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The Black Welsh Mountain Sheep breed is the only true black sheep breed found in the United Kingdom.
They are a small to medium sized breed that is found mainly on the hilltops of the Welsh countryside.
They are excellent for meat and wool production. They are easy to handle, hardy and great for getting a field neatly cleared up of pesky weeds and various bush.
BLACK WELSH MOUNTAIN SHEEP QUICK PROFILE OVERVIEW
|The Black Welsh Mountain Sheep is the only true black sheep breed in the UK|
|Country of Origin:||Wales|
|Other Names:||Defaid Mynydd Duon|
|Breed Size:||Small/ medium|
|Main Purpose:||Meat and Wool|
|Can be used for||Breed, Meat,Wool **LSC (Landscape Management)|
|Temperament:||Placid even temperament and easy to handle|
|Ideal Climate:||Most climates|
Yes Listed by the *ALC
Status/ Rarity: Threatened
|Health Issues?||No known health issues|
|Good Starter Sheep?||They are a novice to intermediate sheep breed to raise|
|Sheep Associations:||American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Association|
|Sheep Clubs:||Please refer to the American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Association for breeder’s clubs.|
| Note: *ALC stands for American Livestock Conservancy
** LSC stands for Landscape Management – the animal is used for controlling various vegetation growth
|Like other Welsh mountain sheep, the Black Welsh Mountain Sheep does not have wool on its legs or face. They are small hardy little sheep that are quite calm and placid.|
|Color(s):||Black called cuchddu|
EWE BREEDING & MILKING INFORMATION
|They are known for their easy lambing and high milk production. The ewes are also excellent mothers.|
|Breeding Period/cycle:||Usually lasts 24 to 36 hours|
|Estrous cycle:||Ave. 17 days/15 to 20 days|
|Gestation Period:||Usually, around 149 to 155 days but most gestation is 152 days|
|No. Lambs/Litter:||1 and on the rare occasion 2 (twins)|
|Lactation Period:||Usually, around 150 to 240 day but most are milked for 180 days|
|Milking From:||4 to 6 weeks after lambing|
|Milk Ideal for:||Feeding their lambs|
|You may Also Like:||10 Best Sheep Breeds for Milk|
SHEEP MEAT PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|They have a minimum of wasteful fat, succulent and lean meat with a good meat to bone ratio. The grain is close and they have a light bone. Full of flavor and rich in color.|
|Meat Production:||Yes, Quality: Premium Quality|
|You may Also Like:||11 Best Sheep Breeds for Meat Production|
SHEEP WOOL PRODUCTION INFORMATION
|Their fleece has become quite popular in demand and does not need to be dyed|
|Wool Production?||Yes, Quality: Bradford count from 48s to 56s|
|Wool is used to Produce:||Wool products and high-quality spinning fleece|
|You may Also Like:||18 Best Wool Producing Sheep Breeds|
GOOD TO KNOW ABOUT THE BLACK WELSH MOUNTAIN SHEEP
|Here are some extra pieces of useful information that may be good to know about the Black Welsh Mountain sheep breed|
|Child-Friendly?||All livestock should not be allowed near unsupervised children. Especially any horned rams, wethers are usually more docile and friendlier.|
|Landscape Management?||Sheep love to be able to get in and rough up the vegetation and make excellent landscape foliage managers.|
|Where to buy them?||Please check with the American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Association for a list of breeders or farmers that may sell them or it is best to check with the various associations. They are listed in the “Useful Links” section at the end of this article.|
The Black Welsh Mountain Sheep breeds wool is sought after by weavers and hand spinners. It is firm and does not need to be dyed.
In the middle ages, the Black Welsh Mountain sheep were highly prized and valued for its rich, succulent flavorful meat.
Although not highly documented as a meat sheep its skin may be used for various leather products. But is it not specifically bred for its sheep skin production.
The Black Welsh Mountain Sheep breed was developed on the hills of Wales.
They were developed from the black sheep that sometimes naturally occur in the off-spring of various white sheep breeds.
The Black Welsh Mountain sheep are also called Defaid Mynydd Duon and were bred by Welsh Shepherds. They selectively bred the black sheep for their improved body conformation, hardiness and fine fleece qualities. The wool of the Black Welsh Mountain sheep breed does not have to be dyed and is of quite a fine quality. The wool is quite a sort after for its fine spinning quality.
The Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Society was established in 1922 when the breed became a recognized breed in the United Kingdom.
The meat of the Black Welsh Mountain sheep is of Premium quality with little waste and good meat to bone rations.
This sheep breed was first introduced to the United States by a resident of Maryland in 1972. Thomas Wyman of Easton brought a few of them into the country.
The American Black Welsh Mountain sheep Association was started in 1990. The registry adopted the British standards and rules for the breed o the British Black Welsh Societies.
The American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Association have a record that there are only 1500 sheep in 20 flocks in the US.
They are currently listed on the American Livestock conservancy as a Threatened status.
As they were imported and promoted as an exotic sheep breed in the United States they are not really utilized to their full potential and tend to be a well-kept secret in the sheep industry. But this beautiful useful sheep needs to be better promoted as they make the perfect choices for sustainable sheep producers. They are in need of more breeders who will promote them and move them into a better production niche.
- United States Lamb Resource Center
- American Sheep Industry Association
- American Sheep Industry Association List of Breed Associations & Standards
- American Milk Sheep Association
- Dairy Sheep Association of North America
- American Wool Council
- Fur Commission USA
- North American Meat Institute
- American Lamb Board
- National Lamb Feeders Association
- American Livestock Conservancy
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Animal Husbandry Society
- United States Department of Agriculture