Frequently Asked Questions
Check out our FAQs for any questions you may have before becoming a part of the Wiltshire Horn flock. If you have any further questions that aren't answered here, feel free to ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the Ask A New Question button below.
Wiltshires almost always have twins, sometimes triplets, and occasionally quads. Unlike other breeds they have no trouble raising twins and rarely have trouble raising even triplets.
Wiltshires will shed around Spring time, when days are getting longer, but the exact timing depends on how warm it is and how good the feed is. Once shed, it stays on the ground for a few weeks until it either rots away or is used by birds for nests.
Wiltshires will grow their wool around Autumn when days are getting shorter, but the exact timing depends on how cold it is.
Wiltshire wool could be used for felting, but like most British Breeds the wool has little value.
Stud Wiltshire Horn sheep can only be derived from other Stud Wiltshires by an unbroken chain of pedigree, ownership, and registration. Commercial Wiltshires (that is, those lacking pedigree and an unbroken chain of registration) can never become Stud sheep. And no sheep having, at any time in the past, an ancestor from whatever breed who was not a Stud Wiltshire Horn sheep, can ever become a Stud Wiltshire Horn sheep. However there is a good market for 'commercial' Wiltshires and they are used in many farming systems. We do not support registration of annex or appendix flocks.
Some lambs of crossbred Wiltshires may shed a small amount, but you have to back cross to Wiltshires three or more times to get fully shedding crossbred sheep.
The lambs that result from crossbreeding with Wiltshires are of very good quality, no matter what other breed is used.
Spotting on face and horns is permitted, as is a small number of spots on the body. But excessive spotting, especially in young animals, is not desirable. Most Wiltshires will develop spots with increasing age.
Wiltshire Horn ewes can live as long as 14 years, and a little less in rams. They can breed up to around 10 or 11 years if in good condition.
Like other British breeds, Wiltshire Horns have a breeding season once a year, starting around March, with lambs being born around August. However, they almost always have twins.
The first Wiltshire Horns arrived in Australia in 1951.
Wiltshire Horns are one of the oldest breeds of domesticated sheep in Britain. Two hundred years ago they were also one of the most abundant sheep in Britain.
Wiltshire Horns are quite different to other sheep breeds - they shed their wool (and not many sheep do that) and have horns in both rams and ewes (and not many other breeds do), so they often don't look like some other sheep breeds.
Wiltshire Horn behaviour is generally similar to other sheep. However, they are less strongly flocking, preferring to graze in ones or twos during the day, and then come together with the rest of the flock at night. They are difficult to work with dogs, but very easy to train to come when called (especially easily trained with food!). They don't panic like Merinos.
Wiltshire Horns are described as 'easy care' as their needs are incredibly low-maintenance relative to other sheep breeds.
They need to be vaccinated, drenched for worms (where worms are a problem) and they can get health problems like any other animal. However the labor (and problems) associated with wool is unnecessary - no shearing, crutching, certainly no mulesing, no dipping for blowfly or lice treatment. In terms of the husbandry needed, they are more like cattle or horses than Merinos.
Wiltshire Horns are available in every state except the Northern Territory. They seem to have a much greater tolerance for a range of conditions than other sheep, being found from southern Queensland to southern Tasmania, and from coastal NSW to saltbush country, and from Kangaroo Island to south west WA.
They will certainly eat juicy weeds such as cape weed, sorrel, dandelion. They will nibble at briars. They won't eat thistles or blackberry or other noxious weeds. Like all animals they prefer good pasture to poor pasture, and good grass to weeds.
They are finding a lot of use in association with orchards and vineyards.
They have considerable potential. Unlike other sheep, no chemicals need to be used externally, and by careful breeding, paddock rotation, and possibly the use of organic drenches, it would be possible to be completely chemical free.
When you purchase sheep registered in the Australian Flock Register, you will be invited to join the Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association Ltd.(ASSBA) Membership to that association, which is separate from membership to the Australian Wiltshire Horn Sheepbreeders Association (AWHSA) will give you access to the Association-sponsored shows and sales and will enable you to make use of the ASSBA’s records of flocks, breeding, recording of pedigrees etc.
All stud sheep that you purchase must have the change of ownership registered with the ASSBA. All sheep that you wish to sell as stud sheep must have their pedigrees registered with the ASSBA, and you must have registered your flock with them. All sheep that are shown must be registered stud sheep.
If you purchase sheep from a flock that is not a registered stud flock, or purchase sheep that are not registered with the ASSBA, they can never become stud sheep later.
Once you are yourself a member of the ASSBA you will be able to in turn register sheep you breed that meet the AWHSA Standard (as presented in the Flock Book). Note we do not support the registration of Appendix Flocks - neither non-stud ( or 'commercial') purebred sheep, nor crossbred sheep, can ever be upgraded to become stud sheep.