Newbie lamb'er

CrealCritter

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I am trying to talk DH into getting some hair sheep, he is resistant but I think that is because he doesn't really know what a hair sheep is. I found a place that sells meat from their sheep, so I will have to buy some and get him to try it as a first step.
The lady who lived at our place 2 owners ago (about 15 years) raised wool sheep. But she clipped them, washed and carded the wool, natural dyed it and spun it into yarn. Then tried to sell the yarn.

@CrealCritter Aside from the lanolin taste to the meat, if you have wool sheep I think you also have to have someone come and sheer them every year for you.
Thanks for all the info ladies. If I ever stop learning I'll be 6 feet under pushing up daisies. I LOVE learning from you all... Honest practical answers from those who know. There's no way better for me to build confidence to try something, I've never tried before.

And... You can see the evidence clear as day of how the internet is chalk full of misinformation. I read late last night that sheep need to be wormed every three to 4 weeks. I scratched my scruffy beard and said that just doesn't seem right... So I asked here and whammy bammy my suspicion was on queue...

"Nope. That's a great way to breed resistant worms rather then resistant sheep. When that happens, then you have no more options available when they get a heavy worm burden. Then sheep die." <--- thanks @Beekissed
 

Beekissed

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Still a ways off from puting my first hoof on the ground but this article from 2002 is pretty good (for me).

https://www.backwoodshome.com/dorper-sheep/
Read a bit more about Dorpers from other corners before you make a decision? They tend to have hoof problems more than other hair breeds, the rams are notably more rammy than the other HS breeds also~haven't heard many report a docile, easy to work with Dorper ram, plus that lack of shedding off well results in most people having to dock the lambs to prevent flystrike. Nearly every pic of Dorpers you can find on the net shows them docked.

All of that adds up to more problems than a newbie lamber may want to deal with.
 

baymule

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I studied hair Sheep and decided on Dorpers. I got Dorper crossed with Katahdin ewes, bred. Then I got a Dorper ram. Somewhere along the way he got sorta mean and would ram me every chance he got. With my little granddaughters running around, I couldn’t have that. I changed his name to Ramburger and he was quite tasty. Plus all the above reasons that Beekissed mentioned, I changed my mind to Katahdins. MUCH calmer.
 

Beekissed

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Another interesting article to me. I did not know Katahdin could also be milk sheep (so they are dual purpose (meat + milk) is this information correct?

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They are if you work towards that. They are one of the milkier hair sheep out there and you can cull for a milkier strain of that breed if that's your focus.
 

Beekissed

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I used to want those with big udders, but I think I'm changing my mind. After watching Greg Judy talk about the grass to milk conversion rates and how heavy milking cows maintain the worst conditioning, I'm starting to see things differently. Now, if my goal was just milking sheep with a little meat on the side, I'd breed towards milkiness.

But, I've one ewe in my small flock that has proven Mr. Judy's opinion on milkers vs nonmilkers. Rose has a gorgeous udder, would do a milk goat proud, and is feeding twins....and looks like a starving refugee. She looks like a goat or a dairy cow, with bony hips sticking out, ribs showing, etc. The sheep with smaller udders are not losing conditioning like she is. When I first got Rose she had weaned off triplets and looked pretty bad, while Shine had fed twins and looked sleek and well rounded. Shine has a horrible looking udder...smaller, saggy, lopsided, sort of flaccid looking compared to Rose's lovely fullness.

It's not enough sheep to know for sure, but I'll be watching those with larger udders vs. those with a medium udder as we go along to note if the conditioning of these two types of ewes are affected by the greater milk production. I do know this....all the lambs seem fat and sassy, so everyone's getting plenty of milk, so big or small udders don't seem to make a difference in lamb nutrition.
 
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