What is Welsh Mountain Sheep?

Welsh Mountain Sheep is a sheep breed with several under breeds or variants. It is a primitive breed of hill sheep belonging to Wales. There are five varieties in the Welsh Mountain Sheep breed: Welsh Mountain Sheep, Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep, Balwen Welsh Mountain Sheep, Black Welsh Mountain Sheep and South Wales or South Welsh Mountain Sheep.

All varieties of this type of sheep are small ground sheep. The upland areas of Wales are hilly and mountainous. These animals survive the harsh conditions and low quality vegetation of higher Wales. Lowland breeds of sheep live in the more fertile valleys where climate and grazing conditions are more favorable. The weights for ground sheep vary depending on the environment in which they live, with the weights becoming larger when grazing on high quality pasture lowlands.

Usually all Welsh mountain sheep have been selected for hardiness, morbidity and lamb survival. They are healthy sheep, not bothered with diseases common to several modern sheep breeds. The sows will supply and raise one lamb per season on the ground conditions for low quality forage. Their feet are not prone to rot and do not require frequent trimming, and the tails do not need docking.

This type of sheep is easy to maintain on pasture and high alone, rarely requiring supplemental feed. Fleece is close-textured to protect against the harsh elements of higher Wales. Rams in most variants have horns; the sows are asked. All Welsh mountain sheep are known to have good, tasty meat with a good meat-to-bone ratio.

The Welsh Mountain Sheep variety is a small, white sheep. Feathers weigh about 176 pounds (80 kg). The marshes weigh 77 pounds (35 kg) in mountain conditions, but can weigh as much as 110 pounds (50 kg) in increased lowland situations.

Badger face Welsh mountain sheep have distinctive drawings that distinguish them from other sheep breeds. There are two-color patterns of Badger-like markings for this variety. The Torddu is an off-white, tan or gray animal with black stripes on the face, a black underside and black legs with a light stripe. The Torwen pattern is a black or dark brown base color with white stripes near the eyes; white on the lower jaw, throat, inner ears and abdomen; and tan legs with a black stripe. The sows weigh 88-132 pounds (40-60 kg) and the weights weigh as much as 198 pounds (90 kg).

The Balwen Welsh mountain sheep were isolated to the Tywi Valley in Wales. The bitter winter of 1947 almost wiped out the entire breed; just one weather was alive. The breed rebuilt and in the 1970s, and people outside the region became interested in these unique looking sheep. The car’s color is black, brown or dark gray, and they have a wide white face bliss, white paws and half white tails. The horned rams weigh 99-132 pounds (45-60 kg), and the suckers range 88-110 pounds (40 to 50 kg).

The Black Welsh Mountain Sheep became a variation as 19th century shepherds selectively bred the black sheep that normally occurred. Weighs 132-143 pounds (60-65 kg), and the sows weigh about 99 pounds (45 kg). The South Wales mountain sheep also are known as the South Welsh mountain sheep or Nelson sheep. It is the largest of the Welsh Mountain Sheep breeds. The Rams can now weigh 187 pounds (85 kg), and suckers average 121 pounds (55 kg). These white sheep with leggings on the legs and face often have a brown collar of wool around the neck.

  • Welsh Mountain Sheep eats mainly grass and hay.
  • Welsh Mountain Sheep are hill sheep native to Wales.
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