Kerry Hill Sheep

What is the history of Kerry Hill Sheep?

Kerry Hill is a breed of domestic sheep originating in Wales, many people have a confused notion that Kerry Hill breed hails from the Emerald with Co. Kerry, the breed derives its name after the range of hills in Montgomeryshire.

Kerry Hill breed was described in the Agricultural survey of Wales 160 years ago as the only sheep which produced true wool, that of every other Welsh breed more or less mixed them with kemp. In 1840 these sheep were larger and heavier wooled than the pure Welsh sheep, had nice heads, with white faces and legs, but in many cases speckled with small black spots; or they had self coloured tan faces, with legs to match, fine wool on the body but very coarse below.

The Kerry Hill Flock books Society was established, and the first volume of the Flock Book published, in 1899. Kerry Hill breed is distributed to the Ireland, Germany, Holland and in 2010 to Denmark.

What are the Characteristics of Kerry Hill Sheep?

  • The Kerry Hill breed is speckle faced (black and white), not too dark.
  • The head is fairly long, and covered with wool between the ears and on the jaws; also a bunch of tuft of wool appears on the forehead.
  • Horns in Kerry Hill rams are regarded as objectionable, though they designate hardihood.
  • The tail is long, large and fleshy, with plenty of wool right to the tip.
  • The skin should be pink in colour.
  • The fleece from Kerry Hill ewes and wethers varies from about 2 kg to 4 kg, and in the best flocks the wool is equal in value to that Shropshires. It is white, and maybe rather coarse on breach and tail.
  • Average staple length is 10 cm.
  • The Kerry Hill sheep of the present day are regarded as distinctive hill sheep, and inherit the hardiness and quality of the flesh of their hill ancestors, combining this with size and weight greater than some of the lowland breeds.
  • The ewes are easily kept, are very prolific, and are good mothers and the drafts are in great favour in many of the grazing districts of England for producing fat lambs.
  • Kerry Hill rams are now in great demand for crossing purposes in various parts of the country.

What is the weight of Kerry Hill Sheep?

The weight of an adult Kerry Hill ram is between 80 and 110 kg while the weight of the Kerry Hill ewe is between 70 and 90 kg.

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