The Breed Standard
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How to Register Sheep
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Bristol, ME 04539
The Breed Standard
The Coopworth is known for its productivity
and easy care characteristics. Difficult births rarely occur
and ewes have very strong mothering instincts, seldom leaving
their lambs after birth. Multiple
births are most common and the Coopworth ewe will provide an
abundance of milk for her lambs. The lambs grow well on grass
making this breed ideal for low-input, pasture-based systems.
Rams are virile and settle the ewes quickly.
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. Both white and natural colored Coopworths are
accepted for registration.
It is not unusual to see differences in
appearance between individual animals because selection is often
based on measured performance, rather than phenotype. For this
reason, several wool styles are considered acceptable. These
would be similar to Border Leicester and New Zealand Romney wool
APPEARANCE of the "IDEAL COOPWORTH"
- General- Coopworth sheep are sturdy animals
with a strong bone structure and well-balanced, capacious bodies.
In addition, the Coopworth has an alert but calm and confident
disposition. Several wool styles are acceptable within the breed.
However, only one style should be present on the body of a particular
animal and it should be uniform throughout. Rams (175-275 lbs)
should exhibit masculine characteristics and ewes (140-175 lbs)
should exhibit feminine characteristics. Emphasis should be placed
on selecting for these breed characteristics.
- Head and Neck- The long face is usually
clean with a small topknot or bare head and a slightly Roman
nose. Nostrils should be black or dark, mottled grey. Pink noses
are less desirable. The neck should join smoothly with the shoulders.
There should be no scurs or horns.
- Body- The forequarter should be light
and the shoulders level with the back. The back should be straight
with good length and a flat loin, blending smoothly from the
base of the neck and ending in a slight slope. The hindquarter
should be broad to accommodate a wide pelvis.
- Legs- Front legs should be straight and
wide-set. Rear legs should have a slight natural curve from a
side view, and be straight and wide spread from a rear view.
Pasterns should be strong and upright. An otherwise good sheep
should not be disqualified if the hooves exhibit some light color,
although black is most desirable.
- Udder or Scrotum- Ewes should have well-formed,
soft, even udders with two good teats. Rams should have two large,
even, well-developed testicles.
Please contact the American Coopworth
Registry for judging guidelines.
- General- Because selection has historically
been based on measured performance, rather than phenotype, several
wool styles are acceptable within the breed. However, only one
style should be present on the body of a particular animal and
it should be uniform throughout. The crimp should be well defined.
Both white and natural colored fleeces are acceptable.
- Character- The high yielding fleece should
be uniformly crimped overall with a silky hand. Locks are long
and broad with 3 to 4 crimps per inch.
- Color- The fleece should be free of stains.
White Coopworth fleeces should be free of natural colored fiber.
Natural colored fleeces may be variegated, exhibiting more than
one shade of color.
- Luster- The fleece should exhibit a bright,
lustrous, healthy appearance.
- Quantity- Annual fleece production should
be eight pounds or more. This should be attributed to the density
and length of the fleece rather than excessive lanolin content.
- Length- Annual fleece length should be
- Grade- Fiber diameter should be 35-39