Dig Deeper

Overview Taxonomy


Physical Description

Cotswold sheep are the sheep equivalent of a shaggy dog. They have stocky bodies with long, curly wool and a forelock that droops down over their eyes. The fleece is fine, soft, and white. Their faces are also white, or mottled with tan or grey. They usually have black hooves and occasionally small, black spots on the ears.


Cotswold sheep were bred originally in the Cotswold Hills of southwest England. They are thought to be descended from the long-wooled sheep that the conquering Romans brought with them to England in the first century A.D.

Introduction to North America

There may have been some unrecorded Cotswold sheep in the United States prior to 1832, but the first ones on record arrived from England that year. To see them at the Maryland Zoo, head to the Farmyard in the Maryland Wilderness.


Cotswold sheep are raised for cross-breeding purposes, for their fleece, and for the mild flavor of their meat.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Genera: Ovis
  • Species: aries