Wiltshire Horn Sheep Temperament, History, Characteristics, Wool, Meat, Lambing

The Wiltshire Horn is a short-haired sheep variety indigenous to southern England's Wiltshire region, from where it acquires its name. They evolved from the huge, white sheep that fed on Salisbury Plain for generations, and are often described as Western or Western Horn sheep. During the 17th century, Wiltshire sheep were the most prevalent in southern England.

At the time, the region's population was believed to be between 500,000 and 700,000 people. With the arrival of Southdown, Ryeland, and, especially, the Merino breed to the county in the 18th century, the breed began to decline. Despite the fact that the Wiltshire horn became scarce, devoted supporters retained their animals and saved the breed from elimination. Wiltshire or Western Sheep Breeders Association was founded on January 13th, 1923 by Wiltshire Horn breeders in England to protect the breed's originality and long-term preservation.

    Wiltshire Horn Sheep Temperament

    Wiltshire Horn sheep are considered to be one of the most manageable breeds. Due to their self-shedding nature, they pose little risk of flystrike. Based on their numerous good characteristics, they were a highly regarded breed through the eighteenth century and are now becoming more popular. Wiltshire Horn sheep are a tough breed with a gentle temperament. The ewes are excellent mothers and easy to manage, moving from paddock to paddock. They accompany their lambs everywhere, and despite the fact that the lambs are born weaker than many other breeds, they grow rapidly.

    Wiltshire Horn Sheep Temperament, History, Characteristics, Wool,  Meat, Lambing

    Wiltshire Horn Sheep History

    The Wiltshire Horn is an old British breed that originated in England's Chalk Downs area. They were common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but by the turn of the 20th century, they became nearly extinct. Wiltshires were saved by a few committed breeders who formed a breed society in 1923. Since the 1970s, attention in their distinct characteristics has grown, and by 1982, England had 45 pedigreed flocks. Wiltshire Horn Sheep were transported to Australia twice, once in the 1950s and then in the 1970s. They are currently gaining attention due to their unique qualities as well as their tendency to pass on vitality and high-quality meat through a cross-breeding program. A small flock of Wiltshire sheep was transported to Canada's Piel Farm, where they were involved in developing the contemporary Katahdin breed.

    Wiltshire Horn Sheep Characteristics

    Both rams and ewes possess horns. Each year, the ram horns grow to maturity with one full spiral. Both genders have a white undercoat with occasional dark spots. This is a hair breed that sheds in the summer and grows a dense, rough coat in the wintertime. Ewes weigh approximately 150 pounds and rams weigh around 250 pounds.

    Wiltshire Horn Sheep Wool

    The Wiltshire Horn has thin wool that falls gradually in the spring, revealing a short hair coat. In the autumn, the wool begins to develop again, offering protection for the winter months. This ability to shed on its own eliminates the time and expense associated with gathering sheep for shearing, dagging, and dipping, as well as the difficulty encountered by small flock keepers in finding shearers who are willing to shear small numbers of sheep.

    Wiltshire Horn Sheep Meat

    The Wiltshire Horn delivers exquisitely delicious meat, as desired by a growing number of discerning consumers. Lambs have the potential to grow to large weights without gaining too much fat in order to meet current grading standards. The meat's high quality makes it ideal for commercial markets like farmers' markets and farm gate sales.

    Wiltshire Horn Sheep Lambing

    The ewes of the Wiltshire Horn are large, good milkers and great mothers who easily lamb. Lambs are born with a phenomenal amount of vitality and with a dense coat of hair that protects them when they are young. The breed adapts well to both indoor and outdoor lambing systems.

    Post a Comment