The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: darkbrowneggs on March 25, 2011, 01:39:43 pm

Title: Anyone keep Wiltshire Horn?
Post by: darkbrowneggs on March 25, 2011, 01:39:43 pm
What an idiot - I meant Wiltshire Horn - the ones that self shed.  My original post said Dorset Horn

Anyway - does anyone keep them and what are they like as a breed.  I have previously kept BWM, which I found easy in most ways, and delicious meat, but I am open to new ideas

Many thanks
Title: Re: Anyone keep Wiltshire Horn?
Post by: Elissian on March 26, 2011, 03:35:15 pm
I have wiltshires, I'm just about to start my third lambing(hopefully tonight) They are my first flock so 'ive nothing to compare them with and I bought a mature flock so i can't tell whether the lambing is easy because they're all old hands or thats the breed. we've had a couple with a front leg back one of those delivered with it back, apart from that no worries during lambing and i never assist unless neccesary.They mother well and are milky and the lambs get up very quickly when they're born. They shed their fleece as soon as the weather warms up, some shed really quickly others walk round looking like a moth eaten old carpet? the fences are all decorated with it and i imagine every birds nest in the area to have a wooly lining!
they are very big sheep and you need to be strong to turn one over and we are both tall which i think helps. I think you need to like the look of your sheep and some people think wiltshires are ugly, i find them handsome with proud faces and their horns come in many shapes which i find fascinating.
We slaughter at about 14 months as we sell hogget, the meat isn't fatty and has a good flavour, we don't seem to need to advertise any more, we get repeat sales so others must like it too.
Any questions, do ask, i know others on here have found them flighty but i'm very happy with my girls
hope this is helpful, Helen
Title: Re: Anyone keep Wiltshire Horn?
Post by: darkbrowneggs on March 26, 2011, 07:25:50 pm
Thanks very much for the reply.  I am in Worcestershire, are you anywhere near as it would be nice to actually see them.  (I am only 5ft and no longer that strong, but presumably if they don't need shearing it is not that often they need to be turned)

What are their feet like.  I kept my BWM for around 20 or so years, and never had any foot problems and am on wet clay soil.

Also what about flies, the BWM were not bad, but the lambs in full fleece would sometimes be at risk, especially with a bit of scour, and I once had horn fly.  Would the grown lambs shed their fleece in the warm weather or keep it til the following season.

Sorry to be a pain asking questions, but I like to do my research before buying as much as possible. 

I will have an excess of grass this season and am considering buying some sheep in - its just whether to change from the breed I am used to

Many thanks again   :)
Title: Re: Anyone keep Wiltshire Horn?
Post by: Elissian on March 26, 2011, 09:38:32 pm
I've got quite marshy ground and their feet seem to grow quite long between tupping and lambing, i've had one case of footrot in 3 years(i had 16- 19 ewes), there's a lot of hoof to trim off after lambing but it doesn't seem to cause them too many problems. The WH website suggests that they don't suffer with flystrike but i use crovect on them as i had a case of flystrike between the horns where they had been sparring and a wound had been infected.
I'm on the A36 between southampton and salisbury. If you want to make a day of it and come and visit me you'd be welcome to stop here for lunch. Or you could have yourself a day out and visit stonehenge, wilton house and salisbury cathedral. I'm sounding like i work for the wiltshire tourist board! Oh and i'm right on the edge of the new forest, well worth a visit.
Title: Re: Anyone keep Wiltshire Horn?
Post by: MrsJ on March 27, 2011, 08:07:33 am
We have Wiltshire Horns and I'm in Worcestershire, if you want to have a look at ours.  they are only last year's lambs so not lambing from them this time round and I have no idea what the meat will be like.  They are a bit scruffy at the moment with losing their fleece but such a lovely creamy colour underneath.  Let me know if you want to come over.
Title: Re: Anyone keep Wiltshire Horn?
Post by: darkbrowneggs on March 27, 2011, 11:11:52 pm
Thanks so much for the replies - and the kind offers of viewing them.  The visit to Salisbury area sounds very tempting, but it looks like there are some even nearer, so I am going to PM  Mrs J. 

What do you think the current going price for ewes with lambs is

Many thanks both -  Sue