This White Dorper fullblood came in 2007, I needed to change my ram selection. Looking at Dorpers I found disease and foot problems. I sold all my rams. I thought buying another ram would not be hard. My herd health restrictions and the time of year proved difficult in finding another ram. The original breeder of my Dorsets, whom I trust, offered me this older ram that was a fullblood White Dorper. I sheared him off and put some weight on him and even though he was older, he was healthy, fit and experienced for my ewes. Botha produced some very nice, fast growing lambs. Poor shedding was the only fault in this ram. Bred to a wool sheep, not an issue. For me, with AA coat Katahdins, it worked against the good coat genetics in my Katahdin ewes. This ram had nice temperament while he displayed a gentle nature. His lambs were well muscled, heavier with faster growth compared to the full Katahdins. So this was a good match, except for his poor shedding factor. The ewes he produced paired with a fast shed AA hair coat ram, produced lambs that all fast shed. Those are the strong dominant coats genetics we select and breed for.
2010-Undoubtly the hardest decision ever...which ram lamb to keep to breed back to the ewe lambs? All the breeding ram lambs show fast growth, good bone and muscle, excellent fast shedding hair coats. Good temperament. Healthy, no foot trims, no shots, no wormers, low maintenance. This ram on the left is our pick. He is also the most unrelated to the ewe lambs and out of Sire 2. So that was the deciding factor. This ram lamb is so calm I don't even know he is breathing. Beautiful snow white hair coat, all hair, no wool. He is 7 months old and in with same age ewe lambs, they should lamb at 1 year of age in May 2011.
June 2011 Update-Lambs arrived right on schedule. He is potent and timely. The ewe lambs cycled at the same time, all 8 yearlings lambed in 5 days. Produced nice quality lambs, all healthy and all proved to be good mothers. .
April/May 2011 lambs sired by Herd Sire I. Yearling ewes lambed in May from
Herd Sire 3, Sire #2-Dam #5 lamb from 2010.
Sire 3 sold November 2011. Sire I used on the unrelated full Katahdin ewes/Sire II used on the unrelated Dorper/Katahdin ewes.
Pigee was born in April 2012-A fast growing heavy ram lamb that topped out at 140 pounds at 5 1/2 months, ALL grassfed. He has a soft curly winter coat that fast sheds to a fine silky smoothe hair that resembles his dam's fiber, lustre and shedding coat characteristics. His lambs arrived in April 2013. Most of the ewes have one twin that resembles Pigee with red skin tones showing through a short smoothe coat. The other twin resembles a white hair coat. The Pigee lambs have silky hair on their face like Pigee. They look like wool lambs sheared off over their body, while smoothe and compact. We will hold back the Pigee ewe lambs this year to see how their coats do over winter and shed in the spring. Pigee covered all 17 ewes in 2 weeks. All lambs were born healthy. Pigee's dam, Honey Gen 2, had lambs out of Hulk this year since we don't breed mother to son. She produced two more golden hair lustrous coats, twin ram and ewe lamb. Pigee is low maintenance. His hooves have received no trims, they are slow growing and still compact and short. He has a deep belly and carries his weight well while solid with good muscle and thrives on grass with no shots, wormers or meds. He fast shed in March. He resembles his sire Hulk. He's broad in the chest. Thick over his loin. He has the same black tear drop on his lower eyelid like his dam. Honey Gen 2 has a dam that is a half sister to Hulk, Honey Gen 1, she and Hulk are half sibblings (on dam's side) same sire Botha. Linebreeding on the White Dorper genetics brought back some of Botha's good characteristics. Our ewes strong coat genetics keep balance with the heavier White Dorper body characteristics. The lustrous coat gene is a dominant gene, so we have much research left to do since this gene is rare, there's little research to go on.
Misteree was born in April 2012-A fast growing heavy ram lamb that topped out at 137 pounds at 5 1/2 months, ALL grassfed. He has a soft winter coat that fast sheds to a smoothe short hair coat that resembles his registered Katahdin dam's AA hair coat. Misteree's lambs will arrive in late September 2013. He was held back to breed his half sisters from April 2013. This ram fast matured at only 4 months with large testicles and a dominant ram disposition. He is strong and bold. A very calm dominant stance while holding his tail high when greeted. He is a Hulk son. His sire is 30 inches at the withers and Misteree is 29 inches (as a yearling). Misteree is low maintenance. His black hooves have received no trims, they are slow growing and still compact and short. He has a deep belly and carries his weight well while solid with good muscle and thrives on grass. He fast shed in March. He resembles his Hulk sire. He's broad and thick in his full chest and rear. Thick over his loin. He resembles the Dorper and is proportionate in shoulders to hind quarter width. When put in with the yearling ewes he was confident and mannerly. I worked with this ram on manners while he was dominant as a lamb. He has proven to have good manners and nice temperament and has grown into a handsome yearling with excellent breeding character and desireable characteristics to go on for future generations. His dam also has exceptional black hooves that have never had a trim, she is 10 yrs old now. She produced twins this spring (2014) and has birthed twins every year since a yearling. Mist is the most unrelated ewe to all our ewes. So Misteree is the best ram to pair with his half sisters. Update 2013/2014: Misteree and his ewe half sisters produced beautiful lambs. Healthy with good stamina and desireable breed characterisitics.
