United Horned Hair Sheep Association, Inc.
BREED STANDARDS and REGISTRATION REQUIRMENTS
These are the standards that all breeders should do their best to have as breeding
goals. Some standards are required for registration and a complete list of standards
which are required for registration is listed afterwards.
Traits discriminated against, traits which are suggested to be used minimally in
breeding the sheep, are a fault and are not a disqualification and animals exhibiting
faults in one area or another are still able to be registered. An animal displaying a trait
that is listed as a disqualification is NOT able to be registered or recorded. Sheep
which do not exhibit the requirements for registrations are considered to be
disqualified and not eligible for registration.
The General Character and Appearance of the Sheep represented by the United
Horned Hair Sheep Association, Inc., should be one of a noble animal. The sheep are
not purely a meat breed but can be oriented for multiple markets (Click Here for more
information about multiple markets)
With a wider defined range of breed ancestors, Multi-horned sheep may exhibit a
range of weights and muscling.
Should be well balanced and proportional to the body and held high when the sheep
is alerted. Ewes should have a more feminine face and features than the rams.
The back of the head of mature rams may display a slight to extreme rounded hump
behind the horn base. This is part of the rams’ physical frame which helps cushion the
brain during any sparring.
Young lambs typically have a straight profile.
As ewes age, some may display a roman nose (elevated area on the nose
bridge seen when viewed from the side profile) while many will maintain the straight
As the rams age, a roman nose (elevated area on the nose bridge
seen when viewed from the side profile) may be displayed. One may note a bigger
elevation on the nose bridge during times association with breeding cycles or during
an increase in sparring activity among rams.
The Multi-horned Sheep is considered a hair or shedding sheep. These sheep
actually have two coats: a hair type coat and usually a more wooly undercoat. The
undercoat may resemble a thicker hair to a more wool type look and texture. This
undercoat grows during cool weather and will naturally shed off when warmer weather
In colder climates, some sheep may exhibit a 3 inch or more full winter undercoat;
however, the undercoat should completely shed off without shearing when warm
weather arrives with the exceptions of lambs and some yearlings.
The ability of the sheep to grow and shed the undercoat, may lead to only partial
shedding for a time in various climates. A complete shedding generally occurs by May,
June or early July. The exact time for a complete and natural shedding depends on
the climate. Lambs and some yearlings may not shed totally till the next year.
Multi-horned sheep with possible close Mouflon breed influence, may have a slight
shedding of coarse guard hairs in the fall, dependent of the climate.
The complete and natural shedding ability is important in maintaining ease of care
and a lack of such shedding may be indicative of parent breeds in the background
that are not desirable or of having wool parent breeds in the recent background.
Multi-horned Sheep may come in any color or color pattern.
Ears should be parallel to the ground or at slightly higher angles. A very slight angle
below parallel to the ground is noticeable at times; however, the ears should become
parallel to the ground or higher when on alert.
While at birth, lambs may display droopy ears, especially those who are part of a
multiple birth; however, the ear(s) should straighten up within a few days. Otherwise,
ears must not droop enough to be considered floppy. Such ears would tend to
indicate cross-breeding in the background of the sheep. Naturally occurring (not due
to injury or other difficulties) droopy ears are a disqualification for registration.
Ears generally should come to a slight point at the tip and not be completely rounded
in shape. Elf ears (ears with external cartilage which is generally 1/2 inch to 3 inches
in length and exhibiting a more v-shaped ear) and Gopher ears (ears without visible
external cartilage or with less than 1/2 inch) are acceptable. Natural ears may vary in
length but are generally in the range of 3 - 4 inches. Abbreviations used within the
registry are as such: E indicating Elf Ears, G indicating Gopher Ears, and N indicating
Eyes should be bright and alert and must be free from genetic eyelid defects such as
Entropion (pictured below).
The color of the eyes vary from dark brown, golden brown to amber. With the
influence of Jacob, the rare blue-eyed sheep may appear.
Incisor teeth should meet the dental pad. A severe and distinct space between the
incisor teeth and the dental pad is a disqualification.
Sheep should not have an extreme overbite (parrot mouth) or underbite (monkey jaw).
CLICK HERE to learn how to estimate the age of your sheep by looking at the teeth!
Neck should continue from the head and gradually lead into the shoulders and be
gracefully held when sheep are alert.
A ewe’s neck will be graceful and proportional in size based on the ewe‘s overall frame.
A ram’s neck will be thicker and more muscular than a ewe‘s neck in appearance and
to the touch. During the Fall or cooler weather, rams may display an increase in hair
and undercoat growth around the neck area which will make the neck look much
Mature rams will display a mane in the winter. Some rams will shed the mane
completely in the summer while others will retain the mane. Some ewes may also have
a short mane.
