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  » Introduction

  » Historical Perspectives

  » Accelerated Lambing

  » Grazing Performance

  » Genetic Evaluation

  » Internal Parasites

  » Carcass Quality

  » Carcass Composition

  » Marketing Hair Sheep

Performance of Hair Sheep In Different Environments

  » Eastern U.S.

  » Range (Texas)

  » Tropical (Caribbean)

  » Southeastern U.S.

  » Integrated Systems

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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.

Katahdin ram at Virginia State University
  • 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 crosses.

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. sheep industry. Barbados Blackbelly sheep at Virginia State University

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