Baa Baa Black Sheep…..As many of you know East Hill Farm takes pride in our work with The Livestock Conservancy to help and maintain threatened breeds of livestock. Some of these breeds include Kerry cows, San Clemente goats, Tamworth pigs and Santa Cruz sheep. We still have some of these breeds and some we do not since the breed is doing better and East Hill Farm has chosen to move on to work with others. The newest rare breed we are working with is the Black Welsh Mountain Sheep.
Black Welsh Mountain sheep are currently listed as threatened by the Livestock Conservancy. Black Welsh were developed by selectively breeding only the rare black sheep that occurred within the original Welsh Mountain breed, which was white. They originate in the Welsh Mountains of Wales. They were first recognized in 1922 as their own breed and were originally brought to North America in 1972 by Thomas Wyman of Easton, Maryland. The U.S. breed registry was established in 1990. The British population fell below 5,000 in 2012, increasing the value of North American population for global conservation.
This breed is known for their hardiness and excellent foraging capabilities. They produce an excellent black wool and a premium meat. They are small to medium sized sheep, typically weighing around 130 pounds. Males have a beautiful curly set of horns. This is breed is an excellent choice for a small sustainable farm. These sheep should thrive in our mild environment of New England, as they are used to the damp mountains of Wales.
These sheep were happy to get out of the trailer and into the field! Look for the herd of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep during your next visit to East Hill Farm.