WILTSHIRE HORN SHEEP

We were first introduced to Wiltshire Horn Sheep 20 odd years ago.  We saw them at the Gidgegannup Show in Western Australia.  We were quite taken with them and later after coming home to New South Wales thought we would get a ram for our small flock of crossbreds.  We found a stud near us and went to look at them.  Well!!! There were about 50 plus rams in this paddock and the owner said pick out one.  So we picked out one but he said that was his new stud ram from Victoria.  So we picked another but that was sold.  Finally we picked out number three.  We picked him up and he was agitated being on his own and I had to wonder what we had let ourselves in for.  However we got him on the back of the ute.  When we unloaded him, he still wasn't happy. However, we had our secret weapon.  Our two poddie ewes were happy to sit in the sheep yards with him until he got himself used to his surroundings.  This ram turned out to be the sweetest natured ram.  After he settled down he was just so easy to handle.  He would lead the sheep into the yards and he was always first down the race, moving his head side to side to make sure his horns didn't get caught. We called him Willy. Okay not the most original name but when he injured his foot we put him in the shearing shed and I was bathing it whilst Vic caught him and held him.  It got to the stage that Vic would say "Stand up Willy" and the ram would just stand there until Vic got to him and held his horn for me to bathe his foot.  No race, nothing to hold him only Vic. When we sold him the guy wanted a close look and asked if we could put him in the race.  Vic said no need and said "Stand up Willy".  The guy was amazed and Willy just stood there whilst he was inspected.  Yes he did buy him!

We breed both commercial and stud sheep.  We believe that they are the best tasting sheep you can get.  We are building up from a base of 200 commercial ewes.   We started with 100% Wiltshire Horn ewes as we wanted the full shedding ability which the breed is noted for. 

We ran an organic meat business for quite a few years and offered cuts of beef and lamb.  When we came to this property, we were severely hit with the drought.  This forced us to move our herd as this property had water and the other property had feed but no water.  As the drought bit harder, we sold the organic property and eventually sold the rest of our breeding cattle and sheep to keep our heads above water.  So we have been agisting cattle and horses.  In 2016 we decided to get back into sheep as the cattle prices were too high for us to buy back into.  It was not a hard decision to get more Wiltshire Horns. However getting the numbers for a commercial enterprise was difficult as most of the breeders had smaller numbers than we needed.  As we only wanted to pay for one cartage that led our search to South Australia and Byarlea Wiltshire Stud.  Now getting sheep 2 states away most probably isn't for everyone but we needed the numbers so we could send a truckload of lambs each year into the local saleyard.

The sheep are quite easy to manage. Because of their shedding ability, fly strike is not such a problem.  Sometimes if the rams are being rams and head butting, there might be a small sore that you need to keep an eye on.   Some of them do become a bit special as they talk to you whilst you are doing your daily chores and come up to see you. Well maybe more like they are hopeful you might have something nice to eat.  Either way they are definitely different from merinos or other breeds.