October 21, 2020
Established in the south of the UK more than 150 years ago, the Hampshire Down breed is the result of a three-way crossing programme using the Wiltshire Horn, Berkshire Knot and Southdown breeds.
Traditionally grazed on the chalk-based downland soils that dominated their home region, the breed developed an ability to thrive off low quality pasture.
As a result of this, combined with a quality carcass, the breed became sought after across the world, including the USA, South America, New Zealand and Australia.
A breed renowned for its quick growing lambs, Hampshire Down rams are the choice of many flocks aiming for fast finishing, easily fleshed lambs.
In recent years the breed in the UK has been influenced by importations of genetics back from the southern hemisphere with the aim of reducing subcutaneous fat levels while maintaining the easy fleshing characteristics of the breed.
The breed does though retain the key traits for which it is renowned, namely a tight fleece and bred-in hardiness. This means lambs are born with a good covering of wool and can withstand inclement weather from an early age.
Pictures provided by Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ AssociationFor more information visit:UK - Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Associationhttps://www.hampshiredown.org.uk/USA - American Hampshire Sheep Associationhttp://www.hampshires.org/
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