Black Welsh Mountain
The American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Association operates a registry for purebred Black Welsh Mountain Sheep. There is more breed information on their website.
Black Welsh Mountain Sheep are a small dual purpose breed that provides excellent mild mutton and a completely black, dense, durable fleece. Mature ewes average 100 lbs while mature rams can range from 132-143 pounds. There is no restriction on breed height but most purebred animals are relatively short, typically measuring between 20-30 inches at the shoulders. The ewes are polled and the rams have an impressive set of horns. The tails must be kept long and undocked in purebred animals.
The fleece is a dark black or reddish black called cuchddu. The wool is black, short, dense and firm to handle and ranges in Bradford count from 48s to 56s or micron ranges from 26.4 to 32.69. Fleece weights in the UK range from 2.2-5.5 pounds. There is a good market for high quality spinning fleeces and wool products.
Black Welsh are hardy and the lambs are quick to their feet and vigorous. In the UK the purebred flocks average 175% per ewe with some flocks lambing well over 200%. The breed is also noted for it’s resistance to fly-strike and foot infections. They are ideally suited for the small holding or cottage farm where their hardiness, good mothering and feed efficiency are significant assets.