Wiltshire sheep originate from the Wiltshire downs in the UK where the breed can be documented back to the 18th Century and were probably originally brought to England by the Romans.
One of the world’s oldest surviving sheep breeds, Wiltshire sheep are well muscled with low fat and particularly robust with the ability to thrive in poor conditions making them one of the most popular meat breeds in the UK. They are hardy, thrifty, easy lambers, adaptable and long-lived. They survive in difficult conditions and on a poor diet, but they thrive in better conditions and they are easier to care for than many modern breeds.
The Horn Wiltshire was crossbred with the Poll Dorset in Australia last century to produce the Poll Wiltshire (or wiltipoll) introduced into New Zealand in 1972 by Tim Gow.
The main feature of the Wiltshire breed is the ability to annually shed the fleece thus removing the need to shear, crutch, drench and remove the tail. There is rarely any wool present on the head, belly, underside of tail or crutch after shedding. Occasionally a narrow mohawk of wool can remain along the spine as the amount of shedding can vary from year to year.
Wiltshire sheep have a docile nature, are low maintenance and their resistance to parasites and flystrike make them a popular breed with life style block owners.
Ewes commonly produce twin lambs with triplets and quads occasionally which they mother successfully without human intervention.
Good feet and muscular legs and resistance to foot rot make Wiltshire sheep an easy care breed popular with organic farmers and producing lean meat with excellent taste and texture. The rams are often used as a sire to produce cross breed meat lambs.
Wiltshire Sheep are the ideal breed for organic farms requiring minimal human intervention and in our experience no chemical input at all.