The Katahdin is a unique breed of sheep developed to
efficiently & economically produce meat. In the 1950's,
Michael Piel of Maine saw a need for a hardy meat sheep,
which would not require shearing. To achieve this end, Piel
imported a small number of Virgin Island sheep to cross with
some of his existing flock of traditional sheep. His goal
was to combine the hardiness, prolificacy and shedding hair
coat of the Virgin Island sheep with the carcass
conformation and growth rate of the British breeds. After 20
years of crossbreeding, Piel eventually assembled a flock he
called Katahdin (pronounced Ka-TAH-din) named after Mt.
Katahdin in Maine.
What do they look like?
Katahdins are a medium size sheep that come in any color or
color pattern. The ideal Katahdin is polled and has a coat
that sheds completely seasonally. It is a heavily muscled
animal with strong bone, long loin, good depth, good overall
size and proportionally balanced throughout. The thick dense
coat that protects them so well in the winter sheds to a
short, clean hair coat in the spring.
What about Size?
A mature ram ranges in size from 200-250+ lbs.
A mature ewe ranges fro 150-180+ lbs.
How about their lambing ability?
Katahdin ewes are long seasonal breeders. A
well-managed, selected flock can produce a 200% lamb
crop. The ewes are noted for their ample milk
production, easily raising twins or even triplets.
The strong maternal characteristics and the vigor of
the newborn lamb add to the shepherd's ease at
lambing time. With correct feed management, the ewes
are easy lambers with twin lambs generally weighing
Being raised as a meat animal, the important quality
is the lamb's finish. Katahdins produce a naturally
lean, well-muscled carcass. The meat has a
distinctive mild flavor, desirable for the gourmet
market. Lambs generally reach market weight in 4-6
months although with good management and genetics,
ram lambs can reach 100 lbs in 100 days.
What contributes to their low
The winter coat naturally sheds each spring;
therefore there is no need to shear.
Tidy hair placement around the udder
eliminates the need to crutch prior to lambing.
Tail docking is not required because there
is no concern about feces attachment.
Having developed from tropical breeds, with
proper management, Katahdins posses a
significantly higher degree of parasite
Calm in temperament with moderate flocking
tendencies, making them easy to handle.
Because of the naturally mild flavor of the
Katahdin lamb, some producers find it
unnecessary to castrate.
Katahdin ewes have a high fertility rate.
They are generally easy lambers and excellent
things you'll need:
Pour 3 cups of the
milk out of the gallon
Now pour in the evaporated
milk and the
Fill the rest of the jug with
the whipping cream. By whipping cream I mean the stuff
you buy in the quart container that's essentially
straight cream. Shake well. You're done!
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