Coopworth Sheep

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The basics:
Coopworth Sheep were developed after World War II in New Zealand by crossbreeding Border Leicester rams with Romney ewes. The goal was to create a dual purpose breed which lambed easily. Today, Coopworth's are the second largest flock in New Zealand, and are also bred in Australia, Europe and the United States.

According to Coopworth Genetics Australia, "The Coopworth breed had its origins in the 1950's and 1960's in the crossing of the Romney ewe with the Border Leicester ram to produce the F1 Border- Romney and the subsequent inter-breeding of them to give F2 and F3 generation progeny, which were then eligible to be known and registered as Coopworths. The breed was formally established in 1968. Since the 1970's the base of the Coopworth breed has been widened to include sheep bred from white faced breeds other than the Romney, by continued top crossing with Coopworth rams."

Appearance / health:
According to the American Coopworth Registry, "Coopworth sheep are a medium sized, dual purpose, longwool breed, with an alert but quiet disposition. The long face is usually clean with a small topknot or bare head and a slightly Roman nose. They stand a bit taller than the New Zealand Romney and exhibit heavier muscling than the Border Leicester. The body is long with a good loin and hindquarter, light forequarter and a wide pelvis. The fleece, with pointed locks and bright luster, has a well-defined crimp averaging 3.5 crimps per inch and a fiber diameter of 35 to 39 microns. The staple length is 6 to 8 inches."

In New Zealand and Australia, only white Coopworths can be registered. In the United States and Canada, both white and natural colored Coopworths are accepted for registration.


great mothers, excellent lambing birthing, amazing fiber sheep, dual purpose breed, fast lamb growth




stocky body size, tight flocking instinct, low input farming, hard black feet

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