Exmoor Horn Sheep Characteristics, Uses & Origin

The Exmoor Horn sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from United Kingdom. It was developed in the nineteenth century in Exmoor, Devon.

It was developed from the sheep that had roamed on the moors for several hundred years.

Total numbers of these animals have gradually declined, according to the research by the Exmoor National Park.

It estimates that over 27 percent of sheep in the Somerset part of Exmoor were pure bred Exmoor Horns in 1947.

Today the number of Exmoor Horn sheep in it’s native region has increased. And currently breeding ewes represent only about 10 percent of total sheep population on Exmoor.

There are about 19000 registered breeding ewes currently, according to the National Park report. And among these animals, around 15000 are on Exmoor.

Small numbers of the Exmoor Horn sheep are also found on neighboring Dartmoor. Read some more information about this sheep breed below.

Exmoor Horn Sheep Characteristics

The Exmoor Horn sheep are medium sized animal. They are generally white in color with a white face. As the name suggests, both rams and ewes are usually horned.

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Average body height of the mature ewes is around 65 cm, and around 77 cm for the rams. Fleece of these animals is of medium length and good quality.

As a medium sized animal, average live body weight of the mature Exmoor Horn ewes is around 50 kg. And the mature ram’s body weight is around 73 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


This is a meat sheep breed. It is raised mainly for meat production.

Special Notes

The Exmoor Horn sheep are very hardy breed of domestic sheep. They are well suited to the high moors. The ewes are highly prolific and are good mothers, and they produce high quality lamb.

Today the breed is found mainly in the Upland areas of West Somerset and North Devon and also in the Southern Counties of England.

However, review full breed profile of these sheep in the following chart.

Breed NameExmoor Horn
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeMainly meat
Special NotesVery hardy and strong animals, active, especially well adapted to their local climates, well suited to the high moors, ewes are highly prolific and excellent mothers, ewes produce high quality lamb, very good for meat production, and also good for wool
Breed SizeMedium
WeightMature ram’s body weight is around 73 kg, and mature ewe’s body weight is around 50 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom

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