Dorset horn sheep characteristics

 The Dorset Horned is the Dorset which has horns. Originated in the lush hill pastures of Southwestern England. The sheep are primarily raised for meat and wool. The best characteristic is breeding out of season or nonseasonal breeder.

Dorset Horn Sheep breed information

The Dorset horn is a large breed, which is pretty hardy and active.

In the Horned Dorset sheep, both the ram and ewes have horns also have a distinctive pink nose.

Ram’s horns are heavy and spiral, ewes horns are light and curved.

The mature Dorset horn ram weighs at 115 kg(250 lb) and ewe weighs 80 kg(180lb).

The fleece weight of Dorset Horn Sheep is around 2.5 to 4 kg which is roughly equivalent to 5 to 9 lb.

The staple length is around 6 to 10 cm with 33 microns diameter.

Dorset ewes are good mothers, have multiple births and have enough milk to feed their young ones.

The ewes of Dorset can breed twice in one year.

Twinning is common in Dorset, the lambing percentage if

140 to 200%.

Dorsets are hardy breeds, can tolerate heat and cold. 

10 weeks of Dorset lamb can weigh from 16 to 20 kg, which can be finished.

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Things to know

The Dorset is globally distributed and found in two varieties, Horned and Polled. 

It probably derived from cross-breeding of Merinos imported from Spain with local tan-faced sheep similar to the modern Portland

The Dorset Horn Sheep Breeders’ Association was established in 1891.

Second largest breed in the USA only after the Suffolk breed.

Continental Dorset Club is formed in the USA for both Horned and Polled Dorset sheep.

A terminal sire on Dorset Horn ewes will produce a fast-growing lamb. Likewise, the Dorset Horn ram can be crossbred with ewes that will produce the ability to lamb out of season.

The only breed among British sheep that can breed throughout the winter. One of the breeds which can breed out of season.

Due to out of season lambing and fast-growing lambs all over the year, the breed flock replacement can become easier, which brings down the cost of a new purchase.

Brief characteristics of Dorset Horn Sheep

Breed NameDorset Horn sheep
Other Name 
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom
Breed PurposeMeat and wool
Breed Sizelarge
115 kg(250 lb)
Ewe(Female)80 kg(180lb)
Kiddingone to two lambs
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing  and Stall-fed
Climate ToleranceAll Climates

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