Hampshire Sheep

Hampshire Sheep

The Hampshire sheep breed is primarily raised for meat production, though the breed has also emerged as a popular choice for youngsters in 4-H and FFA rings due to its dramatic, flashy appearance in the show ring.

Hampshire lambs are fast-growing and at maturity the Hampshire breed is heavy boned with a lean carcass.

The History of the Hampshire Breed

Originating in the county of Hampshire in the south of England, the first lines of this breed were a combination of the Berkshire Knot, Southdown, Old Hampshire and Wiltshire Horn sheep breeds.

Hampshire Down Rams

In 1860 Hampshires were introduced to the United States, but the breed disappeared during the Civil War and were not reintroduced until the 1880’s.

What do Hampshire Sheep Look Like?

Hampshire Ram

As one of the larger breeds, the Hampshire is easy to distinguish from Suffolks by their black legs and faces.

Unlike the Suffolk, Hampshires have some wool on their heads and legs and this breed should display a solid topknot of unbroken wool.

Hampshire sheep grow rapidly and are a common choice as terminal sires in crossbreeding programs due to their large, lean carcasses and rapid growth rate.

Breed Information

Mature Body WeightRam: 250 – 350 pounds
Ewe: 175 – 250 pounds
Average Fiber DiameterMicron 25 – 33
USDA Wool Grade 46’s – 58’s
Grease Fleece Weight6 – 10 pounds
Wool Staple Length2.5 – 4 inches
Hampshire Yearling Ram

For more information about Hampshires or to find a breeder near you, visit the American Hampshire Sheep Association website.