At Church Hill Farm we have chosen to raise Katahdin sheep which are a heavy muscled, medium sized, easy-care meat type sheep. These sheep have a docile and quiet disposition which makes them great for our children to help with.
They exhibit a natural tolerance of climatic extremes and are capable of high performance in areas that vary in geography, temperature, and humidity, as well as feed and forage systems. The purpose of the breed is to efficiently and economically produce meat.
Katahdin are classed as a hair sheep. The shedding coat of the Katahdin does not require shearing – which is a bit of a disappointment to Vicki who loves to knit – but she is still working on a use for their coats which we find lying around their pasture. They especially like the church pasture during the spring as the trees are great for scratching against. The coats come in a variety of wonderful colours and combinations from snowy white to dark chocolate.
Katahdin ewes are easy lambers, exhibiting strong maternal instincts with sufficient milk supply to raise twins or triplets. We have even had a few quadruplets arrive at during lambing season. This exciting event though, usually requires bottle feeding for the runt, who if they survive inevitably becomes a pet.
Small at birth, lambs grow and mature rapidly to an acceptable market weight. Katahdin produces a well-muscled, lean carcass with a mild flavour. Many people who are admittedly not “lamb fans” have been pleasantly surprised at the mild flavoured lamb we produced.