The declining value of wool relative to meat, along with the decreasing variety of sheep shearers, has contributed to an expansion of hair sheep, not solely within the United States, but alternative countries in addition. It is estimated that approximately ten percent of the planet’s sheep population is hair sheep. In keeping with a 2011 NAHMS study, twenty one.five percent of sheep operations within the U.S. raise hair sheep breeds.
Hair sheep naturally shed their coats (mixtures of hair and wool fibers) and do not need shearing, crutching, or tail docking. Hair sheep are additional proof against internal parasites (gastro-intestinal worms) and alternative pests than wooled sheep. Also, hair sheep breeds possess many fascinating reproductive characteristics, such as early puberty, out-of-season breeding, and prolificacy.
Hair sheep are typically promoted as an “straightforward-care” various to wooled sheep and ancient high-cost production systems. Hair sheep ewes are typically lambed on pasture. Lambs are commonly grass-finished. Hair sheep lambs are usually higher suited to the ethnic markets that the commodity markets which sometimes prefer a heavy lamb.
Because hair sheep production continues to grow, there may be a smart market for hair sheep breeding stock. Many hair sheep producers sell their ewe lambs as breeding stock and their male lambs for meat.