Looking for sheep and opinions

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by quailkeeper, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    This is my first post here :rolleyes: so bear with me. I am raising a few barbados right now and I think I'd like to switch to a larger, more docile breed. Don't get me wrong, I really like my barbados but I am raising them for meat and unfortunately there just isn't much there. I definitely want a hair breed. I have done some research and like the looks of the Katahdin (spelling?). Anyone have any personal opinions or experience they'd like to share on this breed? I'd like to find a breeder in Arkansas or eastern Oklahoma. Anyone know of one? Thanks!! :)
    Jennifer
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    We have a Katahdin flock and they are very docile, good mothers and easy to care for.
    Some of the ewes in our flock are a bit skiddish since they were originally raised without much human intervention. The lambs are much more used to us and they are more calm around humans. The rams have been great.
    One of the premier breeders and the head of the Katahdin Hair Sheep International registry happens to be in Arkansas!
    HERE IS HIS INFORMATION:

    KHSI Registry
    1039 Winrock Drive
    Morrilton, AR 72110
    501-727-5659
    edmartsolf@lakewebs.net
    Contact - Ed Martsolf, Registrar

    Good luck. Tell him Michael from North Hebron , NY gave you his name
     

  3. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Katahdins are wonderful. Start with tame ones, and you'll be in sheep heaven. I always made a point of going around with corn in my pockets, and my girls always ran up for treats.
     
  4. Have you checked out the Dorper sheep?

    shepmom
    not signed in
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Dropers ae more impressive meat makers, but CJ has it right. Treats make sweets. I do have a few friendly North County (she devil ) Cheviots
     
  6. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I want an easy-to-raise breed. The dorpers have to have their tails docked and sometimes have wool. I also want the light taste of the barbado and katahdin. Plus the katahdins usually have a higher lambing percentage, from what I've read. I'm pretty much sold on them but just wanted some opinions from people who had raised the katahdin and/or barbados.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    Quite right!
    Katahdins are definitely the "sheep whose time has come"!
    They are mild and they are easy to keep. Besides the tails look cool!!
    My girls lamb easily and they will eat just about anything you feed them.(sometimes too much of anything!)
    My only problem has been with one with a chronic digestive tract problem, that seems to have finally stopped, and without giving them treats they are a bit willful and skiddish. I really suggest that you contact Ed Martsolf in Arkansas; he is very knowledgable and will gladly answer all your questions. :cool:
     
  8. bcfarmer

    bcfarmer Member

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    I have 25 barbado sheep ,they were wild at first but when they are around you a couple times a day they tame down just like pets. they also are a lot wilder with the ram around so i keep him seperate.
    as far as the size goes barbs are easy keepers even if they aren't real big they still eat all the brush and pickers.
     
  9. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Like I said before I like my barbados :) My ewes eat treats out of my hands and stand still to let me brush them down daily. But it takes two barbados to equal one katahdin. I would like to put a couple in the freezer and sell the extra lambs to kind of pay the feed bill. But with the barbados there just isn't the weight and therefore the prices for them are small. I paid $50 a piece for my ewes and they were six months old at the time. And that was top dollor for them too (here). The Katahdin prices seem much better and especially if sent thru the sale since they pay per pound. I'd like to hear from someone who has raised them both and can compare them for me.
     
  10. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

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    :D Dorpers are every bit as mild flavored as the Katahdins as we raise both. The Dorper is definitely more tender! The tails on the Dorpers do not HAVE to be docked ~ they do just as well as the Katahdins with tails. They are very prolific, eat more diverse vegetation than the Katahdin, and literally gain on air! I have to feed my Katahdin ewes along when they have babies but NOT the Dorper ewes. We find the crossbreds shed out completely just like the Katahdins so that is not an issue there either. If you want to get to market fast and make the most profit ~ putting some Dorper (ANY amount) will greatly increase your weight gain rate. The Dorper cross ewes are also just as prolific, if not more! I have more twins on my yearling crossbreds than in my straight Katahdins. My neighbor has raised Barbados for 15 years and is now using Dorper/Katahdin cross rams to increase the size of her market lambs and replacement ewes with great success. :D
     
  11. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    " My neighbor has raised Barbados for 15 years and is now using Dorper/Katahdin cross rams to increase the size of her market lambs and replacement ewes with great success. " snip

    Sue,

    Is she having any problems with size of lambs at birth. ie. difficult delivery

    I'm currently looking at using a cross to increase the meat volume of the offspring, too. I'm eyeing some african genetics, but might consider a dorper/katahdin cross as ram for barbado ewes.
     
  12. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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  13. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

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    No, she has not had any trouble at all with lambing from our Dorper cross rams on her Barbado ewes.

    We have not had any trouble crossing fullblood Dorper rams on any size Katahdin ewes either. Actually, our pure Dorper and Dorper cross lambs are a little smaller than our purebred Katahdin lambs at birth but they just grow so much faster than the Katahdin lambs. We are able to market crossbreds at 4-5 months of age whereas in comparison, the pure Katahdins don't mature to market weight until around 7 months of age.

    We leave the tails and testicles on the market lambs as that is what the ethnic market wants the most and pays the best.
     
  14. Currently, I do not have to medicate the Barbado for anything. No clostridium injections, nothing.

    I've read most Dorper's get this injection. Would a Dorper/Katahdin and offspring need medicating?

    I have one Blackbelly/Katahdin ewe lamb, 5-6 months old.(the rest are all Barbado Blackbellies) I don't medicate her. She's doing fine.

    Shepmom
    not logged in
     
  15. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Trouble with Clostridial diseases is they all do great until they don't. Hard to know if its a true resistance or simply good luck (backed with good work on your part! Sheep kept well stay healthy as a rule) Still I look at vaccinations as the cheapest insurance out there.
     
  16. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    From what I've heard the Barbado in general do well. The reason I opted not to medicate was the breeder stated she didn't give any injections and she's had her flock since before 1996.

    I've been doing alot of reading on the African lines and the Red Massai with a strong tolerance against parasites that may futuristically prove beneficial to other breeds once the DNA testing/studies are completed.

    Ross, do you happen to know Helmut in western Canada?
     
  17. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Well I'm not great with names but no I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone in the west with that name.
     
  18. shepmom

    shepmom Well-Known Member

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    I ran across this interview with Helmut Lang on the Damara sheep.
    http://www.sheepmagazine.com/issues/03_04_03.html

    More information :

    http://www.damaradorperinwesterncanada.com/index.htm
    He told me the website hasn't been updated in awhile.

    "African sheep in the Monashee, as a first choice , are very hardy and parasite resistant. The main reason for the investment in the new breeds are health and the need for very little or no medication."

    The Barbado, overall, while hardier aren't as hardy as Helmut's african strains and BB.
    Anyway, I'm impressed with his management and operation in Canada!