Animals don’t grow as fast but don’t need to with milder winters and longer growing season. They’re too small to be of commercial value. This cold-hardy sheep … We both work off the farm; therefore time is a commodity in short supply. May-June lambs on pasture alone (10-13 percent protein and 60-65 percent DOM) will average 45 pounds. The Katahdin breed is a woolless sheep bred for the sole purpose of efficiently producing meat. We have an 18-cell planned grazing system with 10,000 feet of electric fence and 5,000 feet of underground waterline on 35 acres. It’s also common to see animals of up to a year old climbing to the top of a big bale of hay. Libyans prefer old worn out buck goats for their “stronger flavor”. Fact: In central Missouri, raising sheep for wool has been a losing proposition for a number of years. With wool sheep, 1/3 of your feed goes into the production of wool, so consequently the Katahdin requires much less feed for the same amount of meat-growth. They exhibit a natural tolerance of climatic extremes and are capable of high performance in areas that vary in geography, temperature, and humidity, as well as feed and forage systems. For example, we consider time spent worming, shearing, docking and trimming hooves as merely maintaining an operation.If this same time is spent building homestead fencing, water systems, improving lambing or handling facilities, it’s improving an operation. It is also expensive when compared to Hogget and Mutton. As with any young growing animal, the weight gains of a Katahdin lamb increase as the protein and digestibility of the forage increases. This may or may not be the case in other states. While I can’t speak for other hair sheep breeds, Katahdin sheep are often more “flighty” than many other breeds: Several producers of both hair and wool animals have found coyote losses are considerably lower with Katahdins. For a number of years, there has been a good export market for ewe lambs going to Mexico. When the weather’s hot and the pastures are dry, their wool animals will be under a tree while the hair animals are out grazing. For registered breeding stock, permanent wooly fibers are a no-no. (Grabbing a Romanov that’s been walking through cockleburs is like wrestling with a 130-pound cocklebur.). Katahdin sheep and Dorper are bred as meat sheep breeds. Our orphan officially has a name. This balanced and mild flavor is due in part to less lanolin or wool fat. For example, we consider time spent worming, shearing, docking and trimming hooves as merely maintaining an operation. Several Polypay owners in the area worm all animals 6-8 times during the summer and still lose animals to stomach worms. Though many people taste no difference between the two, meat from Katahdin hair sheep often appeals to people who don’t normally eat lamb from wool sheep. It is also expensive when compared to Hogget and Mutton. Mom showed up later looking for her precious treasure. Dorper lambs have amazing growth rates when young. We’ve found that while genetics play an important role in weight gains, flock management, parasite control, forage quality and forage availability seem to be more important when it comes to the bottom line. Our grass-fed ewes normally go into the fall with a body score of 4-5, which makes flushing difficult: Adult Katahdin sheep can maintain themselves on poor quality forage that had our Romanovs literally skin and bones. Docking tails is unnecessary, although you still see some “old timers” that dock just because they always have. The majority of ewe lambs are sold as registered breeding stock; the majority of ram lambs are sold for slaughter. Now meat sheep producers are lucky if wool prices cover shearing costs. Since Missouri has more Katahdin sheep than any other state, the majority of export animals come from here. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. The meat may be eaten hot or cold, after cooking, and may be readily substituted in most beef or pork recipes. A Katahdin ewe will average between 140-180 pounds, while Dorper ewes will average 160-200 pounds. Breeding stock is selected under rigorous criteria, including parasite resistance, hair coat, growth characteristics on grass alone and general thriftiness. Lamb from hair sheep has a wonderful, mild taste. To be successful, you must sell quality, and I stress quality animals; send anything else to slaughter. As mentioned earlier, there’s no price discount for Katahdin sheep or Dorper sheep in central Missouri. We are in the process of installing another 10,000 feet of electric fence on 25 acres that will result in another nine paddocks. To properly flush a ewe, she should be on an upward nutritional plane and gaining weight. People converting to hair sheep breeds all notice certain things. Our spring lambs on pasture alone (17-20 percent protein and 65-72 percent digestible organic matter-“DOM”) will average 55-60 pounds. This has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with the latitude in which the animal lives: Things being equal, our weights will be lower than the weights of similar Katahdins raised in Canada, but higher than ones raised in Florida. Or cross some Dorper into the Katahdin, I've had good luck with that meat as well (though I don't like managing Dorpers). Several myths still surround hair sheep. Plans for the future include a larger lambing/working shed-currently under construction, later lambing to reduce cold weather losses (10 percent death loss for everything combined, stillborn, drowning in water tank, mashed, runts, etc. We both work off the farm; therefore time is a commodity in short supply. As mentioned earlier, hair sheep breeds are considerably more heat-tolerant than wool breeds. The desire to climb mandates the use of a bale ring to prevent excessive waste. At 90 days, we’ve had November-December lambs on pasture, hay and whole grain (corn or milo) average 75 pounds. The first generation grows quite well due to the heterosis effect, but nearly always has a wool coat. While Dorper sheep are considered a hair breed, I’ve found a large number have quite a bit of wool or curly fibers in their coat. As a bit of trivia, the majority of cull ewes the U.S. exports go to the Mexico City area. Since this is a hair sheep, they have less wool and the body produces less lanolin. © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Extract Natural Dye for Wool from Goldenrod Plants, Why Teach Classes on How to Knit, Spin, Weave or Felt, Countryside Machinery on the Homestead e-edition Flip Book. As mentioned earlier, the Katahdin breed has served us well. This is a very good article to read and understand the secrets of Raising Katahdin Sheep, Your email address will not be published. So would a 3 or 4 or 5, etc.... year old. (A friend with Polypay and Katahdin sheep has had the same experience. We prefer using forage to produce lambs rather than wool. We are currently running 130 registered ewes with 10 commercial ewes that will be dispersed this year. The bunny crop is excellent this year. Bosnians want 60-pound animals while Muslims often prefer 60-80 pound animals. Katahdin sheep are perfect for people who want to raise easy-care livestock, says Jim Morgan, breed secretary for the Katahdin Hair Sheep International (KHSI). Most Muslims prefer intact ram lambs without tails being docked. Katahdins are excellent mothers raising multiple lambs. Blue Ribbon Bunny got her title via Disney's Sophia The First, who also has a blue ribbon bunny named Clover. Our spring lambs require 4-5 pounds of dry matter forage to produce each pound of gain. A year and many dollars later, they can’t understand why the ram’s offspring doesn’t grow any faster than the rest of their animals. Hogget – The sheep meat at second year(two permanent incisors teeth) Mutton – The older sheep meat (more than two permanent incisors teeth) Nowadays Lamb is the most consumed form of sheep meat as it is the most tender meat. High latitudes (up north) have a short growing season with long daylight periods and fast grass growth that is high in protein and low in fiber. In 2001, my friend with Polypay paid $2 to shear $.50 worth of wool per animal. You never get mutton, no matter what the age you butcher at as there is no lanolin to soak into the meat to make the tallow taste that way. Our experienced ewes averaged 2.1 lambs/ewe born with 1.9 weaned.