We began our Coopworth flock in 1994 with a few ewes and a ram that we purchased from a small farm in New Hampshire. We’d had no experience with sheep so our choice of breed was based on the qualities we’d read about and a fondness for longwool fiber. To the credit of the former owners and their flock management skills, those first Coopworths were wonderful examples of the breed and a sturdy foundation for our new flock.
Recording the performance of our Coopworths has helped us select the best sheep to improve our flock and to make each generation better than the one before it. To further assist us toward that goal, we have acquired New Zealand genetics as well as quality domestic rams. Our ewe lines are primarily descended from stock that originated in New Zealand and were imported in the 1980′s.
Hatchtown ewes are easy keepers and at lambing time, they are calm, confident and attentive mothers… usually of multiple lambs. The lambs do very well on pasture even though they, and their dams, are part of our ongoing efforts to restore old pasture land that is not always the best quality forage.
We track lamb growth because it not only tells us which ewes are producing more than adequate milk but also which lambs are able to do well on their own.
We’ve been trained in FAMACHA and are employing this valuable tool to reduce the use of chemical treatment in our flock and to select replacements that show resistance to parasites. Fleece quality is very important to us, too, and our fleeces are well known for their lustre and silky hand that is well suited to handspinning.
Hatchtown fleeces have been awarded top honors at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival as well as festivals throughout New England since 1996.
We have never had an incidence of footrot or soremouth in our flock and it has tested 100% negative for OPP. We guarantee the health and fertility of our sheep and when you purchase Hatchtown Coopworths, we’ll gladly share our records.
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