Breed Standard

The Katahdin breed is a wooless, easy care, meat type sheep, naturally tolerant of climatic extremes and capable of high performance in a wide variety of environments. The purpose of the breed is to efficiently produce meat.

The covering of the Katahdin does not require shearing and is preferably completely free of permanent wooly fibers. The coat can be any color or pattern. Polled animals are preferred; horned and scurred individuals are recorded as such.

Katahdins are a heavy-muscled, medium-sized breed. They demonstrate adaptability by performing well in areas varying in geography, temperature, and humidity, feed and forage resources, and management systems. Ewes are easy lambers, and exhibit strong maternal instincts and good milking ability. They possess high potential for early puberty, fertility, and lamb survivability.

Lambs grow and mature rapidly to an acceptable market weight range and produce relatively lean and well muscled carcasses with a very mild flavor.

eweramGeneral Appearance: A medium-sized sheep with a hair coat and an alert appearance; head erect and legs squarely placed. Rams are distinctly masculine and well-muscled; ewes strong and feminine.

Head: Variety in facial characteristics is expected. Polled-ness is preferred, but horns and scurs are acceptable. Eyes are wide set, and ear carriage is horizontal. Lower teeth meet the dental pad evenly.

Neck: Strong, of medium length: extends straight into the shoulder. A ram’s neck may be covered by a mane of hair.

Shoulders: Blend smoothly into the neck and back; shoulder blades have good width between and are level with or slightly higher than the back. Well-developed upper arm muscle in rams.

Chest: Wide and deep enough to provide ample room for good heart and lung capacity. Slightly less width than hindquarters in females.

eweram02Back: Strong, smooth, and broad; loin long, wide, deep and well-fleshed.

Ribs: Well sprung, wide and deep.

Abdomen: Large capacity for consuming forage and carrying lambs (bottom or side line should not necessarily be straight).

Rump: Wide and well fleshed; rounded appearance; deep in twist.

Tail: Length is variable; preferably undocked, except for market lambs.

Legs: Medium length and bone in proportion to size. Sound leg structure: properly angled at hock, front legs straight, strong pasterns, straight feet free of defect. Muscles of the thigh are thick, with obvious muscularity on the inner and outer thigh, carried down to the shank.

Scrotum, Udder: Two large, well-developed and balanced testicles in rams. Two teats on well-developed, well-balanced udder with good attachment in ewes. Organs free of obvious functional defect or disease.

Hair Coat: No discrimination is made as to color on any part of the body. The coat shall preferably consist of hair rather than wooly fibers, though hair texture will vary. (Refer to the Animal Inspection section of the General Instructions for a description of coat types.)

Defects:

• Over-or undershot jaw

• Very light bone structure

• Weak shoulders or back

• Cow- or sickle-hocked legs

• Weak pasterns or splayed hoofs

• Cryptorchidism or monorchidism

• Extremely small testicles

• Missing or malformed teats

 

Katahdin Hair Sheep International   |   PO Box 778, Fayetteville, AR 72702  |  Phone: (479) 444-8441