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Types of Domestic Sheep

Sheep are small ruminants closely related to the goat that are raised mainly for their wool as well as for food. Worldwide, there are over a thousand breeds of sheep according to the Food & Agriculture Organization. In the USA, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has identified 47 unique breeds of domestic sheep. The ASI has further categorized these domestic breeds into six types, namely the ‘meat breeds,’ the ‘fine wool breeds,’ the ‘long wool breeds,’ the ‘dual purpose breeds,’ the ‘hair breeds,’ and the ‘minor breeds.’ Most sheep and lambs in American farms and ranches are of the meat breed variety which are raised primarily for the production of meat, or of the dual-purpose kind which are kept for both meat and wool production. There are 11 meat breeds of sheep under the ASI classification, namely the Cheviot, the Dorset, the Hampshire, the Montadale, the North Country Cheviot, the Oxford, the Shropshire, the Southdown, the Suffolk, the Texel and the Tunis. On the other hand there are 8 dual purpose breeds, namely the American Miniature Brecknock, the Columbia, the Corriedale, the East Friesian, the Finnsheep, the Panama, the Polypay, and the Targhee. Sheep meat is either ‘mutton,’ if it comes from mature sheep, or ‘lamb,’ if it is from sheep not older than one year. Sheep grow both hair and wool fibers although hair breeds have more hair fibers than woolly fibers. They also tend to shed their coats annually and usually do not require shearing, crutching, or docking. There are 7 hair breeds and they are the Barbados Blackbelly and American Blackbelly, the California Reds, the Dorper, the Katahdin, the Romanov, the Royal White Sheep, and the St. Croix. There are two general types of hair sheep in the United State: "improved" and "unimproved". The unimproved breeds tend to be indigenous sheep breeds that have adapted well to the local environment in which they evolved like the Barbados Blackbelly and the St. Croix.  The improved hair breeds on the other hand are crosses between regular hair breeds and wooled meat breeds. Examples include the Dorper, the Katahdin and the Royal White Sheep. Fine wool sheep produce wool fibers with a very small fiber diameter, usually 20 microns or less. There are 5 fine wool breeds in the USA, namely the American Cormo, the Booroola Merino, the Debouillet, the Delaine-Merino, and the Rambouillet. In comparison, long wool sheep produce long-stapled wool with a large fiber diameter, usually greater than 30 microns. There are 7 long wool breeds [...]

By |2017-07-03T02:09:51+00:00February 7th, 2014|Sheep, Wool|1 Comment

Mutton Bustin’

Mutton Bustin' is an event held at rodeos similar to bull riding or bronc riding. It is the kid version of bull riding. Open to girls and boys, youngsters attempt to ride the unpredictable sheep for six seconds. During the event, a sheep will be caught and held still while a child is placed on top in a riding position. Once the child is seated atop the sheep, the people holding the sheep let go and the sheep then starts to run in an attempt to get the child off. It is an exciting event for the boys and girls who want to experience the excitement of what riding in a rodeo could be like. TChildren are on occasion injured by the sheep. Height and weight restrictions on participants generally prevent injuries to the sheep. Parents are often asked to sign waivers to protect the rodeo from legal action. ISafety of the children and the sheep is of course important. Proper gear helps and consists of a protective vest and a helmet. There is also an age restriction usually children age 4 to 9. There is also a weight restriction; children can weigh no more than of 55 lbs. Weight restictions protect the sheep. Mutton Bustin' has grown to be one of the most popular and entertaining extra attractions at the National Western Stock Show in Denver during January.Like the cowboy bucking events, time and score count, but all the contestants receive trophies from the sponsor EChildren get confidence from doing this event. Sometimes a cowboy or a rodeo clown helps with showing them how. The little cowboy or cowgirl learns the proper way to mount the sheep, and hold on for the six seconds or so the ride lasts. The child who holds on for that long without falling off and has a good ride is the winner. Mamas if you don't want your babies to grow up to be Cowboys, you best keep them away from Mutton Bustin'. Sure, it looks innocent enough, but does anybody really know how many Cowboys got THEIR first real taste of rodeo riding from a sheep? . I

By |2016-10-23T11:34:51+00:00September 5th, 2009|Children, Contests, Muttin bustin, Rodeo, Sheep|2 Comments

What about sheep?

