Ridgetop

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Personally I like the body type of A better. Regardless of weight it looks to be carrying more meat. Weight s not always an accurate determination of meat characteristics. The original Southdown breed (not the current larger show type) was a very small sheep, but lb for lb it actually dressed out a higher percentage of meat than larger breeds. The larger breeds became the industry standard because slaughterhouses found it easier to process larger carcasses.

I have White Dorpers not Katahdins, but have also had ewes produce the smaller wooly lambs that look thinner, as well as the thicker hairy lambs. 2 sets of twins, each having a smaller wooly and a larger hairy. The wooly twin was 2.2 lbs lighter at birth but is gaining correctly in comparison. He is becoming a long attractive lamb, now wethered since I only want thick meaty animals. I am not keeping the wooly ewe lamb I got either. The hairy looking ones are better shedders as I was told by a South African judge when I asked about the difference in coats at birth. Once they get their winter wool, you really can't tell that much difference in their wool. Also they can shed differently each year and also differently as they age.

However, what is the breed standard for Katahdins? Are they supposed to be a stocky thick meat machine like the Dorper or are they supposed to be taller, leggier and more angular? The Dorper standard says that that the height of the Dorper from withers to the ground should be divided into 3 parts. There should be no more than 1/3 of the height from the bottom of the belly to the ground. 2/3 of the height should be body. What are Katahdin proportions supposed to be from the standard of perfection?
 

Ridgetop

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Your cull girl looks a lot like my Rose, which would also have been a cull in a herd of mine if I didn't need her so bad right now....eventually I want to weed out all of those body types. Hate to breed her knowing she may pass that body along, but for now I just need mouths and hooves on the ground and I'll worry about conformation later on.

Those lambs would definitely be keepers in my book! LOVE those wavy coats and the balanced bodies they have.
If you keep your poorer quality ewes and invest in a really good thick registered ram with correct body structure you can upgrade your flock in just a couple years. His lambs can be bred back to him to double upon his genetics with no problems. Register his daughters and granddaughters as percentages. After 2 years replace him with an even better registered ram and do the same for another 2 years. By now you should have improved your flock, most of your ewes will be registered percentages and within another generation of being enough percentage to be registered as purebred. Now sell off the original ewes after the 4 years. Do not be tempted to save money by keeping a ram for breeding or you will be taking your flock backwards. Eat or sell all rams, keeping only the ewes out of the good rams. With your new nucleus of percentage ewes, continue investing in good registered rams. Now you can start culling for the specific body type you want based on the standard. In about 5-10 years you will have the flock you want at a much lower cost than replacing everything at once.

I had heavy losses in my flock one year and took the opportunity to switch breeds. But I used on line auctions of registered stock and was lucky enough to get some real bargains. I kept some of my original ewes and bred to the new buck for meat sales. Then I sold the original ewes of that breed and the cross bred lambs to buy the rest of my small purebred nucleus. I shopped around and got good bargains in prices without sacrificing quality and type. You don't have to spend a fortune to end up with lovely animals out of excellent bloodlines and expensive breeders. Watch for the animals that are out of the expensive rams purchased by other breeders. Learn the bloodlines and watch for them in the auctions. I have ewes and rams out of animals and bloodlines I couldn't afford myself. Other breeders bought them, bred them to good ewes, and sold their lambs at purebred auctions. I was lucky enough to buy those lambs for prices I could afford. I was outbid on some beautiful animals as well.

Shows of registered stock with an auction following is another opportunity to purchase stock reasonably, have some fun, and learn a lot from the judge's comments as well. Make sure you know what you are looking for in bloodlines and type, and make sure you are firm in your budget. LOL Auctions are fun and addictive. When you wake up you can be shocked at what you did. Don't sit with friends who will encourage you to bid too high, don;t st with your husband who won't let you bid enough, and don't have anything to drink!!!
LOL If it is alcohol, you can get carried away with your bidding card and if it is coffee you have to run to the bathroom and miss the terrific bargain that went for minimum bid! But you will have a blast!
 

Beekissed

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I have no interest in registering stock....I've seen registered Katahdins in my state and in the next and in all cases they didn't even resemble Katahdins. They looked like miniature sheep, cow hocked, slender in the rump and chest, hay bellies, etc. I don't know where they were getting their "registered Katahdins" but they were the most poor representation of the breed I've seen! To me that says being registered doesn't hold the significance that it should...if just any animal can be registered, I have no interest in being in that category.

There are no auctions of just Katahdins in my area and likely not for a good long distance. I have found, on the other hand, just a few breeders here and there who have developed flocks in conjunction with some state universities and Poly Tech that show great promise~one of which I bought some great looking ewe lambs recently and from which I'll likely buy my next ram. She had the most uniform stock I'd seen and almost all were exactly what I was looking for in conformation.

