Hair Sheep Breeds

The constant shearing is one of the most challenging parts of rearing sheep breeds. It is necessary because they never stop growing and can reach truly bizarre proportions. This is not an issue with hair sheep, as their coats don’t grow as long, letting people rear them for other purposes like meat and leather.

Hair Sheep Breeds

List of Hair Sheep Breeds

Here is a list of sheep breeds with hair instead of wool, arranged in order of highest possible weight.

Sheep BreedSize (in lbs)Characteristics
Red Maasai110-275Their resistance to parasites like barber’s pole worm lets them thrive in tropical conditions
Dorper180-270A cross of the Dorset Horn and the Blackhead Persian reared for meat
Wiltshire Horn150-250A breed that molts its short coat in the spring
Katahdin120-250The first breed to reach industry carcass standards in the United States
Royal White175-235A dual-purpose breed reared for meat and hide
Uda99-220A meat breed reared in several African countries
Santa Inês88-220A tropical breed reared for its meat
St.Croix150-200A dairy breed whose milk has a high butterfat content 
Romanov100-180A cold-tolerant breed reared for its meat
Somali150-176A meat breed that is one of the largest exports of Somalia
Damara110-176One of the three breeds of domestic sheep native to southern Africa, besides the Namaqua Afrikaner and the Ronderib Afrikaner
St. Augustine130-150A cross of the Dorper and the St. Croix reared of the meat breed
Blackhead Persian115-150A polled breed raised for its meat that thrives in tropical conditions
American Blackbelly75-140The result of crossbreeding the Barbados Blackbelly and the Rambouillet that is used in trophy hunting 
Barbados Blackbelly85-130A meat sheep capable of living in tropical conditions thanks to its high tolerance of parasites
Rabo Largo100-120A horned fat-tailed breed from Brazil
Pelibüey75-120A tropical breed reared for its meat
Africana66-118A polled breed raised for its meat
Sahel-type77-90An African breed that produces poor mutton
Morada Nova59-88A dual-purpose breed reared for meat and hide
West African Dwarf55-82A meat breed reared in West and Central America

Advantages of Raising Sheep Breeds with Hair

Hair sheep breeds have quite a few advantages over those that have wool.

  • No Shearing Needed – Wool sheep must be shorn regularly lest their coats become dirty and full of clumps. Hair sheep breeds lack wool and are relatively low maintenance compared to their woolly counterparts.
  • Resistant to Parasites – Sheep breeds with hair are less likely to accrue parasites than wool sheep. 

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