Natural Colored Romney Breed Standard

Judging Natural Colored Romney Sheep


  1. General: Romney sheep, as a dual purpose breed, exhibit the essential qualities found in all good meat-producing sheep. They are sturdy animals, with a strong bone structure, large body capacity and a uniform fleece which is characteristic of the breed.
  2. Weight: This will vary as breeders raise Romneys to meet varying local conditions. A variety of types of Romneys have been developed to adapt to the climate, feed, location and type of soil on which they are grown.
    1. RAMS as yearlings or approaching maturity should be 175 lbs. or more.
    2. EWES as yearlings or approaching maturity should be 140 lbs. or more.
  3. Form: Straight top line blending from the neck ending at a square rump. The body should be deep and broad although the animal should be narrower in the front than the rear.
  4. Quality: Bone should be strong but not coarse in character. Rams should look masculine and ewes feminine. Hair should be fine and the skin dark.

CONDITION (5 points)

  1. Flesh Covering: Animals should be shown in working condition.

HEAD AND NECK (5 points)

  1. Head: Large clear eyes; alert look; broad face with width between the ears. The poll should be covered with wool and free of horns and hair. The head should be carried high and be level between the ears. Ears should be rather thick. Nostrils should be black. The face should be relatively free of wool. Sheep with wool on the face must not be wool blind.
  2. Neck: Moderate length, smoothly joined with shoulders.


  1. Shoulders: Compact on top but not rough or sharp; joined smoothly with neck and body; covered moderately with flesh.
  2. Brisket: Full; round, but not overly extended.
  3. Legs: Front legs shall have a slight curvature above the knee, shall be straight from that point down and shall be wide set. Pasterns should be strong and upright. Hooves should be black.

BODY (10 points)

  1. Chest: Deep and wide.
  2. Ribs: Well sprung, long, and showing adequate capacity.
  3. Back: Broad although somewhat narrower in the front than the rear; the back should be straight with smooth blending from the neck and ending at a square rump.
  4. Loin: Wide and long.

HINDQUARTERS (10 points)

  1. Hips: Level, smooth, and wide apart.
  2. Rump: Long, level, and wide. Should not be a sloping rump.
  3. Thighs: Deep and full.
  4. Legs: Rear legs straight and wide set apart from a rear view; not post legged; should have a slight natural curve from side view. Pasterns should be strong and upright. Hooves should be black.
  5. Scrotum: The ram’s testicles should be large, even in size, and well developed.
  6. Udder: The ewe’s udder should be well formed, large and soft with evidence of two good teats.

WOOL (60 points)

  1. Quantity: Ewes should shear 8 pounds or more, and rams should shear 12 pounds or more per year with a yearly staple length of five inches or more. When shown, fleeces need to be of adequate length to display the Romney fleece characteristics and quality.
  2. Quality: Romney wool is dense and free opening in nature with a well defined crimp from butt to tip. Uniformity over the entire body and spinning count are most important. The fleece is lustrous; it hangs in separate locks with minimal cross fibers between the locks. Animals possessing kemp (hair-like fibers) should be discriminated against. Natural Colored Romney’s fiber should be pigmented. Variation or variegation of the shades of color within the fleece is permitted.
  3. Grade: Wool with a spinning count of 50 to 44 inclusive (equivalent to a fiber diameter of about 29 to 36 microns) is within the breed standard. No preference should be given to a coarser or finer fleece as long as it is within the breed standard.
  4. Condition: Fiber should be strong, clean, soft, and bright. Sheep which might have been rinsed with water 6-7 weeks before being shown should not be discounted providing they exhibit the characteristics of a Romney fleece.

Information on this page updated April 27, 2005

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