The Wiltshire Horn sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from United Kingdom. It is actually from Wiltshire in southern England and mainly raised for meat production purpose.
It is unusual amongst the native sheep breeds, because it has the unusual feature of moulting it’s short wool and hair coat naturally in spring, alleviating the need for shearing.
These animals do not require shearing or crutching and do not suffer readily from flystrike. They grow very fast, even pure-bred lambs can reach slaughter weight in as little as 16 weeks.
All these features are making them increasingly attractive to the commercial sheep farming business.
The Wiltshire Horn sheep breed was one of the southern England’s predominant sheep breeds until the 18th century. It served the people of it’s native area for hundreds of years by providing dung and urine for fertilizing the wheat-growing land.
These animals require less care and little shelter and provide an easily managed source of quality meat. But throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the rising price of wool and a general move away from horned sheep saw the breed suffer a dramatic decline.
The Wiltshire Horn sheep breed was nearly extinct at the start of the 20th century. And the Wiltshire Horn Breed Society was formed in 1923, in an attempt to save the breed.
There were 45 registered flocks in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s, and it increased to almost 300 flocks in 2009. However, read some more information about this breed below.
Wiltshire Horn Sheep Characteristics
The Wiltshire Horn sheep is a medium to large sized breed with beautiful appearance. Both rams and ewes have horns, but the ram’s horns will grow one full spiral each year until maturity.
Both are white in coloration with occasional black spots on the undercoat.
Wiltshire Horn is a hair sheep breed, growing a thick, coarse coat in the winter and shedding in the summer.
Average live body weight of the mature Wiltshire Horn ram is around 110 kg, and the ewes weight around 68 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
This is a meat sheep breed. It is raised mainly for meat production.
The Wiltshire Horn sheep is a hardy and strong breed of domesticated sheep. The ewes are excellent mothers and have high fertility.
The animals grow relatively faster and the pure-bred lambs can reach slaughter weight in as little as 16 weeks.
The Wiltshire Horn sheep is one of the foundation breeds for Katahdin, Easycare and Wiltipoll sheep breeds.
It is no longer a rare breed and being popular in both small scale and commercial production. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.
|Breed Name||Wiltshire Horn|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and strong, ewes are excellent mothers and have high fertility, grow faster, both rams and ewes have horns, being popular in both small scale and commercial production|
|Weight||Around 68 to 110 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Color||White with occasional black spots on the undercoat|
|Country/Place of Origin||United Kingdom|