Appearance: Called “Gentle Giants,” Cotswold sheep are one of the largest breeds that come from the hills of Cotswold in England. Noted for their long, coarse fleece with naturally wavy curls, the Cotswold is a dual-use breed, providing both meat and wool. Like many other domestic animals, they are fully dependent on humans.
History: Sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated by humans approximately 8,000 years ago. There are more than 200 breeds of domestic sheep in existence. All of these were developed from the wild sheep of Europe and Asia. They were initially raised for their skins and meat, but as humans learned to spin and weave, they became valuable for their wool as well. The behaviors as well as the appearance of domestic sheep have been altered by centuries of selected breeding by farmers for desirable traits. Due to the rise in popularity of other breeds in the larger production facilities and the decrease in small family farms in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Cotswold sheep are not as common as they once were. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy was formed to help save rare breeds of livestock, and lists the Cotswold sheep as a “threatened” breed.
Range: Cotswold sheep have been domesticated for dairy, meat, and wool production for centuries. They are named after the Cotswold Hills of southwest England from which they were originally bred. Their roots are thought to be traced back to Ancient Rome.
Diet: Like many sheep, Cotswold sheep are grazers and will eat many types of vegetation.
Martin & Gibson
Date of Birth: February 26, 2014
Martin and Gibson are twins who were born on a farm in Candler, North Carolina. They were donated to the Nature Center by the owners of the farm in May of 2014. Martin is white and Gibson is black. Even after they are sheared, both boys maintain breed-specific dreadlocks around their faces.
What Makes Martin & Gibson Unique? Martin and Gibson were named after two companies that make guitars.