Get to Know our New Katahdin Sheep

By Eileen Watts, AFF Farm Manager

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you have visited the Farm recently or been on Facebook, you may have noticed that we got two new lambs this spring.  They are a recently developed breed of hair sheep that got its start in Maine.  In the 1950’s Michael Piel wanted a breed of trouble-free, good meat producing sheep to graze under power lines in his area.  He imported three African hair sheep breeds and started crossing them with many other breeds.  About 15 years later he came close to his goal, calling the result, Katahdin, after Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine.

After Piel’s death, Heifer Project International, an international livestock development charity, took an interest in his work and built a sizeable flock at their center in Arkansas through the 1980’s.  Today there is an international registry of Katahdin’s.  They are hardy, adaptable, low maintenance sheep.  They do not produce a fleece and therefore do not require shearing.  Their winter coat sheds in warm weather.  Their smooth hair summer coat and other adaptive characteristics allow them to tolerate heat and humidity well, which is great for our kind of summers.  They are naturally hornless and do not require tail docking.  They are significantly resistant to internal and external parasites, are docile and easily handled.  The ewes are excellent mothers and usually have twins.  They can be any color or combination of colors.

Our two males are white and were named Bo and Peep (voted on by you)!  These bottle-fed babes know and love people.  They came to us from our good friend, Jerry TePaske.

 

To show Bo and Peep your love, consider “adopting” them through our Barnyard Animal Adoption Program!