A ram’s mane may be varied in length from short to long, some even almost touching
the ground when in full winter coat. Some manes may be much shorter and hang just
a couple of inches below the bottom line of the chest. A ram with no mane at any time
is a severe fault and is discriminated against.
SHOULDERS AND WITHERS:
The shoulders should be developed and muscled proportionally to the size of the
sheep. They should flow into the ribs (well laid into the ribs).
The withers (area between the shoulder blades along the top line) may be elevated
with rams exhibiting a more pronounced and higher elevated wither. Some sheep may
have a completely straight topline and no elevation at the withers.
The width of the chest of most Multi-horned Hair Sheep will be narrow to moderate
with a more athletic look - proportional to the size of the sheep.
The width of the front of the sheep should not be greater than the width of the back of
the sheep to facilitate lambing.
Continuing after a smooth transition from straight or elevated withers, the back should
be strong, level and relatively smooth. The Back may tend in width to look lean, sleek,
The back is proportioned to the height of the sheep and is generally not longer than
RIBS AND ABDOMEN:
Ribs should be well sprung. Abdomen should allow for multiple births and be
proportional for smaller sized ewes.
The bottom line should not be tucked in at the fore flank nor the rear flank.
The Legs should be sound and proportioned to size of individual sheep. Sheep will
have long athletic legs, usually longer than body height from bottom line to top line.
Rams will generally have thicker legs then ewes.
Legs should have a conformationally correct appearance. Front legs should not be
knock kneed, bowlegged, buck-kneed or calf kneed. Rear Legs should not be cow
hocked, sickle hocked or post legged. Lower Legs on both front and rear legs should
not toe in (angle inward/pigeon toed) or toe out (angle outward/splayfooted) too
much. Pasterns should be strong and correct.
A nice four square stance is desired with legs standing nicely inline with the body of
the sheep. Some sheep, when on alert or at other times may naturally exhibit a
stance which appears to have one or both rear legs extended backward.
Continuing from the back, the rump should exhibit a gradually angled slope to the
Size and muscling of rump are proportional to the size of the overall sheep.
The Thigh should be well developed in proportion to the size of the sheep. Multi-
horned Hair Sheep may not display the depth and heavy muscling of some sheep
breeds developed purely for fast gain and high weights (meat) at an early age.
The twist is the junction where the insides of the thighs meet. To compare sheep as
far as meat capability, the measurement of the depth of the twist may be taken. To
measure the depth of the twist, one can place hands at the top of the tail and at the
crotch. This measurement assists especially in judging of pure meat sheep breeds
and shows the depth of muscling in this area.
The Multi-horned Hair Sheep tend toward the depth of the twist being minimal to
moderately deep. The Twist should be muscled proportional to the size and frame of
the individual sheep.
A ewe’s udder should be well proportioned and relatively symmetrical and have only
two teats. A ewe with more than two teats is discriminated against. The teats should
be free of obvious defects affecting function.
Both Testicles should be uniform and symmetrical, free of obvious deformities.
Testicles should be well sized and the scrotum itself should also be free of obvious
Tail lengths vary. Shorter tails are preferred. Tails should not be “round” and should
be more “flat“.
A tail that is reaching to the hocks is discriminated against. A tail past the hocks is a
disqualification from registration in the United Horned Hair Sheep Association, Inc.
Hooves should be well formed and kept free of deformities and disease.
All rams must grow and display horns, however, both polled (hornless) and horned
ewes are acceptable as are ewes with scurs.
To be registered as a Multi-horned sheep, ewes with one or both parents
unregistered as Multi-horned sheep will need to exhibit 3 or more horns in submitted
Rams with scurs are not eligible for registration. To be registered as a Multi-horned
sheep, rams with one or both parents unregistered as Multi-horned sheep will need to
exhibit 3 or more horns in submitted registration photographs.
HORN DISTANCE FROM FACE:
In general, wide horns (horns with plenty of room from the face) are preferred over
horns that may grow close or towards the face and eventually touch the face. Some
flock owners and breeders prefer horns which are a little closer to face or have tight
curls while other flock owners prefer horns which have much wider areas between the
face (horns almost sticking straight out).
Filing or training of the horns to prevent horns from touching the face is acceptable
and will not prevent the ram from being registered. However, such activities should
always be disclosed in a honest manner to potential customers.
Horns can be of varying shapes for the Multi-horned Hair Sheep. Some horns can
grow together. This is called fused horns. Fused horns are not preferred and are
considered a fault.
HORNS ON EWES:
Ewes’ horns are generally smaller is size than rams. Multi-horned ewes may exhibit 3
or more horns, two horns, scurs or even be polled. Currently, the Multi-horned
breeders are attempting to overcome the gender linked gene(s) which can result in
ewes producing Multi-horned sheep and yet only exhibiting two or even no horns.
