hair sheep

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by MaKettle, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    416
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    An ad in the paper advertises some Barbadoes, Katahdin, and Painted Desert. I have checked a site on sheep breeds, but nothing is mentioned concerning temperament. The Painted Desert is just beautiful. I want something easy to handle, and am attracted to the idea of no-shear. (Just the thought causes my back to cramp up.) On the other hand, I don't want something the requires a knock down-drag-out fight to trim hooves, etc. Just hate beiing dragged. Also want something safe to be around--we are no longer spry enough to dodge quickly. Also be nice if they could be herded rather than scatter. And last, but not least, how do they cook up? Taste like lamb? Chicken? Old goat?
     
  2. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri Ozarks
    Go for the Katahdins, they are the most gentle of the group and herd well. If you want color, add a Dorper ram (also a hair sheep) and you will get lots of black and white spots. There are also many multi colored Katahdins for variety.

    The taste of hair sheep is much milder than that of wool sheep. If you like it strong ~ you won't like hair sheep flavor. On the other hand, most non-lamb eaters LOVE the taste of hair sheep since it is so mild. I would compare it more to the taste of a pork chop. Of course, the way it is fed also will make some difference. Grass fed has a little stronger flavor than grain fed.
     

  3. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    416
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Thanks, Sue!. Thats's just the sort of information I'm looking for.
     
  4. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Their temperament all depends on how they were raised. My barbados are so gentle!! I have one about to lamb and she lets me walk up, lift her tail, check her udder, listen to her baby etc. I have three katahdins that I bought at two months old that are pretty gentle, they don't like anything to be touched but their noses. However, I just bought some katahdins that are so wild they cleared a five foot fence like it was nothing. And bolt at any sign of people. I'm not sure but I think the painted deserts are just some kind of cross between the two.
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    Soay probably have a slower hoof growth, but are loose flockers. If you make a corridor with fencing over broken rock, that will lessen the hoof trimming. I've not had to trim my sheep feet in four years.
     
  6. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    416
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Pictures of the barbados ram look like a really scary customer. I suppose the rams of any sheep breed are potentially hazardous. Since the barbados is polyestrous, is the ram in a rutty mood most of the time? How does that work? I've had goats in the past, and the two bucks were smelly but sweet except in the fall. Rams don't have the disgusting smell-producing habits of goats, do they?
     
  7. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    My barbado ram only weighed about seventy pounds. They are very small sheep. I'm not sure what you mean by scary, the horns maybe? They only breed the ewes when they come in heat. They're not "rutty". I love the smell of my sheep and can't tell a difference in the ram and ewes. They smell like horses to me. I've always heard that goats stink, don't think I want to find out :haha: .
     
  8. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Even though they can breed anytime during the year, generally they have their babies in Feb/Aug, March/Sept, or April/Oct.
     
  9. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    <<I want something easy to handle, and am attracted to the idea of no-shear. (Just the thought causes my back to cramp up.) On the other hand, I don't want something the requires a knock down-drag-out fight to trim hooves, etc. Just hate beiing dragged. Also want something safe to be around--we are no longer spry enough to dodge quickly. Also be nice if they could be herded rather than scatter. And last, but not least, how do they cook up? Taste like lamb? Chicken? Old goat? >>

    I have ABS (per BBSAI definition) aka Barbado. They are said to have a nervous personality and initially they do. They are very curious and cautious. You can't herd them, but with a bucket of grains they'll follow you around like a puppy dog.

    I need to check hoofs when the weather warms up, assuming I'm physically able.(I've had such a bad time since last June) My only experience is watching the gal I purchased mine from in 2003. They won't drag you, but they might kick you inadvertently. They wiggle. I bought a device that I can'ty recall what it's called from Premier, but it holds at least the head and front hoofs which will help.
    Dh hasn't started on making smaller pens so I'll have to catch them with grain, then check and trim if need be. We want to add a cemented area in the barn where the hay racks are in hopes it'll help trim somewhat naturally in the future.

    Rams are like all other rams.....they need to be watched. Never turn your back on him and don't treat him like a pet as a lamb. You might want to consider hiring one for breeding, if you don't want to risk being butted. Thus far it hasn't been a terrible problem for us. If the ewes are in heat, the ram is more hormonal and wants to butt. No bad smells. They all smell the same. Pleasant, no offensive odor.

    Our first ram was culled in November at age, ~16 mo. He tastes good. Mild meat. Doesn't require strong spices, plain ole salt and pepper works and other spices as the tastebuds desire. :D
     
  10. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,108
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Washington State
    They can. I used a borrowed ram last year, he was 2 and there was no smell. This year he came back for another visit and there was definitely a bit of an odor that came along with him! Once he was gone, so was the smell. It wasn't so bad that I could smell him from across the field, but get within 50 feet and you could tell he was there :)
     
  11. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    465
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    My barbados can be easily herded and handled. They will let you catch them with out tricking them or cornering them. Like I said its all in how they were raised and how much time you spend with them. Perhaps the smell is something that is developed when they get older? You would think it would come on when they hit sexual maturity though. Maybe it is a breed thing.
     
  12. kit

    kit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    All I can tell you about are our Katahdins - haven't tried any other breeds. But, all of our sheep are very docile. Some are almost annoying when they come and kick you or chew at you so that you pet them.... Others just stay back from you. But, they are easy to work with, we just run them down a home made runway and my husband holds them and I pick up a leg and trim or vaccinate or what ever we are doing. They seem to know the drill already and it is easy. No big fights at all, not even with the rams. But, if you raise your ram like a pet they will not respect you either once they are old. And, they will butt you if you turn your back. I have rams that we show and they are always a challenge once they are older. But, the rams we don't work with just stay away from you.

    All in all I would say they are pretty easy to handle. Last year, I even gave the booster vaccine to 50 head of yearling ewes myself as my husband just didn't have time to help. I'm not a big person and our ewe lambs are all over 120 pounds by 7 months (which is more than me!)so I guess that would make them easy to handle....

    Just my thoughts on the subject.......
     
  13. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    You hit the nail on the head. I have Barbados and they are dog gentle. One of my ewes will put her front hooves on my chest and let me rub her behind the ears and feed her cookies. My big ram loves to have me scratch him between his horns. The whole bunch will come running when I whistle and will follow me anywhere I want to go. Even up in a trailer. A couple of them I will even let out of the pasture in my yard and they will follow me around. When I am ready to put them up I can just open the gate and they follow me in.