The Farm By The River 

Katahdin Hair Sheep

We have been raising Katahdin Hair Sheep at The Farm By The River since 2009.  Our original flock of four came from Katahdin breeders Jeff White and Pam Post of Kenyon Hill Farm in North Pomfret, Vermont. Our relationship continues with Kenyon Hill Farm with shared breeding and sheep improvement goals established over the years by Jeff and Pam's hard work and attention to detail.
The Katahdin Hair Sheep is a composite breed (Wiltshire Horn, Tunis, Southdown, Hampshire, Suffolk ,African and St. Croix Hair Sheep) developed in the late 50's into the 70's by innovator and amateur geneticist Michael Piel. His goal was to raise a breed of sheep that needed no shearing because of its naturally shedding hair coat;  good meat type confirmation; high fertility; strong flocking instinct, excellent mothering instinct, as well as adaptability to the cold Maine winters experienced at the Piel Farm. By  the early 70's, shortly prior to his death, Piel had cultivated a flock of approximately 120 ewes that met this criteria, he named them Katahdin Hair Sheep in deference to Maine's highest peak, Mount Katahdin.  

After Piel's death, breed improvements continued  into the late eighties and standards for the breed continue to be maintained and promoted today through Katahdin Hair Sheep International (an association of Katahdin breeders, now throughout the world).

Today's Katahdin  is a hardy, adaptable, low maintenance sheep that does not require shearing, is medium sized and is tolerant of internal and external parasites requiring minimal parasite treatment with proper management. In winter, they grow a coat thick enough to keep them warm on pasture in Northern New England; their coat sheds in spring as light returns, making them a breed that can also tolerate the heat and humidity of the south. The breed is ideal for pasture lambing and rotational pasture grass management systems. Katahdins are raised for their mild flavored meat, low maintenance characteristics, and excellent foraging ability.  
Our Flock  
The Katahdin flock and most individuals at The Farm By The River are currently registered with the Katahdin Hair Sheep International Registry. As of July 1, 2013, the flock will be enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP)-- a database used to assist in continued improvement of the breed through close monitoring of sheep and their progeny performance in the areas important to the Katahdin breed.  

For more information on The Farm By The River Katahdins and availability of sheep and lambs for sale this year, please contact Eve Klotz.

For more information on the Katahdin Hair Sheep breed, including the full source of this historical summary,       reference: or contact Katahdin Hair Sheep International, P.O. Box 778, Fayetteville, Arkansa 72702-0778 tel: 479-444-8441.


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