Recently YouTube recommended a video to me on a sheep doing tricks. It was most impressive. It was also something I had never thought about. How intelligent is a sheep? In this video the sheep was taught to do all kinds of tricks for a tasty treat. It became apparent that the sheep liked the trainer and kept looking up at him – and then it was to the point where he pointed and the sheep just did…what the trainer seemed to ask.. from jumping in a box to jumping over obstacles and walking through a tunnel. That got me to thinking. We use sheep for all kinds of things. Wool and tasty lamb dishes. Consider… 1) from a study done by a veterinary group in 2001 – By presenting sheep with images of 25 pairs of sheep faces and teaching them to associate one of each pair with a food reward, they trained them to recognize individual faces. Then, by measuring activity in regions of the sheep’s brain associated with visual recognition, they found that sheep can remember up to 50 sheep faces, even in profile for up to two years! Some of us humans would have a problem with that. 2) A Welsh farmer stated: “When you thin that when sheep wander off sometimes they go back to where they came from – the flock they came from, ” he said. 3) As prey animals, they have a highly-developed flocking instinct, and prefer to move in groups rather than as individuals. That certainly seems intelligent 4) Hungry sheep on the Yorkshire Moors (Great Britain) taught themselves to roll 8 feet (3 meters) across hoof-proof metal cattle grids to raid villagers’ valley gardens. 5) Researchers say, “Sheep form individual friendships with one another, which may last for a few weeks. It’s possible they may think about a face even when it’s not there.” The researchers also found female sheep had a definite opinion about what made a ram’s face attractive 6) Using a maze, researchers have concluded that sheep have excellent spatial memory and are able to learn and improve their performance. And they can retain this information for a six-week period. 7) New research is suggesting that sick sheep could actually be smart enough to cure themselves. Australian researchers believe that sick sheep may actually seek out plants that make them feel better. There has been previous evidence to suggest that animals can detect what nutrients they are deficient in and can develop knowledge about [...]

By |2016-10-23T11:34:52+00:00June 27th, 2009|Animals, Sheep|0 Comments

More about Goats and Sheep

by Asai Goat is one of the smallest domesticated ruminants that have served the mankind former and longer than the cattle and sheep. It is controlled for the production of milk, meat, wool and may other products, particularly in arid, semitropical or mountainous countries. In temperate zones, goats are kept frequently rather as additional animals by petite holders, while commercially cows or buffaloes are especially kept for milk, cheese and other meat products, and sheep for wool and meat production. Nonetheless, there are more than 465 million goats worldwide currently producing more than 4.6 million tons of milk and 1.3 million tons of meat as well mohair, cashmere, leather and also dung; and more people drink milk and milk products from goats all-inclusive than from any other animal. Goats could love on bushes, trees, desert scrub and other aromatic herbs when sheep and cattle would starve to death. Goat herders frequently have deserted a balanced numerical stability among goat numbers and sparse vegetation. Over-grazing has smashed many tree and the woodland areas that were blamed then on goats other than man, and this has caused extensive ecological and political worries, erosion, desertification and as well ban on freely grazing goats in some of the world famous areas. Swiss goat breeds are the world's selected for milk production. Indian and Nubian resulting goat breeds are dual-purpose meat and for milk producers. Spanish and South African goats are top recognized for meat producing ability. The Turkish Angora, Asian Cashmere and the Russian Don goats are reserved for mohair and cashmere wool production. In addition, there are Pygmy goats from Western Africa of growing interest as laboratory and pet animals. Goat milk casein and goat milk fat are more simply digested than from any cow milk. Goat milk is appreciated for the elderly, ill, babies, children with cow milk allergies, patients with ulcers, and as well favored for raising waifs and strays foals or puppies. Fat globules in goat milk are slighter than in cow milk and stay dispersed longer. Breeds of goats differ from as little as 20 lb grown-up female body weight and 18 inches female shrivels for dwarf goats for purpose of meat production up to 250 lb and 43 inches shrivels height for Indian Jamnapari, Swiss Saanen, Alpine and Anglo Nubian for purpose of milk production. Some Jamnapari males might be as tall as 40 and above inches at shrivels. Angora goats weigh may be among 70 to 100 lb for grown-up females and [...]

By |2016-10-23T11:34:53+00:00May 10th, 2007|Goats, Sheep|0 Comments