That gives me hope! None are being sold as registered stock either....I think they too have found along the way that registered doesn't hold the weight it used to. Mostly it seems to be folks with a lot of money but not much experience with stock who want a hobby that makes them some money, so they throw money at it and think they are getting the best. I don't think they even bothered to research the breed standard before they went shopping, they just bought "registered" stock from someone else who didn't breed for the standard.

This whole venture is about starting something on a shoestring and refining it into something worthwhile, so I'll likely keep investments as low as I can and still get some level of quality. I'm not interested in running with the big boys in sheep farming, just maintaining a small herd of sheep worthy of spending time on.


But I used on line auctions of registered stock and was lucky enough to get some real bargains.
Tell us more about this....how does that work? I bought my current ram lamb sort of online from an individual, not actually getting to see him for myself except through pictures. I'll not be doing that again, as the pictures just didn't give perspective as to the actual size and depth of the animal.
 

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First, I found out about the auctions by accident. Here is what I have learned - as usual this will be long because I ike to get all the facts in.

First, go on line and join your national breed organization (club). Some breeds have more than one. Check them out to see which is the main one. Some organizations charge non-members more to register animals, transfer animals papers, etc. while some cubs won't allow you to do any of that unless you are a member. Yu will also receive interesting communications about the breed, advances in marketing, etc. Often the information will come as a quarterly magazine or newsletter, you will also get ads telling you when the national shows (which all have auctions) ill be held and where. A lot of breed organizations will also post breed information in their websites - good place to check out occasionally.

Once you have contacted your national breed organization, they will have a list of local clubs on line with the appropriate persons to contact for information. The "local" clubs usually cover several states, i.e. northern, eastern, central, western, southern or combinations. Join the one for your area. These clubs will also sponsor shows and auctions which will be closer to you than the national show.

Once you have joined these 2 organizations, the magazines and newsletters will have a long list of upcoming events. Usually the club sponsored shows and auctions will all be in one section by dates. If you can go to these larger shows and auctions you will learn a lot from the judges comments. I get a listing (available at the check in desk) and mark the animals I want to watch based on their bloodlines and breeders. Then during the show I like to mark the placements of the animals and the judges comments as they apply to what I want to add to my flock - thickness, size, masculinity in bucks, femininity in does, etc. This helps when the auction comes up since the animals will be auctioned off in order from Champion, Reserve Champion, 1st place down through each classification. Classes are in order of age, youngest to oldest, all rams first followed by ewes..

BUT privately held on line auctions will be advertised too. I suggest you look into these since many breeders will consign animals to them. You will have to arrange transport, but transport companies' information will be available before the auction, as are private persons who will bring your animals to you if they live close. The consignors and auction personnel will help you find transport, but do it before you bid so you know you have the information. Nothing worse than buying and not having a way to get it home.

Shows and auctions will have the animals at the show grounds - on line auctions do not have the animals in a one set place. Photos and u-tube videos are posted with the pedigrees and name of the breeder or consignor. These photos and information is posted usually several weeks before the auction. This gives you time to look up the pedigrees ad breeders' web sites on line to compare before you decide to bid on the animal. You can also call the breeders to ask further questions about the animals and their flocks in general. Most do annual vaccinations as well as other health tests, so check on this with the breeder. If the flock is on Lambplan, or another testing organization, it is usually states the prospectus on the animals. Otherwise, ask. It is your money, you need to know The breeders are usually very nice and helpful, both because they want to sell and also because most of the good breeders I have met are just all around great people who want to be helpful. (I also call the breeders after the auction to get information on other things and they have all been wonderfully helpful and taken time to discuss whatever I need. This includes breeders in other parts of the country that I may have in my pedigrees or questions about the breed.) They will also give you information how you can get the animals you buy transported to your ranch, or a location easy for you to pick them up.

Most auctions will have either a minimum bid price, or a minimum price set by the consignor, listed in their catalog or in the auction requirements, along with methods of payment, registration for bidding, pick up information, etc. Minimum bid prices can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, based on whether the owner has previous offers on the animals. I have been lucky to get most of my lovely animals for close to the minimum bid prices. Be flexible and earmark several different animals for bid, that way you should get at least one or two of them allowing for being outbid by other buyers. Don't let yourself be swayed on your maximum prices you are willing to pay just because some of your choices are bid high - complement yourself in having a good eye for a good animal and let the overbid one go. There will always be others just as good for the price you want to pay.

These animals will be registered, and have to have specific tests according to the state where the auction is held. n California a vet certificate showing no evidence of hoof rot is required for all animals but rams will require a certificate showing a blood test for Brucellosis. Check your state to see if you need any special import health certificates if the auction is held outside the state.

