What Are Hair Sheep??
Katahdins are one of several breeds of sheep that are bred only for meat. They have a short, woolly hair coat that sheds each year (just like wild sheep do!), so they require no shearing. Katahdins are a unique breed that’s not bred for appearance or a show standard derived from aesthetic traits, but rather they are selected for their production traits. Any hair color is acceptable, and variations of white, brown, black and spotted are common. They produce good flavored, lean carcass that’s said to be milder than many other wool lamb breeds. Not only popular in ethnic markets, Katahdin lamb will impress even the most avid American beef fans!
Great Producers, Hardy Animals with Stable Temperaments
Katahdins typically produce a 200-300% lamb crop and can often produce three crops in two years, due to a more frequent breeding cycle. Katahdins generally lamb freely without assistance and exhibit excellent mothering capability. They are easy-care sheep and very suitable for pasture lambing situations.
Katahdins are resilient in all types of weather conditions and more resistant to hoof rot and parasites than many sheep breeds.
Katahdins are very docile and calm sheep, which makes them easy to handle, ideal for small farms, 4-H and FFA projects, and for stock dog training. For herding training, they are “light” sheep on which to work dogs, but they are sensible- they never run into fences in a panic. They are brave sheep and will face-off a threat: we’ve even seen ours sniff noses with a coyote pup!
Registered Animals, Quality Breeding
Our animals are all registered with the Katahdin Hair Sheep International. We are currently registered with the USDA Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP). Our breeding rams are usually DNA-typed “RR”; which means that all their progeny are scrapie-resistant. We feel that keeping quality animals, meticulous records and carefully planned pedigrees is the best way to ensure that each generation of animals gets better and better.
Naturally Farmed, The Old-Fashioned Way
Our sheep are fed year-round on a grass diet; their only supplementation is some whole grain corn-barley while they are pregnant and nursing lambs, and always-available mineral salts and kelp. We only use de-wormers and antibiotics when they are truly warranted (which is rare) and never as a preventive measure. Our animals live on a farm the old-fashioned way- in open graze, outdoors, year-round. They are well cared for throughout their lives, we can observe them from our kitchen window, and they humanely butchered at a close-by family butcher.
We often have breeding sheep for sale, both ewes and rams. Check out our For Sale page for what’s available! Now is a great time to be raising sheep, the demand in the U.S. is very high. Check out the American Sheep Industry Association’s TwoPlus website for more information on the call to “Grow Our Flock.”