Registered Katahdin Hair Sheep Breeding Stock

All our sheep are 100% grass fed, we do not feed any grain or grain byproducts to our ewes, rams or lambs. We practice rotational grazing on perennial pastures during the spring, summer and fall and feed grass/legume mix hay over the winter. We want efficient sheep that have very good parasite resistance, grow well on forage/grass and can flourish with minimal inputs. We want adult ewes that can produce at least twin lambs and raise them successfully in this management system. We expect our ewe lambs to be mature enough to be bred at 7 months old and raise at least one lamb. For 2020 lambing we will be breeding over 140 ewes and ewe lambs for lambing in March and April.

We typically cull the worst performing 10-15% of our ewes every year and replace them with ewe lambs that should perform better based on their EBVs (Estimated Breeding Value) and performance data. We select the ewe lambs we use for replacements as well as the ewe lambs we offer for sale from the top 50% of our ewe lamb crop. The ram lambs that we retain for breeding or sell as breeding stock is out of the top 10% of our ram lamb crop.

The EBVs calculated by NSIP (National Sheep Improvement Program) based on our performance data and genetic links to other breeders in NSIP provide us with a way to quantify the genetic merit of each animal we are evaluating as potential breeding stock.

Our selection process makes use of all the performance data for growth (birth, weaning and post weaning, yearling and hogget weight), parasite resistance (weaning and post weaning fecal egg counts), maternal traits (scrotal circumference, number of lambs born, lamb survival, mothering and milk production) as well as carcass traits (ultrasound measured loin eye depth and fat cover) that we collect. Documented parasite resistance based on multiple fecal egg counts are very important to us when it comes to selection of parasite resistant breeding stock. This data is made available to potential breeding stock buyers to help them with the decision making process. We are happy to discuss your goals and make suggestions about which traits to emphasize in selection of breeding stock best suited to your farm.

Our ram and ewe lamb list for 2020 is already full, we sell and keep the top 10% of ram lamb so the list is relevantly short. Please contact us if you have questions about our animals, process or if you want to discuss potentially purchasing breeding stock from us in 2021.

 

We now have a short list of candidates that buyers that are on the ram lamb selection list can pick from.

2020 Lamb Crop Sires

Breeding started in the last week of October 2019 and we used six rams for breeding, plus one ram for clean up. We want to keep our lambing window tight, so ewes are only exposed to the rams for 34 days (two 17 day cycles). Ewes are put in with their ideal matches for 20 days and then the rams are pulled and a cleanup ram put in for the remaining 14 days. 90% plus of the ewes typically conceive in the first 17 days.

Three of the seven rams are yearling rams that sired lambs on our farm in 2019, we tested the growth and parasite resistance of all their lambs in 2019. We bred some of their daughters for 2020 lambing to get a better idea of the genetic merit of the maternal traits they pass on to their daughters. 

We borrowed NWT 18007 (Skipper) from Misty Oaks Farm, he sired lambs at Misty Oaks Farm in 2019 where some of his daughters will be tested in 2020 while we get a chance to utilize this promising ram bred by Hound River Farm. During 2019 we acquired a few additional ewes from Misty Oaks Farm as well as Downing Acres to help increase the diversity of our ewe flock.

WHK 1352

230 Offspring Tested

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2020 will be Midnights fourth lamb crop on our farm. We really like his offspring and fortunately we have diverse enough genetics that we can keep using him without inbreeding.

He brings excellent growth and good parasite resistance to our lamb crop. As an added bonus he also produces great colored lambs. Midnight is bred to 24 ewes/ewe lambs this fall.

Midnight is on the 2019 Katahdin Proven Sire Trait Leader List for Weaning Weight (Ranked number 8) and Post Weaning Weight (Ranked number 7)

Midnight has genetic potential (EBVs) that rank high in NSIP

  • Top 1% Weaning Weight (WWT)

  • Top 1% Post Weaning Weight (PWWT)

  • Top 35% Weaning Fecal Egg Count (WFEC)

  • Top 45% Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (PFEC)

  • Top 40% Number of Lambs Weaned (NLW)

  • Top 30% Number of Lambs Born (NLB)

  • Top 1% Scrotal Circumference (PSC)

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BUL 18403

(Picture taken as ram lamb)

35 Offspring Tested

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2020 will be Morgans second lamb crop on our farm. We purchased Morgan as a ram lamb from Red Barn Katahdins in 2018 and he produced nice lambs for us in 2019. We are looking forward to seeing what his daughters produce in 2020.

Morgan has good growth and parasite resistance with excellent milk. He is bred to 33 ewes/ewe lambs.

