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Ovis aries

The Oxford Down was developed by crossing Hampshire and South Down ewes with a Cotswolds ram. It is relatively large-bodied sheep with males reaching up to 140kg.

This sheep breed grows a white short wool covering their bodies and legs with a dark brown/black face and a small top knot of wool on their heads.

They generally give birth to a single or twin lamb which come out with a good wool covering and they grow fast making it a great breed for the meat industry.

Rare Breeds Survival Trust Watchlist Status 2022-23

At risk (1500 to 3000 registered breeding females)

Group Name
Sheep are herbivorous mammals with most breeds preferring to graze on grass and other short roughage, avoiding the taller woody parts of plants
A Flock
The Oxford Down was developed during the 1800s, mainly in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties. It has been successfully used throughout northern Europe and America and is a generally hardy breed capable of surviving in most conditions
Fun Fact
The breed is easily bucket trained and we have four very friendly girls that live here at the zoo, including Squishy and her best friend Squashy