A mature sheep's horn lengths vary based on actual age, individual (genetics), areas
of the country (environment and weather), nutrition and health. Growth rate (rate at
which the horns grow) is also dependent upon some of the above factors. Horns
generally slow down during late winter/early spring unless fed to overcome the
slowdown; however, the average overall growth rate for horns for young rams is 1 inch
per month for the first two years. Some rams may seem to get a good start with quick
growing horns while others horns grow slower but then catch up as the ram matures.
For two horned mature rams, a display of 20 - 29 inch length horns to measurements
in the 30 - 39 range may occur. A world record is 52 inches long for a Texas Dall ram.
Horns generally turn outward. Bases on mature rams generally run 8 to 9 inches in
circumference. Ten inches in circumference of the base of mature rams’ horns also
can be found. Eleven inches in basal circumference (base measurements) for each
horn is exceptional.
Multi-horned mature rams' individual horn lengths and bases may be smaller. The
larger horn set which is closer to the top or crown of the sheep's head is considered
the primary horns. The secondary horns are generally smaller and are below the
CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO MEASURE AND SCORE YOUR RAM'S HORNS
Multi-horned Sheep may display any color of horns: Black, White, or Variegated.
The average height of the Multi-horned Hair Sheep for the ewes is 20 - 27 inches at
the withers and 21 - 31 inches at the withers for rams. Individual sheep may be
outside of the range and there is no fault or disqualification for above or below
The weight of the sheep varies and individual sheep may weigh outside the range.
Ewes may weigh 60 - 150 lbs with an average of 70 - 100 lbs. Rams generally weigh
from 75 - 200 pounds with an average of 100 lbs.
UHHSA Multi-horned Hair Sheep
Because of the influence of Jacob and Navajo-Churro Sheep (wool breeds), certain
bloodlines of Painted Desert, Texas Dall, Black Hawaiian, Desert Sand, and Corsican
Sheep have displayed more than two horns (Polycerate horns). The sheep which
visibly display the polycerate horns have been tracked in the UHHSA pedigrees using
the designation MH for the multi-horned sheep.
Some breeders have singled the multi-horned sheep out and bred pedigrees with
nothing but shedding sheep that are producing and/or displaying 3, 4, 5, and 6 horns.
Breeders are also working hard to overcome the sex link gene(s) which result(s) in
polled ewes which produce multi-horned sheep. The goal is to produce ewes which will
display either 2 or more horns while continuing to shed their winter coats and exhibit a
slick summer hair coat so shearing remains unnecessary.
In 2012, the Board of Directors of the United Horned Hair Sheep Association chose to
recognize the efforts of the multi-horned hair sheep breeders by creating a single,
unique breed division specifically for multi-horned hair sheep without regard to color
or color pattern displayed. While some of these special sheep may still be
recorded/registered as Painted Desert, Texas Dall, Black Hawaiian, Corsican, or
Desert Sand Sheep if they meet the breed standards and registration requirements of
those breeds, many breeders simply prefer to keep their multi-horned sheep as an
unique and separate but related breed.
Recognizing the Multi-horned breed is in it’s infancy stage, the Board of Directors
chose to allow breeders the opportunity to produce the best multi-horned sheep
possible. The Board of Directors chose to define the background of registerable Multi-
horned Sheep as those sheep with only the following hair/shedding sheep breeds in
the known background/pedigrees: Painted Desert, Texas Dall, Black Hawaiian, Desert
Sand, Mouflon, Corsican, American Blackbelly, Wiltshire Horn, NM Dahl, and NM
Bighorn and Alaskan Dall sheep are not allowed in recent known pedigrees.
Some breeders may have used wool breeds in the known sheep
background/pedigrees. These wool breeds are limited to the following wool sheep
breeds: Jacob, Horned Rambouillet, Merino (Horned), Horned Dorset, Navajo-Churro,
and Manx. However, registerable Multi-horned Sheep must contain 1/8th or less wool
breeds, display a hair coat and shed completely.
Sheep which have polled sheep breeds or other sheep breeds in the known
pedigrees do not meet the other breed division requirements.
With setting definitions of the breed, UHHSA hopes to enable Multi-horned Sheep
breeders to utilize the best sheep to create and fulfill their breeding goals. Now all of
these multi-horned and multi-horn producing sheep will have a well-deserved place
Sheep which are registered in another recognized registry for multi-horned and multi-
horned producing sheep are qualified for registration in the UHHSA Multi-horned Hair
Sheep Breed Registry providing UHHSA Breed Standards and Registration
Requirements are met.
