black hawThere is some controversy on how the Black Hawaiian breed was started.  Some say it is a cross of Mouflon and black hair sheep from the Hawaiian islands.  Others say they are Barbados with a dilution of the red color gene making them black.  They have a thick black coat and are usually black all over, although some sport a white muzzle.  Like the other species of sheep of this type, the horns grow up, back, down, forward, up again, and then tip out.  The horns of young males are jet black, but can turn brown to light tan as they age.  Horns can grow to length of 40+ inches.  Females are often devoid of horns.  Black Hawaiians have a mane that ranges from 3 to 8 inches.  Males can weigh up to 140 to 150 pounds while females usually weigh about half that much.


Food Habits

The Black Hawaiian is primarily a browser, feeding on weeds and occasionally tender grass shoots.  Often prefer brush and weeds to green grasses.  During the summer months, the sheep will water daily.  During colder months, they may go up to 3 days without taking water.


As males mature, breeding dominance is established by fighting.  As with most horned sheep, fighting consists of a series of  head butts to determine a winner.  Most breeding and conception takes place in August and September.  Lambing season can begin as early as February and continues into March.

Keeping Black Hawaiian

Because they shed their woolly undercoat in winter months, these sheep do not require shearing.  This natural shedding and slick hair coat in the summer also lends to warding off external parasites.  They have a natural resistance to worms and other sheep illnesses. Do not require tail docking.  Their agility enables them to thrive in various terrains, including steep, rocky hillsides.

Black Hawaiian Ram Hunting

Expect to pay anywhere from $1500 to $2500 for a trophy-caliber ram.  Management ram hunts can be found for $500 or less.  The average cost for a trophy black hawaiian is ~ $1750.  Check out our ‘Find A Hunt’ section for featured outfitters.