GULF COAST NATIVE SHEEP
Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds partner:
Heart Stone Farm (Milton, NH)
Adult Weight: 100 -190 lbs
Temperament: Alert, Docile
Descending from the Spanish flocks brought to the New World by explorers and settlers beginning in the 1500’s, the genetic origins of the Gulf Coast Native sheep are unknown due to the wide variety of types and breeds of sheep existing in Spain at that time. The Gulf Coast sheep’s fine wool suggests the breed may have derived from pre-Merino breeds. The breed may also have contributions from Churro sheep, which were commonly brought to America and used for milk and course wool.
Gulf Coast Native sheep range in size with rams (males) weighing 125 – 200 pounds and ewes (females) weighing 90- 160 pounds when full grown. Generally both rams and ewes are both horned. However, both sexes may also be polled (hornless). This native breed of sheep lacks wool on their faces, legs, and bellies, which is an adaptation to the heat and humidity of the south. While the majority of Gulf Coast Native sheep are white, occasionally blacks and browns occur or sheep with spotted faces and legs.
This breed is particularly resilient and can adapt to environments that are generally difficult for sheep. Gulf Coast sheep breed and give birth to lamb year-round and ewes usually produce single births, less commonly twins and on rare occasions, triplets. With better quality of forage, the probability of twins and triplets increases. For more information on Gulf Coast Native Sheep, visit The Livestock Conservatory.
Heart Stone Farm in Milton, New Hampshire is a small farm owned and operated by Tim and Lisa Molinero. In addition to breeding Gulf Coast Sheep, they also raise poultry, grow herbs, and train border collies that are nationally recognized for their herding.
1. Create a simple Gulf Coast Native sheep out of cardboard and yarn using this simple guide. Or use creativity and different materials as desired!
2. Next, watch these short videos of Heart Stone Farm's Gulf Coast Native sheep.
This newborn Gulf Coast Native lamb gets a bath from mom.
These are a talkative bunch. What do you think they are trying to say?