The Kerry Hill sheep is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the county of Powys in Wales. It is a meat sheep breed, and raised mainly for meat production in it’s native area. The breed derives it’s name from the village of Kerry, near Newtown. It is also called Dafad Bryniau Ceri (Welsh). First mentions of the Kerry Hill sheep breed date back to the early nineteenth century. And the breed is today distributed throughout the Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and United Kingdom. Today total numbers of these animals are not too much. But it was removed from the records of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust watchlist in 2006. There are records of the Kerry Hill sheep breed in it’s native area dating back to 1809, and the first Flock Book was published in 1899 with 26 Members. And the Kerry Hill Flock Book Society keeps a register of pure bred animals and provides information on the breed, shows and sales
Kerry Hill Sheep Characteristics
The Kerry Hill sheep are medium-sized animal with sturdy build body. They have a distinctive and unique coloration, with a white face bearing black markings around the mouth, ears and eyes. Their wool is completely white in color, and their legs are white with black markings. Both rams and ewes are usually polled, that means ‘they have no horns’. Their neck is strong and muscular, well set into the shoulders. The ears are black, black and white or white in color, and are of medium length. The ears are set high and free from wool.
Back of the Kerry Hill sheep is strong, keve, firm to handle, wide loin with plenty of length from hip-bone to tail. Their hind quarters are wide and deep, and well fleshed to hocks. Wool of these animals is fine with a Bradford count of 54 to 56 and a staple length of 4 inches. And their average fleece production is about 2.75 kg. Average live body weight of the mature rams is between 65 and 70 kg. And the ewes weight slightly less than the rams. Average live body weight of the mature ewes vary from 55 to 65 kg
- Markings: The sheep should have a black and white face, odd spot on face acceptable. Legs should also be black and white.
- Ears: Black, Black and White or White. Medium length, set high, free from wool.
- Neck: Strong and muscular, well set into the shoulders.
- Throat: Nicely curved and woolled, with no loose skin.
- Teeth: Not overshot or undershot. Incisor teeth must bite on all inner surfaces.
- Horns: Can occur genetically, but not desirable.
- Ribs: Deep and well sprung, with good heart girth.
- Back: Strong, level, firm to handle, wide loin, with plenty of length from hip-bone to tail.
- Hind-Quarters: Wide and deep, well fleshed to hocks.
- Tail: Hock length is the breed standard. Well set on, strong dock, free from dark or blue spots.
- Legs: Front – well set, with strong bone, enough width but straight, clear of wool. Rear – plenty of width, clear of wool – must not be Cow, Sickle or Turkey hocked.
- Feet: front pasterns – No excessive length on joints. Short strong joints can carry weight. Rear pasterns – Not down on pasterns or long joints. Well-trimmed feet – sheep can walk properly.
- Skin: Pink or red, free from black or blue spots or tint.
- Wool: A white dense quality fleece free from kemp. Should be clean, a small amount of black is acceptable but undesirable. If very black or grey the sheep should be rejected.
- Bone: Male – enough bone for the scale of the sheep, but not fine and spindly. Female – not too fine, but not heavy of bone. Neither should be weak behind the shoulder.
- Males – Testicles the same size and wool free. Must be sound underneath
- Females – Udder etc must be sound unless declared othersiwe at shows or sales.
- Carriage: the sheep should meet one boldly, standing square. Sheep must walk freely not lame or stiff. It is easy to check for footrot.
The Kerry Hill sheep is a meat sheep breed. It is raised mainly for meat production purpose. The Kerry Hill sheep are well adapted to their local climates, and also do well in some other parts of the world. They are easily handled and have docile temperament, so they can be also raised as pets.
Kerry Hill Sheep Price
$620.00 – $3,40.00