Katahdin sheep shedding period, do they all shed at the same rate?

eweinHiscare

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hi all,
I am a novice sheep owner, with my starter flock of 4 pure Katahdin sheep.

I'm in NC where the summer can start early with very hot temps, along with the rather high humidity.

It got to 100 degrees here last June... that was hard on animals.

So I'd like to know what to expect for next Spring when my Katahdins will start to shed their woolly winter coats.

Are some slower than others for shedding?

Are there ever Katahdins that refuse to shed , or very late when they'd need help?

How delicate will they be for heat stress? I have a tobacco barn with tall roof where the horses used to go when it was hot, it will be available for the sheep.

I'm asking because if there is anything else I will need to do, or can help them along it would be good to know now.

I love my new sheepies !!

thanks!
 

eweinHiscare

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ok...well no one has any tips for me ?

I went to try to buy sheep earlier in the hot summer and the owner told me after I drove over there and picked out the sheep I
wanted that it was "too hot" to move them... ?

So I figured they might be delicate? I thought the moving air as they would go down the road in the truck would have cooled them, and then they could just go back under the shady trees when they got to my place.

but no ?

and then I read about someone's tragic Dorper death...

so I'm looking for guidelines..."never...." , and "not a good idea...", kind of stuff.


thanks for reading anyway!

hey, it's a very rainy windy day for those St. Croix sheep in the V.I. today with tropical storm Isaac lashing them! poor sheep!
 

marlowmanor

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I'm not a sheep person so I have no advice for you. Maybe someone else will come along that has some ideas.
 

gruberguy

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It's not a good idea to move ANY livestock in extreme heat. Especially any distance. Not sure what your weather is like, but I'd suggest transporting early or late in the day. I prefer early so sheep get used to their surroundings before it's dark.

As far as shedding, mine start Mid- February- June for some. Some shed all in a few days it seems, others have "stragglers" that hang on all year!
 

eweinHiscare

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hi gruberguy,
that is interesting how some start early and some hang onto their winter coat much longer. What breed or breed mix are your sheep?
Is the one that keeps the wool longer ok with it or does it seem to not be able to keep up with the rest ?

What state are you in? I'm in NC.
 

bonbean01

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Mine are like gruberguy...some shed off quickly and some take much longer. I'm not sure there is a set time as each animal is different. We have Dorper/Kat crosses and love them!

Any animal can get sick...from the smallest critter to the largest. I would not call these sheep "delicate" but I also would not transport any animal in extreme heat.

Hope you find the sheep you want and enjoy them :)
 

gruberguy

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I'm in eastern Oklahoma. I have Katahdin and Barbado and their X breeds. Slowly going to transition to Dorper and Dorper Katahdin X as I like the bigger bodied sheep.

I really only have 1 katahdin ewe that doesn't shed great. Last year she had the "mohawk" down her back, this year she has 2, LONG pieces hanging!! They look loose, but trust me... they are still attached. Doesn't seem to bother her, so I haven't caught her and cut them off.

I did a trial this year. Drove 2 T-post in the ground at angles where they intersect like an X for the sheep to rub on. I put the barbs of posts inside. They used it quite a bit. Coworker did same thing, and sheep never touched it. you have to kinda figure out how high to make the crossing of the 2 posts.

Also in spring, mine seem to REALLY shed after a rain. Pasture looks like a sheep got attacked after a rain with all the hair lying on the ground!!
 

bocephus

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I'm a new sheep owner too. I got mine in July and we were having unusual heat for Michigan. Within a few days of getting them it was 95-100. They were also being skiddish and had no interest in using the shade in the barn and would barely come over to drink the water I provided them. So they all sat in the sun including a black one who didn't completely shed much this year and they all did fine.

They now come over and sit in the shade every day around noon.

 

eweinHiscare

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gruberguy said:
I'm in eastern Oklahoma. I have Katahdin and Barbado and their X breeds. Slowly going to transition to Dorper and Dorper Katahdin X as I like the bigger bodied sheep.

I really only have 1 katahdin ewe that doesn't shed great. Last year she had the "mohawk" down her back, this year she has 2, LONG pieces hanging!! They look loose, but trust me... they are still attached. Doesn't seem to bother her, so I haven't caught her and cut them off.

I did a trial this year. Drove 2 T-post in the ground at angles where they intersect like an X for the sheep to rub on. I put the barbs of posts inside. They used it quite a bit. Coworker did same thing, and sheep never touched it. you have to kinda figure out how high to make the crossing of the 2 posts.

Also in spring, mine seem to REALLY shed after a rain. Pasture looks like a sheep got attacked after a rain with all the hair lying on the ground!!
What a great idea using the T-posts for the sheep to rub on, probably much more effective than vertical tree bark. I will have to try that, I've always got extra T-posts laying around.

Thanks for the description of the shedding, that is what I was hoping to find out about.

Sometimes it is just so hot here I can break into sweat just watering plants...probably should turn the hose on myself!
So I am kind of anxious about sheep.
I was amazed when I discovered "hair" sheep and that they have been thriving in the Caribbean all this time.
 

eweinHiscare

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Bocephas you have some pretty sheep, very colorful ! They look very happy at your place now.

:)
 
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