We have raised Katahdins since 1990. We chose this breed because of not needing to shear them.
We now manage a ewe flock of around 50 ewes each season.
We have around 30 acres of primarily fescue pasture in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
We use 2 to 3 flock sires each season.
We lamb once a year beginning in mid-February.
Our gross lambing percentages have typically ranged around 1.75% to 1.9%. This year was an aberration and we averaged 2.13%.
We lamb in the barnyard and jug all ewes after they give birth until mothering is firmly established and lambs are observed as healthy and good to go.
Ewes with triplets are kept in a separate pen to allow less competition at the feed trough.
Lambs are fed a small ration of creep until the entire flock gets turned out on pasture.
We wean between 90 and 110 days usually.
We leave males intact which can present management challenges for pasture space.
Lambs are weighed at 60 days, vaccinated with C, D, & T, and FAMACHA scored.
Weights and FAMACHA scores are taken every 2-3 weeks during the summer months to monitor parasite impact/anemia.
We are members of the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) and therefore all the weight data is submitted for Estimated Breeding Values (EBV).
Our post-weaning weights are taken sometime between 120 days and 150 days. Once this weight is taken all lambs are available for sale (minus replacement ewe lambs). Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.