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Katahdin Questions and Answers

What do you want to know?


How many Katahdins per acre?


As a rule of thumb you can say 6-8 sheep are equivalent to 1 cow. So, if you're running 1 cow per acre on unirrigated land in Georgia you could potentially run an average of 7 sheep per acre. Figuring out the financials depends on management, input costs, and marketing at sale time, but one can conservatively estimate having 5-14 lambs to market off those 7 ewes every 8-12 months.



How big do Katahdin sheep get?


Katahdins are a medium sized, lean breed of meat sheep. They are a heavily muscled animal with strong thick legs, long loin, and good depth. Weights of mature ewes (in good body condition) range from 125 to 180 pounds. Rams usually range in weight from 180 to 250 lbs. Though many are sold at lighter weights, I generally grow my slaughter lambs to a finished weight of 100-160 pounds.


What is their temperament like?


Katahdins tend to be docile and are easily handled. Yearling ewe lambs can be flighty if not handled regularly.



2019 Lambing Season


What about its hair?


The hair coat of the Katahdin varies in length and texture and can be any color or color combination. It generally consists of coarse outer hair fibers and an undercoat of fine wooly fibers that becomes very thick and long as cold weather sets in and day length decreases. This undercoat and some hair naturally sheds as temperature and day length increase seasonally, leaving a shorter, smooth summer coat. Thus, no shearing is required for Katahdins.


What is lambing like?


Penning is not necessary. Ewes can lamb on pasture without intervention most of the time. Ewes normally will not leave their lambs but it is helpful to separate new mothers from sheep without lambs that might roam far throughout the day. A young lamb can keep up with the flock after a couple of days. Expect twins from a ewe in her second year of lambing. Occasionally there are triplets and even quadruplets!


Do you need to dock the tails of Katahdin lambs?


No, it is not necessary. The breed standards state that Katahdins kept for breeding should not be docked.

Do Katahdin ram lambs need to be castrated?


Castration is deemed unnecessary if ram lambs are marketed before they reach puberty or if they can be reared separately from female lambs. It also minimize pain and stress. Some buyers prefer intact males.

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