Hair sheep have made significant contributions to
sheep production in the U.S. over the past several years and are
poised to expand their role in the future. Hair breeds successfully
address several of the production constraints currently faced by
the sheep industry in some regions of the U.S.
- There is a shift in the sheep industry towards "easy-care"
sheep that perform well under forage-based systems with
limited managerial inputs, which are in line with the production
traits of many hair sheep breeds.
- The phase-out of wool subsidies has made the harvesting
of medium quality wools from typical farm flock operations
less economically feasible, and shearing in many instances
has become a major constraint.
- The proportion of lamb consumed by the ethnic markets
is steadily increasing. These markets generally prefer the
leaner, lighter carcasses typical of hair sheep and their
The Hair Sheep Workshop was hosted by Virginia
State University and co-sponsored by the National
Sheep Industry Improvement Center and the NCERA-190
Regional Research Project
(Increased efficiency of sheep production) in June 2005
and was intended to provide timely, research-based information on
the production potential of hair sheep and their role in the U.S.
This web site summarizes the invited presentations
made at the workshop. Articles on hair sheep research presented
as posters during the hair sheep workshop were published in Volume
20 (2005) of the Sheep
and Goat Research Journal following peer-review.
Special thanks to the American
Sheep Industry Association for hosting this web site.
Hair Sheep Workshop at Virginia State University