Kerry Hill Sheep Characteristics, Uses & Origin

The Kerry Hill sheep is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the county of Powys in Wales. It is a meat sheep breed, and raised mainly for meat production in it’s native area.

The breed derives it’s name from the village of Kerry, near Newtown. It is also called Dafad Bryniau Ceri (Welsh). First mentions of the Kerry Hill sheep breed date back to the early nineteenth century.

And the breed is today distributed throughout the Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and United Kingdom.

Today total numbers of these animals are not too much. But it was removed from the records of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust watchlist in 2006.

There are records of the Kerry Hill sheep breed in it’s native area dating back to 1809, and the first Flock Book was published in 1899 with 26 Members.

And the Kerry Hill Flock Book Society keeps a register of pure bred animals and provides information on the breed, shows and sales.

Registered Kerry Hill Sheep can be found throughout the British Isles, Ireland and Holland. Read some more information about this breed below.

Kerry Hill Sheep Characteristics

The Kerry Hill sheep are medium-sized animal with sturdy build body. They have a distinctive and unique coloration, with a white face bearing black markings around the mouth, ears and eyes.

Their wool is completely white in color, and their legs are white with black markings. Both rams and ewes are usually polled, that means ‘they have no horns’. Their neck is strong and muscular, well set into the shoulders.

The ears are black, black and white or white in color, and are of medium length. The ears are set high and free from wool.

Back of the Kerry Hill sheep is strong, keve, firm to handle, wide loin with plenty of length from hip-bone to tail. Their hind quarters are wide and deep, and well fleshed to hocks.

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Wool of these animals is fine with a Bradford count of 54 to 56 and a staple length of 4 inches. And their average fleece production is about 2.75 kg.

Average live body weight of the mature rams is between 65 and 70 kg. And the ewes weight slightly less than the rams. Average live body weight of the mature ewes vary from 55 to 65 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


The Kerry Hill sheep is a meat sheep breed. It is raised mainly for meat production purpose.

Special Notes

The Kerry Hill sheep are well adapted to their local climates, and also do well in some other parts of the world. They are easily handled and have docile temperament, so they can be also raised as pets.

Lambing percentage of this sheep breed is often 175 percent, and a terminal sire can be used for a larger carcass. The ewes produce enough milk for their lambs, and the lambs grow very fast.

The lambs can produce a 16 kg carcass at 12-14 weeks of age. And if overwintered, they can produce a 20-25 kg carcass the following spring.

Today the breed is raised mainly for meat production purpose. However, review full breed profile of the Kerry Hill sheep in the following chart.

Breed NameKerry Hill
Other NameDafad Bryniau Ceri (Welsh)
Breed PurposeMainly meat
Special NotesVery hardy and strong animals, well suited to their local climates, easily handled, docile temperament, can be very good as pets, lambing percentage is often 175 percent, ewes produce enough milk for their lambs, the lambs grow very fast, today raised mainly for meat production
Breed SizeMedium
WeightRams weight between 65 and 70 kg, and mature ewes body weight vary from 55 to 65 kg
Climate ToleranceDifferent climates
ColorMainly white with some markings
Country/Place of OriginWales

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