Wiltshire Horn Today
Why choose the Wiltshire Horn?
The characteristics of the breed make it a very important addition to the commercial flock where low maintenance and low input costs are of ever increasing importance.
Today demand for wool is so low that its production has become uneconomic. The Wiltshire Horn has a short fleece that naturally sheds in the spring leaving a short hair coat, as the picture shows. The fleece then starts to grow again in the autumn to provide protection for the winter months. This self shedding ability eliminates the time and cost involved in gathering sheep for shearing, dagging and dipping, and for the small flock keeper, the difficulty in finding shearers willing to shear small numbers of sheep.
The Wiltshire Horn produces fabulously full flavoured meat as now demanded by an increasingly discerning public. Lambs have the ability to grow to heavy weights without putting on excess fat to meet modern grading requirements and are able to finish off grass. The exceptional quality of the meat is ideally suited to niche market outlets such as farmers markets and farm gate sales.
The Wiltshire Horn ewes have large frames and are good, milky mothers which lamb easily. Lambs have remarkable vitality at birth and are born with a thick hair coat which protects against the elements. The breed is equally suited to indoor or outdoor lambing systems.
Ideal Crossing Breed
The Wiltshire Horn is an ideal crossing breed. Rams are used as superior terminal meat sires producing lambs which are lively at birth and finish quickly. The large framed Wiltshire Horn ewe accepts rams from all the widely used terminal breeds producing top quality prime lamb. Wiltshire Horn ewes are now being used in many commercial flocks where, with careful selective breeding, they are able to produce wool shedding replacements.
A Native Breed
For those farms which enter into Natural England's stewardship schemes, the Wiltshire Horn is a listed native breed which qualifies for payments. With it's low maintenance and low input costs the breed is the ideal choice for such enterprises.
For flock keepers who demand index recorded stock there is now a Wiltshire Horn recording programme in place. More information on this can be found on our BREED ENHANCEMENT page together with contact details of participating members.
Want to Know more?
Want to buy Wiltshire Horns?
In 2010 the Society's sales will be held at Gaerwen on 13th September and Stoneleigh on 18th September. Members advertise their stock on our STOCK FOR SALE page and for details of all our members, look on our LIST OF MEMBERS. When buying registered stock ensure that you obtain ear tag numbers and flock book numbers of each animal. Further guidance can be found in our Responsibility for Registration of Sheep Notice which ca be found on the DOWNLOADS Page.