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Discussion in 'Sheep' started by YuccaFlatsRanch, Jul 15, 2006.
What is the largest sized breed of hair sheep??
SA Dorper maybe?
I'm asking - not telling. I'd like to know! California Red sheep are a cross between Barbado and Tunis. I wonder why Dr. Glenn Spurlock chose Barbado to cross with the Tunis.
I have a Texel ram coming and wonder what "hair-wise" might be a good cross. I will cross in to my reds (Tex-Reds maybe??) and to my neighbors biggest Barbado ewes (Texados or Barba-Tex maybe) but something else hair-wise may be interesting also.
Ah well I was guessing not telling, mostly because hair sheep don't interest me much. Still the reliability of good meat traits in an F1 cross to anything has built in attention getters.
But reds have wool. At least the ones I've seen (else someones been pulling the wool over a hair sheep) Dorpers aren't that big they're comprable to barbados lambs. I'd say Santa clara or cruz sheep, can never remember the name, are your biggest woolless bullies.
Dr Spurlocks attempt with the Barbado/Tunis cross was to make a hair sheep with better meat characteristics. Didn't work, but got a great wool sheep with outstanding meat traits instead. Don't get me wrong, I love my Reds.
I'm wondering what would happen with a Texel/hair sheep cross.
We raise the Dorpers and switched to them from the Katahdins just for the simple fact that they are bigger and grow much faster. Mature rams typically weigh over 250 lbs., ewes, 220 lbs.
Lambs average 8 lbs at birth and we hit 90+ pounds at 16 weeks. The Katahdins are the second largest hair sheep in the US but it took eight months to hit 100 lbs with them. Dorpers seem to gain on air.
As for the Barbabo comparison, there is no comparison. Our neighbor has Barbados and they take two years to hit 80 - 100 lbs! She purchased a Dorper ram from us to put on her ewes and it helped some but Barbs are just so small in comparison to begin with.
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