Horned Sheep Breeds

While horns serve wild sheep that look to defend themselves against protection, commercially speaking, horns do not have any purpose for domestic sheep. In fact, horns can make rearing them more difficult, as they can injure handlers and get caught in fences or feeders. 

However, horned sheep have a unique look, with some breeds explicitly reared for their appearance. Consequently, despite being more challenging to raise than polled breeds, there remains a demand for sheep with horns.

Sheep with Horns

List of Sheep With Horns

Sheep BreedPurposeNumber of HornsDescription of HornsDo Both Genders have Horns?
AfrikanerLeather2Rams have amber horns with one and a half turns; ewes have short, thin hornsYes
AlaiDual purpose for meat and wool2Long and curvedOnly males
Algarve ChurroMeat; also carpet wool2Horns are ridged; male horns project outward in the shape of a spiralYes, though females tend to have smaller ones than males
ArapawaWool2Long and spiralledYes
BorerayConservation grazing, meat, and wool2Males have long and spiraled hornsYes 
Dorset HornWool2Rams have heavy, spiraled hornsYes
Exmoor HornDual purpose for meat and wool2Curved with one and a half turnsYes
GutePreservation2Curved with one turnYes
HebrideanConservation grazing2, 4CurvedYes
IcelandicMeat2Curved with one and a half turnsYes
JacobMeat, skin, and wool4Two vertical center horns and two small horns that grow downwardYes
Manx LoaghtanMeat4; sometimes 2 or 6Two horns grow upward in a slight curve, and two horns growing downward that are more curvedYes
Navajo-ChurroPelts2,4Curved; two grow upwards, and two grow downwardsMostly males but sometimes observed in females
North RonaldsayDual purpose for meat and wool2Ridged and spiraledMostly males, about 20% of the female population have horns
OuessantWool2Curved with one turnOnly males
RackaMeat, milk, and wool2Long spiraled horns that extend in a straight directionYes
RoslagDual purpose for meat and wool2CurvedOnly males
Scottish BlackfaceMeat2Curved with one and a half turnsYes
SkuddeMeat, felting, and landscape grazing2Large spiraled hornsOnly males
Wiltshire HornMeat2Rams add a spiral each year until they reach full maturityYes

FAQs

1. What are sheep horns made out of?

The horns of a sheep have a bony core, with an outer sheath made of keratinous material.

2. Do sheep horns grow back?

While sheep horns grow throughout their lifetime, they do not grow back if they are broken or removed.

3. What are the differences between sheep horns and goat horns?

Sheep horns tend to curl beside their heads, while goat horns tend to grow straight. In addition to this, sheep horns tend to be larger than those of goats.

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