Romney sheep

Posted by

Romney sheep

The Romney, formerly called the Romney Marsh sheep but generally referred to by the local farmers as the Kent, is a breed of sheep originating in England. The Romney is a “long-wool” breed recognized in England by 1800. Exported to other continents, the Romney is an economically important sheep breed, especially to the sheep-meat and wool export trades of New Zealand.


  • Breed Name: Romney
  • Other Name: Also called as Romney Marsh previously, and local farmers call the breed as Kent
  • Breed Purpose: Meat and wool
  • Breed Size: Large
  • Weight: 85 to 110 kg
  • Horns: No
  • Climate Tolerance: All climates
  • Color: White or colored
  • Rarity: Common
  • Country/Place of Origin : United Kingdom


The breed evolved from medieval longwool types of which the Romney and Leicester breeds are early examples. The sheep recognized by 1800 as “Romney Marsh” or “Kent” were improved in body type and fleece quality through crossings with Bakewell’s English Leicester. A Romney can be either colored or white.

International spread

The first confirmed export of Romneys from England was a shipment of 20 from Stone, Kent that went on the Cornwall to New Zealand in 1853. With these and a further 30 ewes sent in 1856, Alfred Ludlum established New Zealand’s first Romney Marsh stud in 1860 at Newry, in the Hutt Valley, and Ludlam’s brother-in-law, Augustus Onslow Manby Gibbes, also bred them around this time in Australia—at his famous sheep property, Yarralumla.

In 1855, 60,000 Merinos had been in NZ, but the Romney Marsh sheep thrived more quickly, supplanting the Merino over most of the country.

The New Zealand Romney Marsh Association was formed in 1904. Alfred Matthews was the first president; the stud he founded, Waiorongamai, is still going. In 1965, three-quarters of the national flock was Romney.


Romney sheep is a large sized breed. It can be either white or colored. It is generally an open-faced breed with long wool that grows over the legs in full. Standards for the breed are not identical across all countries, but have much in common. These animals have a wide head with large, bright and prominent eyes. Their face is masculine in appearance, and is full in ewes. Their nose and hooves are black in color. The neck is not too long, but strong and well set at the shoulders. Their chest is wide and deep, and the back is straight and long with a wide and deep loin.

History of the Romney

The Romney traces its beginning to the marshy area of Kent in England. Its origin lies with the old, established dual purpose Romney Marsh breed which was improved with Leicester blood in the nineteenth century. Often swept with harsh winds and heavy rainfall, the Kent landscape is abundant with lush forage.

These geographic and climatic conditions have led to the development of some specific characteristics in the Romney breed. These traits include hooves that are resistant to foot rot and fleeces that remain healthy in harsh weather. Due to the similar land topography and weather conditions, the Romney breed made an easy transition to New Zealand and the Falkland Islands, where it became quickly established and still remains the predominant breed.


At maturity, Romney males weigh from 225 to 275 pounds (102-124 kg) and ewes weigh 150 to 200 pounds (68-90 kg). The Romney fleece is unique among all breeds of sheep in the way it combines several important traits. The fleece is lustrous; it hangs in separate locks, with minimal cross fibers between the locks.

Romney sheep for sale

Romney sheep images

Also more:

Reference site:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.