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Wiltshire Horn

Wiltshire Horn Today

Wiltshire Ram
                        Adult Ram

The Wiltshire is the heaviest and thickest of the shedding breeds. They have traditionally been used to improve carcass characteristics.

Wherever wool is a nuisance rather than profitable, the Wiltshire Horn has filled the need for a pasture lambing, easy care commercial breed. They need better nutrition than Katahdin especially the ram lambs because they are bigger, heavier animals.

Most of the ewes have twins and are the most aggressive protectors of their lambs of all the breeds we have had at Fairmeadow.

They are seasonal breeders as are most of the UK breeds.

Wiltshare Horn at Fair Meadow Sheep Farm Ocala, Florida  USA

Here in the U.S., Wiltshire Horn crossed with Katahdin sheds, usually has a hair coat with more muscle and bone but with smaller horns.

There are commercial flocks of thousands of pure Wiltshire Horn and cross bred now in Australia.

The Wiltshire Horn Breed

Wiltshare Horn at Fair Meadow Sheep Farm Ocala, Florida  USA The Wiltshire Horn is an ancient breed whose population has ranged from “incredible” numbers on the Wiltshire Downs in the 1700’s to a few thousand when the UK all but abandoned their meat breeds in favor of big profits from wool. Now that most wool has so little value that it doesn’t cover the cost of shearing. The Wiltshire Horn is again increasing in numbers.

1700: The old Wiltshire were the largest of the fine wooled sheep of England. They had big horned heads, long heavy-boned legs and occasionally attained great weight. In England and later in the American colonies, these big sheep ranged over a large area during the day and were returned to the grain fields at night to fertilize crops.

1800: The first classes for Wiltshire were offered at shows in England.

1892: “Special Report on the History and Present Condition of the Sheep industry in the U.S.” was published by the U.S. Government Printing Office with information and a full page picture of a Wiltshire Horn.

1900: Small herds were kept mostly to raise rams for cross breeding as terminal sires.

Top of Best  Pair 1996 Victoria,  Australia Wiltshire Horns Australia

1951: The first Wiltshire Horn arrived in Australia.

1966: The Wiltshire Horn was the featured breed at the Royal Show in Victoria.

2005: The Wiltshire Horn is now the third most numerous registered UK breed in Australia.

United States

1975: Michael Piel, who was developing his Katahdin breed imported Wiltshire Horns from Iolo Owens’ herd in Wales to increase size and meat conformation in the Katahdin. There after the pure Wiltshire Horn were dispersed to other farms.

1994: Fairmeadow acquired a few Wiltshire Horns and later most of Dick Fulton’s herd also came to Fairmeadow in Florida. In 1995, the first lambs from frozen semen from New Zealand were born at Fairmeadow. They were sired by “Meadowvale Winston” and “Meadowvale Valor.”

2003: Ten Wiltshire Horn Rams and two Willipole (polled Wiltshire) arrived at Fairmeadow from Australia. These rams were chosen by Australian breeders for me based on their lamb plan scores and to provide bloodlines which are as diverse as possible.Wiltshire Horn Lambs of FairMeadowsheep.com  Ocala,  Florida ,  USA

2008: I will be 75 years old and I plan to disperse the entire Wiltshire Horn herd to breeders who will carry on these bloodlines. By then, I will have done my bit for the Wiltshire Horn.

 


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