A noble animal, they sport a thick, long black coat and long mane, with some having a white muzzle. The Black Hawaiian has a large mane of hair on the neck, known as a “ruff”. In winter they may develop an outer coat of reddish wool that is shed in summer. Cross breeding has created a variety of color phases.
The massive horns on a mature ram curl up, back, down, forward, then up again and then tip out, Similar to an argali. Horns are usually dark and can grow to a length of over 40 inches, measured around the curl. Females will have only short horns if any at all. Rams may weigh as much as 225 lbs. and stand 30 inches at the shoulder.
They are very agile sheep and are at home in rugged habitats. The Black Hawaiian is primarily a browser, with its main diet consisting of grass, brush, and weeds. As with most horned sheep, dominance for breeding rights is determined by the mature rams fighting by crashing the horns together to determine a winner.
There are free-range herds in several states and can be found on private ranches through the lower 48 states and Hawaii.