive on modest quality grazing and very little supplementation.

Naturally-colored Black Cotswold wool is now in demand throughout the world by individual crafts workers, who very often pay prices exceeding what is paid for white wool from the Cotswold.

Conventional industrial wool buyers mostly reject Black Cotswold wool, or only pay very low prices for it.  They contend that Cotswold wool can today be dyed black and other colors, in surprisingly sophisticated imitation of natural colors.

The Black Cotswold breed provides mutton and lamb identical in every way to meat of the Cotswold breed.  Black sheep of partial or questionable Cotswold ancestry often have more "cutting fat" and less marbling than the true Black Cotswold, while in other black crosses the marbling is abundant, but hindquarters form a proportionally smaller percent of the carcass. 

For more information on the Black Cotswold breed of sheep please contact

Linda Schauwecker,  18 Elm Street, P.O. Box 59, Plympton, MA 02367;  Phone: (781) 585-1639  FAX: (781) 585-2026  E-mail:

Black Cotswold Sources


Last Updated: 05/09/2011
2009 by the American Cotswold Record Association
For problems or questions regarding this web, contact []