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Katahdin Dorper Rams
This registered Katahdin ram produced well muscled lambs with all white AA fast shedding hair coats that first shed at only 4 months of age. We wanted good coats so we looked for a long time to find this ram. The fast shedding quality is desirable if you want clean shorter hair over the body without longer hair left over the top line or other parts of the body. Some sheep may shed out completely at a later age but we like to keep sheep that will totally shed off within the first year. Our sheep with the best coats, all hair and no wool mix, they shed fairly quickly. You cannot pull hair out that is still attached. While other parts of the sheep are clean shed, there can be areas where the hair or hair/wool blend is still attached. Some breeders shear off their sheep so they are uniform looking without tuffs of hair hanging or sticking up. As a breeder, I strive to get the clean shedding sheep so no shearing or maintenance is required. These are genetic traits that I select for to get the best coats in my hair sheep, all hair and fast shedding within the first year.
This registered Katahdin ram was a heavy thick ram with a perfect disposition. His idea of a good time was to play with Niki, our German shepherd. He produced gorgeous lambs with fast shedding white hair coats at only 4 months of age. Gentle with the ewes and new born lambs and loved people. The market started turning around with Katahdins in 2007. Registered stock selling for $300 and up started going down in price or not selling at all. With so many hobby breeders raising this breed for pets the market became flooded with hair sheep. They cost very little while many of those breeders didn't want to pay for registration or work to improve the breed by keeping track of lineage and finding desirable breeding prospects for bettering the breed. Commercial breeders didn't see them as the new sheep of the future, but small sheep, with poor weight gains which resulted in poor profit. Most of the large sheep producers in my area have gone out of sheep, with feed costs soaring and the U.S. sheep market squeezed by imports from New Zealand, they moved on with no regrets.
This 1/4 White Dorper- 3/4 Katahdin is only 19 months in this picture as of November 2009. He has everything we like in a ram, he is the total package. He was used on full Katahdin ewes while Herd Sire II has been used on unrelated White Dorper cross ewes.
Attractive all white hair coat that fast sheds early spring. Proportionate body, shorter tail, thicker leg that is medium length which supports his heavier upper body while still proving agile. Good muscle and nice definition. Clean head, neck, stomach, tail underside and clean legs while still sporting a nice all hair winter coat. Sturdy feet with hooves that don't require trims that maintain well on their own. Excellent health, he has required no shots, medications or wormers. Browses well and eats a variety of feeds. Sound temperament with people, dogs and other sheep, displays good habits. Excellent breeding ram, very attentive and dependable. Always displays a nice calm nature with the ewes. Potent and timely. Ewes lamb close together with multiple healthy lambs. Consistenly produces nice quality lambs.
This 1/2 White Dorper 1/2 registered Katahdin ram lamb was born on our farm in 2009. He grew to become our Herd Sire II. Botha is his fullblood White Dorper sire. His dam is full Katahdin and just turned 8 yrs old in spring 2012. He was our fastest growing ram lamb in 2009. He is muscular with a nice top, has wide hind legs with good volume with a nice chest floor and good belly capacity. With a strong structure complimented with heavy mass and muscular definition, he displays good agility with a nice smoothe brisk gate. Sire II has thick bone and forearm, is level from hip to pin bone. Nice through the cannon bone. When he walks he stops wide which depicts good muscle on the inside of his legs. He maintains on grass most of the year with a nice fat cover. He has excellent temperament, he is calm and confident with humans, sheep and dogs. His coat is exceptional. With a short soft wool undercoat mixed with hair top coat, he sheds early February/March every spring. His white summer coat is all hair. With cooler nights he will grow a nice felt of soft hairwool. As winter approaches, it will grow longer and makes an excellent winter coat that endures freezing temperatures and heavy rains. Sire II along with our ewes have produced some of the fastest growing ram lambs over the last two years in all our lambing history.
Our rams are an intricate part of our breeding program. They receive good care year round, same as our ewes. A closed herd demands healthy, quality breeding stock since outside ram/ewe replacements are not an option. Bringing in one new sheep doesn't qualify as a closed herd and opens up a flock and your property to unwanted diseases. If you quarantine infected sheep, you still may not have an outbreak of the disease during quarantine since OPP, CL and Johne's wasting diseases can be latent in coming out. Even with a 6 mo to 12 mo quarantine. Some diseases, like footrot and scald, they also may be hard to detect in sale sheep. An outbreak may be dependent on the right weather conditions, stress or other factors not present at time of sale. Carrier sheep that don't show signs of any disease at sale can infect whole herds and property when they have a disease outbreak after purchase. Ask the breeder for a flock health report when you inquire about their sheep. We use selective breeding to get the best breeding stock we can. We look for desirable dominant characteristics that are being passed on for generations. A handsome big meaty ram prancing about the property doesn't impress me as much as his handsome big meaty lambs he has produced showing his dominant desirable traits. Good genetics that present themselves, not only in the parents, but the lambs as well, that's the dominant genes we select for. In the hidden gene pool, you can have undesirable traits as well. That's why we selectively breed using our best rams and best ewes that consistently reproduce themselves.