The Oxford sheep breed was developed in Oxford County in England. A mix between Hampshires and Cotwolds, it has also been suggested that in the early development the breed also benefited from a small amount of Southdown lineage as well.
The Oxford has been introduced to the majority of countries which currently raise sheep. Today, they are one of the most popular breeds. They’re popular due to their fast rate of growth, strong maternal instinct and moderate quality fleece.
What do Oxfords Look Like?
Oxford sheep are average to large in size. Their faces are dark brown (a distinguishing feature from Hampshire and Shropshires). They have woolly legs and a full topknot.
Why Raise Oxfords?
For many shepherds, the Oxford stands out above other meat breeds due to its heavy fleece. Oxfords have the heaviest fleece of all breeds of Down.
Oxfords are considered a valuable breed to combine with commercial ewes and is one of the most popular breeds to use for meat production in the United Kingdom.
In 1846, Oxfords were introduced to the United States, but they have never been as prominent a breed in the U.S. as they are elsewhere.
Oxford Sheep Breed Information
|Mature Body Weight||Ram: 225 – 325 pounds|
Ewe: 150 – 200 pounds
|Average Fiber Diameter||Micron 28 – 34|
USDA Wool Grade 46’s – 54’s
|Grease Fleece Weight||7 – 10 pounds|
|Wool Staple Length||3 – 5 inches|
To learn more about Oxfords or to find a breeder near you, visit the American Oxford Sheep Association website.