The breed is hardy and is well suited to life on the hills. They can do well on limited forage. Lambing percentage is dependent on location - an upland flock can manage about 120% rising to 165% under good management on the lowlands. Lambs are small and lively with few lambing problems. Ewes are known for having good maternal instincts.
- The Hill Radnor was developed over the years to suit the Radnor Hills and is probably typical of the old Welsh tan-faced sheep that used to roam the hills.
- Reference was being made to the breed as far back as 1911 and a Breed Society was formed in 1949.
- The breed remains very much confined to the Radnor/Brecon area of Wales and there are very few flocks in the rest of the U.K
- A hill breed but larger and bulkier than a Welsh Mountain.
- Ewes weigh around 50-55kg and rams, 70-80kg.
- Thick white fleece and a distinctive tan face with an aquiline nose.
- Ewes are polled, rams are horned.
As with the Welsh Mountain there is a market for older ewes (draft ewes) being sold from the hills and used for a couple of seasons on lowland farms. The Hill Radnor has some distinct advantages over the Welsh Mountain for use as a lowland ewe: the breed is larger, is more prolific and is known for being easier to shepherd.
The Hill Radnor ram can be used to cross onto other hill breeds to produce a larger lamb with better conformation without sacrificing any hardiness.
The purebred Hill Radnor lamb can reach around 17kg at 8 weeks of age and will be ready to kill at 4-5 months of age. Crossed with a terminal sire a Hill Radnor ewe will produce a fast growing, well conformed lamb.
Staple Length- 8-10cm. Fleece weight- 2- 2.5kg. Quality- 48s-56s.
Did you know?
The Hill Radnor breed suffered a significant set back during the Foot and Mouth cull of 2001 as the majority of the animals were concentrated on the Welsh and English borders which were particularly affected.
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.