Morgan has genetic potential (EBVs) that rank high in NSIP

  • Top 5% Weaning Weight (WWT)

  • Top 2% Post Weaning Weight (PWWT)

  • Top 25% Weaning Fecal Egg Count (WFEC)

  • Top 15% Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (PFEC)

  • Top 25% Number of Lamb Weaned (NLW)

  • Top 2% Maternal Weaning Weight (MWWT)

  • Top 5% USA Hair Index

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GBR 8202

(Picture taken as ram lamb)

36 Offspring Tested

Quick View

Pitbull is a 2018 son of Midnight. His name reflects his shape and luckily not his personality. 2020 will be his second lamb crop on our farm. We are looking forward to see what his daughters produce in 2020 as well as seeing how his son Duane does.

He has his father's excellent growth and good parasite resistance but adds better milk production in his daughters. Pitbull is bred to 27 ewes/ewe lambs.

Pitbull is on the 2019 Katahdin Proven SIre Trait Leader List for Post Weaning Weight (Ranked number 11)

Pitbull has genetic potential (EBVs) that rank high in NSIP

  • Top 1% Weaning Weight (WWT)

  • Top 1% Post Weaning Weight (PWWT)

  • Top 20% Weaning Fecal Egg Count (WFEC)

  • Top 20% Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (PFEC)

  • Top 40% Maternal Weaning Weight (MWWT)

  • Top 1% Scrotal Circumference (PSC) 

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MOF 1837

36 Offspring Tested

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2020 will be James second lamb crop on our farm. We purchased him from Misty Oaks Farm in 2018 and he produced really nice lambs for us in 2019 and we are looking forward to seeing what his daughters produce in 2020. 

James brings exceptional parasite resistance with moderate growth and good milk. He is bred to 30 ewes/ewe lambs.

James is on the 2019 Katahdin Proven Sire Trait Leader List for Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count

(Ranked number 5)

James has genetic potential (EBVs) that rank high in NSIP

  • Top 40% Weaning Weight (WWT)

  • Top 50% Post Weaning Weight (PWWT)

  • The Best Weaning Fecal Egg Count (WFEC)

  • Best Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (PFEC)

  • Top 30% Maternal Weaning Weight (MWWT)

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NWT 18007

27 Offspring Tested

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Skipper is visiting with us for the 2019 breeding season. He is owned by Kathy Bielek of Misty Oaks Farm. He produced lambs for her in the spring of 2019 and Kathy is testing his daughters this upcoming lambing season. The plan is for Skipper to return to Ohio next year. Thank you for trusting us with Skipper, we are looking forward to seeing what he can do here.
 

Skipper brings good growth with excellent parasite resistance and milk. He is bred to 29 ewe/ewe lambs this fall

Chip has genetic potential (EBVs) that rank high in NSIP

  • Top 40% Weaning Weight (WWT)

  • Top 25% Post Weaning Weight (PWWT)

  • Top 5% Weaning Fecal Egg Count (WFEC)

  • Top 10% Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (PFEC)

  • Top 25% Number of Lambs Weaned (NLW)

  • Top 30% Number of Lambs Born (NLB)

  • Top 4% Maternal Weaning Weight (MWWT)

  • Top 4% USA Hair Index

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GBR 9122

(Picture taken as ram lamb)

0 Offspring Tested

Quick View

Duane is one of the ram lambs that we are using this year. His sire is Pitbull out of a wonderful MOF ewe.

Duane brings excellent growth and milk as well as good parasite resistance. He is bred to 24 ewes/ewe lambs.

 

We were watching the Rugby World Cup tournament when thinking of names for our ram lambs. Duane Vermeulen  was man of the match for the final game of the tournament.

Duane has genetic potential (EBVs) that rank high in NSIP

  • Top 4% Weaning Weight (WWT)

  • Top 4% Post Weaning Weight (PWWT)

  • Top 35% Weaning Fecal Egg Count (WFEC)

  • Top 35% Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (PFEC)

  • Top 4% Maternal Weaning Weight (MWWT)

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GBR 9110

(Picture taken as young ram lamb)

0 Offspring Tested

Quick View

Peter is the ram lamb that we used for clean up. He is a son of Morgan. His mother (Chloe) is a prolific ewe know for her excellent mothering abilities and this was her fourth lambing on our farm. He is one of a set of quadruplets, which is too much to ask a ewe to raise on grass alone. Two of Peters siblings were raised by a ewe that lost her lambs at birth.

Peter brings good growth and parasite resistance with high numbers of lambs born.

Peter has genetic potential (EBVs) that rank high in NSIP

  • Top 25% Weaning Weight (WWT)

  • Top 20% Post Weaning Weight (PWWT)

  • Top 20% Weaning Fecal Egg Count (WFEC)

  • Top 15% Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (PFEC)

  • Top 10% Number of Lambs Born (NLB)

  • Top 20% Number of Lambs Weaned (NLW)

  • Top 50% Maternal Weaning Weight (MWWT)

  • Top 25% USA Hair Index

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