The development of this Katahdin Sheep began at the end of 1950. The United States imported sheep from the British Virgin Islands, which I cross with several species of wool.
Especially Suffolk, looking for fur. The prolificacy and robustness of the Caribbean sheep with the speed of growth of wool.
After 20 years of selection and crosses originated the species called Katahdin. Its name is due to the mount of that name in Maine.
In the mid-70s the Wiltshire Horn, an English breed to add size and breed quality, was added to the cross.
Characteristics Details of Katahdin Sheep:
Katahdin Sheep is a resistant, adaptable, low maintenance sheep that produce lambs for consumption with a high meat content and low fat.
These breeds don’t have wool, therefore, they do not need shearing. They are medium in size and very efficient. The color of its coat is very diverse and allows all combinations.
Sheep have an exceptional maternal ability and have calves easily. Lambs are born vigorous and alert. You May Also Like To Read Suffolk Sheep.
The breed is ideal for grazing, with excellent development in systems based on the combination of grass/forage.
The weight of a standing sheep, mature and in good condition fluctuates usually from 60 to 80 kilos. A mature ram should weigh from 80 to 110 kilos. The average weight of newborn twins is about 4 kg.
The lambs produced for consumption are of high quality, good muscle with low-fat and offer a very mild flavor. Lambs are comparable to other midsize males in their growth and appearance.
Lambs are ordered for special markets in a variety of ages and weight. The market requests lambs d between 35 and 40 kg, weight reached in 4 months.
The coat of the Katahdins varies individually in the length and the texture being able to be any color or combination of colors.
It usually consists of thick fibers on the outside and a base of fine wool fibers that thicken and lengthen when the days are shorter and temperatures drop.
This cover and some of the hairs naturally fall when the temperature increases. Thick ears medium and lateral. The color of this breed is white, pinto and cinnamon. Black spots are allowed but small. You May Also Like To Read White Polled Heath Sheep.
The Katahdin have shown great adaptability. In cold weather, they develop a layer of very thick winter hair which they lose during warmer seasons. So the soft coat and other adaptive characteristics allow them to tolerate heat and humidity well.
Furthermore, Katahdins are also significantly more tolerant to parasites than wool sheep and if handled carefully, only require a minimum treatment for the parasites.
The main food of the Katahdin Sheep is forage.
The Katahdin sheep usefulness is double, by its properties of good development of the meat. They also produce good quality wool.
The Katahdins have shown great adaptability. In cold weather, they develop a layer of very thick winter hair which they lose during the warmer seasons.
The soft coat and other adaptive characteristics allow them to tolerate heat and humidity well. Katahdins are also significantly more tolerant of parasites than sheep.
Katahdins sheep are docile therefore they are easy to handle. They exhibit a moderate instinct to group into herds.
The demands of Katahdin sheep are:
- For those who want to create sheep that do not require shearing.
- To producers living in areas where wool is a negative factor for adaptation or where the wool market is poor.
- For those who want to eat or sell top quality lamb meat with a mild taste.
- Dog trainers used to care for livestock.
- For land keepers looking for small ruminants that require low maintenance.
Females and males of this species exhibit early puberty and generally have a long productive life. Mature Sheep usually have twins, occasionally produce triplets.
A select and well-managed herd should double the amount of herd in lamb breeding. Rams are aggressive procreators, generally fertile throughout the year.
Furthermore, Katahdin sheep show strong maternal instinct. They usually give birth without any assistance and have enough milk for their young. It is very rare that they reject their young. You May Also Like To Read White Horned Heath Sheep.
When crossing the Katahdin species with other species which is very frequent, this results in sheep of larger size and higher meat production. Without losing fertility and easy handling of wool for not requiring shearing either.
Katahdin females are poli-estrus, that is, they can reproduce continuously. Without this, it depends on the season as it happens with the majority of the races of greater production carnica (races of wool).
So crossing intervals are 8 months or 3 times in 2 years. This breed naturally tolerates extreme climates and is capable of high behavior in a wide variety of environments.
As A Reference: Wikipedia