Katahdin advice needed

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by horsehelper, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. horsehelper

    horsehelper Well-Known Member

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    We just bought 5 Katahdin sheep...2 rams & 3 ewes. Totally new to sheep, but have raised Nubian goats for several years. Am attaching pics of the sheep. Can anyone tell me if the horned ram is a Katahdin or a mix or ?? He is 10 months old according to the seller. The big white ram is a 3 yr old. Would you recommend keeping both rams, selling one, and if so, which one? We do plan to get more ewes in the very near future. Would like to end up with at least 10 this fall yet. Our goal is to use our undergrazed pasture and woods, and be able to market the lambs for meat. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading posts here, and feel confident about feeding, minerals, care etc. Thanks for any responses.
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  2. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Its not unusual for Katahdins to be horned. That ram looks AWFUL BIG to be 10 months old . If thats his true age he's going to be HUGE!!! Deciding which one to keep will come down to whether or not you want horned sheep since a lot of the Ram's traits will be passed on. I think if it were me Id keep the white one. Horns on an animal that size can get you hurt, and a couple of your ewes are white so you'd have matching sheep! LOL They are both good looking rams. Id sell one and get a wether to keep the other ram company unless you plan to keep them together all the time. Good luck with them all
     

  3. horsehelper

    horsehelper Well-Known Member

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    Well, his teeth are all still small, so I'm assuming he's under a year. My hubby thinks he's sooo cool, but I am concerned about the horns myself. I'm not making any effort to make friends with either ram, as I know they can get nasty. I do think he's pretty sharp looking, but my preference is to sell him, and keep old white "Charlie". So, anybody need a horned ram???
     
  4. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Wow! That's some set of horns there; nice and wide. Hard to tell in a photo how big the sheep are, IMO, and I know that icelandic rams can grow that quickly (their horns, that is.) My dh liked the horns on my sheep as well.

    My thought is, a ram who's after you is going to hurt you, horns or not. If he's stand-offish, moves out of your way, and you don't make him into a pet, you can probably get a couple breeding seasons out of him at the very least. If your hubby is only luke warm to the idea of sheep, I'd definitely keep him :p
     
  5. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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    I just sold 3 Katahdin rams, under a year, with similar horns. They were March babies and already bigger than their moms. You only need 1 ram with just 3 ewes. The brown one will throw more color and probably more horns than the white will. If it was me I would put the brown one in the freezer!

    Kathie
     
  6. jlo

    jlo Active Member

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    What are your genetics? You're not going to want to bred your spring ewes back to their father if you don't have to. Are the rams both related to the ewes and each other or do you have different bloodlines that would make both of them worth keeping? What are your long term breeding plans? Our sheep have horns, but we don't have aggressive rams so it's more of a help then a problem. We wouldn't have kept more than one ram our first year either, though. Since he's big and healthy you might want to try selling or trading him first. Perhaps for some more ewes?
     
  7. horsehelper

    horsehelper Well-Known Member

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    There are no papers on any of them, but judging from their eartags, they all are from different farms. IL, MO, and KY. I got them from a local man who had picked them up over a period of time to clear out his fence lines. We really didn't want two rams to begin with, but the guy wanted to sell all or none, so we figured we could get rid of one. It is tempting to keep him, as he is so cool, but need to be sensible, and I would rather go for the polled. Would like to get a nice small sized flock going on our 40 acres. We've been talking it over, and have pretty much decided to get rid of the horned ram. Would be willing to trade him for a ewe, but will probably take him to the livestock sale if we don't sell him soon. We are located in S.E. MO if anyone would be interested.
     
  8. elgordo

    elgordo Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful looking animals - if I were you I'd keep the hornless one. In fact I didn't know that Katahdin are horned (neither mine or any other one I've seen around here are). If you are concerned about the ram becoming aggresive you can buy a ram shield (mid-states wool growers or preimier 1 has them). I used it on my old ram AFTER he knocked me off my feet! They work great!
     
  9. kit

    kit Well-Known Member

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    You can sometimes get the odd horned Katahdin ram. I have been raising them for 9 years, and have only had 1 rack of horns. But they do happen - it is a through back to being crossed with the Wiltshire Horned sheep when they were first being developed by Micheal Piel.

    Horns don't really matter for commercial purposes, but they can pass them on to their offspring. If you were running purebreds, you would not be able to register him. So, it is really up to your personal choice.

    And, yes he looks about 10 months old. I have 8 month old ram lambs that are weighing 160 pounds so I would say he looks about right at least from what I can tell from the picture.