Frequently Asked Questions
What are Hair Sheep ?
The ancestors of today's domestic sheep breeds had long, coarse hair and a short, downy undercoat, which under domestication gradually became wool, while the long hair disappeared. Some breeds of sheep retain this original hair and do not have long, wooly coats that require shearing. Wool can be a disadvantage in many environments and not profitable in some circumstances. It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of the world's sheep population is hair sheep, of which an estimated 90 percent are found in Africa and 10 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. Hair sheep are increasing in popularity because wool is not as profitable as it once was and meat (lamb) is the primary source of income in the majority of sheep operations. Hair sheep are also valued for their production efficiency and are often called "easy keepers".
Why are they "Easy Keepers" ?
Hair sheep tend to be more parasite resistant than wool breeds. They also resist foot rot and other diseases that are common in sheep. St Croix sheep in particular tend to be more of a "browser" than a "grazer" in that they eat many types of forage (grasses as well as weeds, forbs and other plants). Hair Sheep are a-seasonal breeders and can be breed year round. Ewes generally lamb unassisted and are good mothers. Most often they have twins and occasionally triplets.
How many Sheep should I get ?
The answer to this question depends on what you plan to do with you flock. Sheep like to be in a group so more than one is good idea. If you plan to breed sheep you may want several ewes and a ram. If you just want a few sheep to control weeds then a few wethers may do. For more ideas on starting a flock, click here Starter Flock Ideas.
What Vacinations do Sheep need ?
The best thing to do is to check with your Veternarian. They can advise you on a vacination plan for your specific area. Certian diseases many be common is some areas and completely unknown in other parts of the country.
Do I need to trim hoofs on my Sheep ?
You may need to trim hoofs depending on the type of terrian your sheep live on. In rocky areas, sheep hoofs wear naturally and may not require triming as frequently. In soft soils, hoofs may need more frequent triming to keep your sheep health and happy. Again your Veternarian can advise you what to look for and when hoof triming is needed.
Are Rams aggressive ?
Rams can be aggressive particulary if they are around ewes that are in esterus. We keep our Rams together and then at breeding time they are placed with the ewes in pens with strong fences. In our experience, Rams that have been handled frequently tend not to be aggressive towards humans or each other except at breeding time.
Klamath Falls, OR
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