Once you have registered for any on line auction, whether you are a successful buyer or not, you will usually get a notice of the next auctions coming up. I put the dates on my calendar of the annual auctions - there are 2 good on-line Dorper auctions in California, in May and October. Most on-line auctions are sponsored by a group of breeders who get together to sell their stock, occasional you will have a sale at someone's ranch although these are usually for club lambs (youth market lambs for Fairs) which doesn't concern us at this point.

I hope this helps you. I love livestock shows, and the auctions are really a good place to get information and buy animals you would not have found normally from out of state breeders. Some times prices are high and other times prices are low.

Be sure you know what you are looking for in a breeding animal - the saying "the buck is half your herd" is so important. A great genetic sire can improve the worst ewes, improving your flock while you are saving to add some excellent ewes. A good ram will improve ALL the lambs born while a ewe will only improve the one or two per year she produces. If money is a problem, put most of your money into a good ram first, and if you have enough then bid on some late ewe lambs to breed next year. They are often cheaper than yearling ewes because you have to wait to produce from them.

I think I will try to figure out how to start a thread on this. ???
 

WolfeMomma

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I would say we breed for body style A...i think..... For my brood ewes i want them fairly tall with a long wide back and a big front end because that is where my ram lacks. My katahdins are mainly show sheep for the most part. Culling is the hardest part. But in order to be successful i know thats what I need to do.

This is my yearling ewe. She is Almost perfect in my opinion. The only thing she is missing is height, the judges haven mentioned that to me quite a few times.
72525404_699131930568774_8635501858548350976_n.jpg

For a Ram he must be TALL with the right conformation or I have no use for him.
This is our ram Not the greatest pic but I Love his body style. He has awesome bloodlines and is way taller then my yearlings at 8-9 months old. His hair coat is excellent.
VALOR8374973.jpg


These are my brood ewes, minus the skinny one in the back, she is a ewe lamb that Im still not 100% sure on but we shall see how she looks in her yearling year after she has had some good quality food in her. I like chunky wide long ewes if you cant tell lol No bones seen on this property...including my own chunky self i guess lol :lol:
74677064_2446632365454536_6195844435943620608_n-2.jpg
 

WolfeMomma

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Personally I like the body type of A better. Regardless of weight it looks to be carrying more meat. Weight s not always an accurate determination of meat characteristics. The original Southdown breed (not the current larger show type) was a very small sheep, but lb for lb it actually dressed out a higher percentage of meat than larger breeds. The larger breeds became the industry standard because slaughterhouses found it easier to process larger carcasses.

I have White Dorpers not Katahdins, but have also had ewes produce the smaller wooly lambs that look thinner, as well as the thicker hairy lambs. 2 sets of twins, each having a smaller wooly and a larger hairy. The wooly twin was 2.2 lbs lighter at birth but is gaining correctly in comparison. He is becoming a long attractive lamb, now wethered since I only want thick meaty animals. I am not keeping the wooly ewe lamb I got either. The hairy looking ones are better shedders as I was told by a South African judge when I asked about the difference in coats at birth. Once they get their winter wool, you really can't tell that much difference in their wool. Also they can shed differently each year and also differently as they age.

However, what is the breed standard for Katahdins? Are they supposed to be a stocky thick meat machine like the Dorper or are they supposed to be taller, leggier and more angular? The Dorper standard says that that the height of the Dorper from withers to the ground should be divided into 3 parts. There should be no more than 1/3 of the height from the bottom of the belly to the ground. 2/3 of the height should be body. What are Katahdin proportions supposed to be from the standard of perfection?
Breed standard says they are a medium sized sheep with a hair coat and an alert appearance. Head erect and legs squarely placed. (KHSI)
Legs should be medium length and bone in proportion to size.(KHSI)
Backs should be loin long, wide, deep and well fleshed.
 

Beekissed

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Wow, @Ridgetop !!!! Yes, I think that definitely deserves a copy and paste to a thread of its own, as it's very valuable information and could help many. Wouldn't want it to get buried in this thread.

Thank you for answering that so completely. I knew that folks did that for cattle but didn't know it was happening in the hair sheep faction....or for sheep, period. There are a few areas of this state that have a strong sheep presence, but most of it doesn't, so not much here in the way of a sheep community/group/advocate~which mystifies me as the terrain, weather, etc. is perfect for sheep....more so for sheep than any other kind of livestock~and if there is, the focus is on the wool breeds.
 

Ridgetop

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How do I start a new thread? I will try now but it make take some time since I am not very good at this. I really don't like hijacking other people's threads like that. What should I call it?
 
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