Sheep which are dual registered with other recognized registries may also be dually
registered with UHHSA as long as UHHSA Breed Standards and Registration
Requirements are met. Please read carefully the registration requirements/standards
of the breed divisions to determine if your sheep meets the requirements for dually
registered sheep. UHHSA registered Painted Desert Sheep, Texas Dall Sheep, Black
Hawaiian Sheep, Corsican Sheep, and Desert Sand Sheep which display 3 or more
horns may be dually registered as Multi-horned Hair Sheep if desired.
At the membership meeting held January 26, 2013, the membership voted to
recognize and add the Multi-horned Hair Sheep Registry Division to UHHSA, Inc, in
official recognition and acceptance of multi-horned breed efforts.
REGISTRATION CLASSES FOR MULTI-HORNED HAIR SHEEP:
- CLASS A - Both parents are Registered as Multi-horned Hair Sheep. In
addition, all great grandparents and grandparents are either Registered as
Multi-horned Hair Sheep or exhibit 3+ horns.
- CLASS B - Both parents are Registered as Multi-horned Hair Sheep. In
addition, all grandparents are either Registered as Multi-horned Hair Sheep or
exhibit 3+ horns.
- CLASS C - Both parents are Registered as Multi-horned Hair Sheep.
- CLASS D - One parent is unknown but sheep (to be registered) has 3+ horns.
If sheep does not have 3+ horns, sheep may not be registered as a Multi-
horned Hair Sheep.
- CLASS E - Both parents are unknown but sheep (to be registered) has 3+
horns. If sheep does not have 3+ horns, sheep may not be registered as a Multi-
horned Hair Sheep.
TRAITS REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION:
- Rams must have horns. If one or more parents are unknown, rams must
display 3 or more horns.
- Ewes may be horned or polled or scurred. If one or more parents are unknown,
ewes must display 3 or more horns.
- Known background of the following hair sheep breeds: Painted Desert, Texas
Dall, Black Hawaiian, Desert Sand, Mouflon, Corsican, American Blackbelly,
Wiltshire Horn, NM Dahl, and NM Onate Sheep.
- Known background of only the following wool breeds: Jacob, Horned
Rambouillet, Merino (Horned), Horned Dorset, Navajo-Churro, and Manx
- 1/8th or less of wool parent breeds
- Sheep at maturity normally exhibiting shedding ability
TRAITS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST (considered a fault):
- Rams’ horns which touch the face at maturity
- For multi horned animals - fused horns
- Extra Teats on ewes
- Slight under or over bite, with teeth just barely touching the edge of the dental
- Sheep which do not shed out completely at maturity on a general basis
- Mature rams with no mane at any time
- Tails reaching to the hocks
- Sheep with known polled bloodlines
- Sheep with known recent Big Horn or Alaskan Dall bloodlines
- Rams which are polled or have scurs at maturity
- Tails past the hocks
- Docked tails
- Sheep with more than 1/8th known wool breeding from the parent breeds -
Jacob, Horned Rambouillet, Merino (Horned), Horned Dorset, Navajo-Churro,
- Sheep with any known wool breeding from any non-parent wool breed
- One or both testicles not descended
- Severe under or over bite, with distinct space between teeth and edge of dental
- Evidence of cross breeding shown by physical appearance of breeds which are
not included in the history or background of Multi-horned sheep such as
Suffolk, Hampshire, Dorper, Katahdin, St Croix, etc.
- Entropion (inverted eyelids) or other genetic eyelid defects
- Naturally occurring droopy or floppy ears on adults
Sheep with Disqualifying traits are not eligible for registration and will be denied
registration. Excessive Discriminating traits of an individual sheep may render that
sheep ineligible for registration if, at the inspectors and board of directors discretion,
such traits seriously challenge the breed identity.
|THIS website is copyright May 2009 by United Horned Hair Sheep Association, Inc.
Active Members of UHHSA are permitted to use information on their website to help in
ethical and honest promotion and education about the breeds represented. However,
a link to this website should be provided.
Pictures are copyrighted by owners of the sheep pictured and permission will need to
be sought to use the pictures.
|MULTI-HORNED SHEEP BREED STANDARDS
AND REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
|Measuring depth of the
twist: Hand Placement is
indicated by the horizontal
red lines. The depth is
the vertcal blue line
|Tails with these lengths are Correct
|Tails to the
|Tails past the
hocks are not
|This ram has 4 horns but they are fused
together so it looks like there is only two
horns at the base.
|Ears will generally be at parallel
to the ground (pictured above)
or above (pictured below on a
young Mouflon ram lamb) for
Sheep which naturally have
ears below parallel to the
ground are disqualified from
Both Testicles Normal
Both testicles did not descend
One testicle did not
Both testicles small
sized but still
One testicle smaller
than the other
|This all white young ram
has two separate horns and
two fused horns
Right Front Leg
|This ram lamb has four totally separate
where the Lower
lid of the eye is
4 horned ram