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 2021 lambing we exposed 175 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.

 

2021 Lamb Crop Sires

Breeding started in the last week of October 2020 and we used seven rams for breeding, plus one ram for clean up. Seven of the total of eight rams used were ram lambs, we did this because we wanted to test / prove the performance of these ram lambs by looking at the performance of the offspring they produce. We want to keep our lambing window tight, so ewes are only exposed to the rams for 40 days. Ewes are put in with their ideal matches for 18 days and then the rams are pulled and a cleanup ram put in for the remaining 22 days. 90% plus of the ewes typically conceive in the first 17 days.

Growth and loin eye muscle depth tend to be antagonistic, larger weights are often recorded because of more frame rather  than meat / muscle. If you select for fast growing lambs, they will tend to have smaller loin eyes compared to slower growing lambs when measured at the same body weight. We have been measuring loin eye depth for a few years but have not based selection on it. This year we had a few ram lambs with good growth as well as loin eye muscle depth so we decided to breed them and see how their offspring perform. Don't worry, even though we used so many home grown lambs we plan our breeding pairings so that we stay under 3% inbreeding in the lambs. 

Below is an overview of the eight rams we used. We will add photos and additional information as the year progresses. The graph on the right for each ram shows their percentile ranking for key traits, you can hover your mouse over the chart to view the ranking and the EBV value.

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)

  • BWT - Birth Weight (Top / 100th percentile is highest BWT)

  • WWT - Weaning Weight (Top / 100th percentile is highest WWT)

  • MWWT - Maternal Weaning Weight (Top / 100th percentile is highest MWWT)

  • PWWT - Post Weaning Weight (Top / 100th percentile is highest PWWT)

  • WFEC - Weaning Fecal Egg Count (Top / 100th percentile is best WFEC)

  • PFEC - Post Weaning Fecal Egg Count (Top / 100th percentile is best PFEC)

  • PFAT - Post Weaning Fat Depth (Top / 100th percentile is lowest PFAT)

  • PEMD - Post Weaning Eye Muscle Depth (Top / 100th percentile is largest PEMD)

  • NLB - Number of Lambs Born (Top / 100th percentile is highest NLB)

  • NLW - Number of Lambs Weaned (Top / 100th percentile is highest NLW)

  • Hair Index - (Top / 100th percentile is highest Hair Index, also called Index or USA Hair Index)

NWT 18007 (6400522018NWT007)

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This was the second year that we used Skipper. Last year we borrowed him from Kathy Bielek of Misty Oaks Farm and ended up purchasing him. His performance is based on over 55 progeny that were tested in our two flocks. We will be lambing a few of his 2020 ewe lambs this year.

He produces lambs with high growth (WWT, PWWT), excellent parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC) and daughters that have good milk (MWWT).

GBR 0014 (6401552020GBR014)

GBR 0014 is a ram lamb out of our 2020 lamb crop. Based on his own performance and that of his bloodline he should produce offspring with good growth (WWT, PWWT), good parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC) and daughters that have excellent milk (MWWT). 

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GBR 0030 (6401552020GBR030)

GBR 0030 is a ram lamb out of our 2020 lamb crop. Based on his own performance and that of his bloodline he should produce offspring with good growth (WWT, PWWT), excellent parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC) and his loin eye (PEMD) tested very well for his level of growth.

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Ram Lamb Photo

GBR 0121 (6401552020GBR121)

GBR 0121 is a ram lamb out of our 2020 lamb crop. Based on his own performance and that of his bloodline he should produce offspring with high growth (WWT, PWWT) and excellent parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC). His maternal line is very prolific with lots of triplets and even quads as is reflected in his number of lambs born (NLB)

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Ram Lamb Photo

GBR 0208 (6401552020GBR208)

GBR 0208 is a ram lamb out of our 2020 lamb crop. Based on his own performance and that of his bloodline he should produce well rounded offspring with good growth (WWT, PWWT), good parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC) and daughters that have good milk (MWWT). He also has a deep loin eye depth (PEMD)

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GBR 0209 (6401552020GBR209)

GBR 0209 is a ram lamb out of our 2020 lamb crop. Based on his own performance and that of his bloodline he should produce well rounded offspring with good growth (WWT, PWWT), good parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC) and daughters that have good milk (MWWT). He also has a deep loin eye depth (PEMD)

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GBR 0216 (6401552020GBR216)

GBR 0216 is a ram lamb out of our 2020 lamb crop. Based on his own performance and that of his bloodline he should produce offspring with very high growth (WWT, PWWT) and decent parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC).

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GBR 0024 (6401552020GBR024)

GBR 0024 is a ram lamb out of our 2020 lamb crop that was used as the cleanup ram. Based on his own performance and that of his bloodline he should produce offspring with good growth (WWT, PWWT) good parasite resistance (WFEC, PFEC) and daughters that are more prolific (NLB) with good mothering to raise the lambs (NLW).

GBR 0024.JPG

Ram Lamb Photo