Selecting Katahdin Hair Sheep For Sale

By James Campbell

The domestication of animals is said to be one of the most crucial happenings that have taken place in the history of man. Sheep are included in the fold even though they were not the first animals to be domesticated by man. A number of different breeds of sheep exist worldwide. There are those that are indigenous while others are exotic. For example, katahdin is an indigenous sheep found in Maine, USA. Choosing katahdin hair sheep for sale.

History shows that this breed of domestic sheep derives its name from the highest peak of Mount Katahdin. Its emergence in the United States is placed in the 1950s. In order to achieve various desirable characteristics seen today various breeds of sheep were cross bred. Among the breeds used were Wiltshire Horn, Suffolk and St. Croix sheep. The animals used were selected basing on factors like flocking instinct, high fertility, meat-type conformation, and hair coat.

The popularity of this breed soared in America and other parts of the world for various reasons. First, for commercial shepherds and anyone else they do not require shearing. Shearing can be expensive in some parts and also considering the low price of wool. The hair coat trait is thought to have come from their St. Croix sheep ancestors.

It is recorded that in order to improve the size and quality of katahdins, the first breeder introduced an Englinsh descent sheep, the Wiltshire Horn. Mature ewes weigh between 125 and 185 pounds and since rams are larger, they weigh about 180 to 250 pounds. At birth, a young one is usually about 8 pounds but can weigh more or less depending on a number of factors.

An additional key trait passed down from the ancestors of the katahdin sheep is resistance against parasites. They are highly tolerant to both internal and external parasites. As a result, if proper care is provided, less parasite treatment will be needed. The implication is that they are cheap but very productive.

The productivity of this breed is almost comparable to none considering that ewes and rams exhibit early puberty. Besides this, they have long productive life. It is quite normal for fully grown ewes to have twins and occasional quadruplets or triplets. The protective mothering instinct of ewes is quite strong. Most of them do not need assistance with lambing.

Ewes are mostly able to produce a lot of milk for their lambs. They hardly ever neglect their young ones as a result of strong mothering instinct. Rams are fertile all year round. For this reason, they are able to settle high numbers of ewes by the first cycle. When the selection is done well, a flock should have the capacity to give rise to new young ones throughout the year.

To finalize, this breed is hardy and therefore can adapt to a wide range of environments. In cold climates, they grow winter coats which provide protection against the cold. On the other hand, their hair coats enable them to tolerate and thrive in places with high temperatures. They can be raised under forage/grass management systems or pasture lambing.

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