American Cotswold Record Association

The Original Registry Of Purebred Cotswold Sheep

True Black Cotswolds

(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"

It's no secret that ACRA Cotswold breeders have from time to time attempted to crossbreed Cotswold sheep to black rams of other breeds of sheep, with the aim of producing black lambs in order to satisfy customer requests for "Cotswold"-type wool that is naturally colored.

The Cotswold's prepotency and resistance to coloring is strong, and crosses often don't produce even partially colored lambs, illustrating the difficulty and rarity of getting black sheep from all-Cotswold bloodlines. Occasionally though, colored sheep unquestionably have appeared in certain flocks.

With only one visible difference between Cotswold sheep and Black Cotswold sheep (color) the fact that they're considered by ACRA to be two separate breeds has led to some confusion.  These lambs--from Nistock Farms of Prattsburgh, NY--illustrate the striking effects of color when contrasted with the white wool of the Cotswold.  The lambs shown here are under 6 months old.

Naturally-colored luster wools rose to great popularity among crafts workers during the 1980s.

Suspiciously, a sudden surge of "colored Cotswold" lambs occurred precisely when the prices rose.  This remarkable "coincidence" was especially strong in Cotswold flocks outside the United States.  When ACRA requested pedigrees to verify these bloodlines, the corresponding foreign officials refused to supply them, citing new-found "privacy-of-the-breeder" concerns.

Open Documentation is the heart of any pedigree, and it was with heavy heart that ACRA's leadership unanimously barred from registry further sheep from those sources.

It must be noted that the sheep were not rejected solely on the basis of color, but also on the fact that no pedigree documentation was available for the imported black sheep.

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
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