Newbie trying to decide (Katahdin, Dorper, or St. Croix)

EllieMay

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Im very new here currently living in Virginia.
We have about 4 acres of trees and grass.
We have chickens and would like to get some sheep.

We want sheep for meat and lawn mowing.
Sheep on the friendlier side would be a bonus.
Ive been doing some research and have narrowed the breeds down to Katahdin, Dorper, or St. Croix.
I do not necessarily need purebred.
We would like to breed the sheep and have a continuous supply of meat and increase our herd along the way.

What breed(s) of sheep should I get that would best suit my needs?
(Probably all of the above, right?) :)

Thank you!!
 

carolinagirl

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I'd go with Dorper ram on Katahdin ewes. Katahdins are awesome and productive mothers plus they are a very hardy breed and the Dorper will put more size on the meat sheep.
 

Beekissed

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I used to want a Dorper cross over Katahdin but finally got to see the results of this cross and was not very impressed with the results.

I found the straight Katahdin to have a taller, meatier build than the Dorper or the Dorp crosses.

Of all the crosses, I liked the St. Croix/Katahdin mix the best and then bred back to Katahdin rams.
 

carolinagirl

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That's interesting! I'll be using my Barbados Blackbelly ram on my BB ewes and also a few Kathadin ewes. I am trying to locate a couple of nice ewe lambs now.
 

aggieterpkatie

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I've seen some really nice Dorper/Katahdin crosses. My friend used to manage a flock of purebreds of both breeds and crosses. I could always pick out the dorper/katahdin crosses.
 

EllieMay

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Thank you everyone for your help.

We moved to Kentucky and are on 15 acres in the middle of nowhere (my piece of heaven).

We met a farmer with registered Katahdin sheep, so we'll be getting some lambs from him in the spring.

The waiting is hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

77Herford

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EllieMay said:
Thank you everyone for your help.

We moved to Kentucky and are on 15 acres in the middle of nowhere (my piece of heaven).

We met a farmer with registered Katahdin sheep, so we'll be getting some lambs from him in the spring.

The waiting is hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/Accursed/Smileys/waiting-bored-waiting-boy-smiley-em.gif
The waiting is the worst thing. Waiting for all my livestock every year to give birth can get frusterating to say the least but every time they babies arrive I enjoy planning for more. My Herefords give birth in a 1 to 2 month period in the spring, my simmentals should give birth in very early spring or late winter and my Galloways will be having calves in the summer. Not to mention my Goats, Sheep and Chickens.
 

Sheepdog

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We have all three breeds. Dorper fullbloods, Katahdin fullbloods and St Croix fullbloods, We have a nice big fullblood dorper ram that we are putting over the St Croix and the Katahdin. I like the Dorper temperament, generally they are a pretty docile breed. The Katahdan tend to be a little more "active", in general not quite as docile, though many would disagree... but they are still quiet. The St Croix are also quiet, but seem to be next on the ladder. Just a little more "stingy" than the Dorper (and I am talking more for working them with dogs). As we train border collies for sheep and cattle trials and we need a few different types of sheep. The Dorpers get so quiet and even a little lazy that the dogs really have to work hard to make them move much. The Katahdin and the St Croix give the dogs a little more run for their money, but they are not silly and bounce off fences like some other breeds can even with a lot of handling. I have found that the Katahdin can be a little taller than many of the Dorper but then it will also depend on what bloodlines. I have some St Croix and they are quite large. I really like all three breeds. The Dorper X Katahdin are very popular and providing you use a good quality ram, I would suggest fullblood or purebred, they do tend to really stamp the babies with their type. I have seen many Dorper X Katahdins which are small and the only sign they have Dorper in them is the fact that they have black heads, if they had been crossed with a white Dorper, one would assume that there was no Dorper in there at all. These lambs that I have seen are usually by percentage Dorper rams or rams of lesser quality and out of smaller ewes or lesser quality ewes.

Going with registered sheep is a good idea as it eliminates some of the guess work.
 
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