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Hair Sheep Workshop @ Virginia State University

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 crosses.


In June 2005, a 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). The workshop was intended to provide timely, research-based information on the production potential of hair sheep and their role in the U.S. sheep industry.


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.


Historical Perspectives
Accelerated Lambing and Breeding Out-of-Season
Grazing Performance
Genetic Evaluation
Internal Parasites
Carcass Quality
Carcass Composition
Marketing Hair Sheep
Performance of Hair Sheep in Different Production Environments
Eastern US
Range (Texas)
Southeastern US
Integrated Systems

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