The Katahdin Sheep is a domestic breed developed in Maine in the United States and named after the highest peak in Maine, Mount Katahdin. The breed was developed in the mid-1950s by crossing imported St. Croix Sheep and several other breeds, including the Suffolk Sheep. They are raised predominantly as meat animals in the U.S. and have become enormously popular in recent years due to high shearing costs and low wool prices. Katahdin Sheep are unique in that they do not have woolen coats, but hair instead, and they naturally shed their winter coats, making them far less maintenance than woolen sheep breeds.mIf the Katahdin Sheep sounds like the breed for you, read on for more in-depth info on this unique breed of sheep.
The Katahdin is a breed of domestic sheep developed in Maine United States and named after Mount Katahdin – the state’s highest peak. The breed was developed during the second half of the 20th century by crossing selected St. Croix sheep from the Virgin Islands with various other breeds, including the Suffolk. Lambs were selected based on hair coat, meat-type conformation, high fertility and flocking instinct.
The average Katahdin ewe weight is 120 to 160 pounds and the ram’s weight is 180 to 250. Most Katahdin ewes will have a 200% lamb crop. The Katahdin sheds its winter coat, and so does not have to be sheared The Katahdin’s hair can come in any color, as the emphasis of the breed is on production rather than appearance. The Katahdin’s popularity in the USA has increased in recent years.. This, combined with the fact that the Katahdin sheep breed is also resistant to parasites – a trait inherited from its St. Croix ancestors – makes the breed a highly productive, low-cost option for shepherds.
The Katahdin sheep are adaptable, hardy and low maintenance sheep that produce superior lamb crops and lean, meaty carcasses. An ideal for pasture finishing, the lambs benefit from the extra nutrients of a primarily grass and forage diet. Though they are a hair sheep, Katahdin produce beautiful, soft pelts that make wonderful rugs, chair backings, and soft places for babies to crawl!
Quick Facts About Katahdin Sheep
Hardy, adaptable, docile
Most commonly white, but also black, brown, and red
Medium-sized, 140-185 pounds
Minimum Enclosure Size:
16-20 square feet indoors, about 6 sheep per acre outdoors