I am going to look at some Katahdin sheep Monday morning and would love general sheep advice and specific advice for picking sheep.
I don't know very much at all, but we had some sheep when I was a child.
The Sheep we had never got tame. I have had house mice more tame than these, presumably, domesticated sheep. Are their methods for training sheep, if this batch turns out to be rather feral? Or is a lot of it left up to genetics?
I don't really know what I will find, other than the ad came with a set of pictures that showed sheep that looked like competition grade (while most other ads showed sheep that looked like their were dying from several diseases).
but I am really not sure what sort of price difference registered/unregistered, yearling vs 5 year old entails? Is a fresh ewe who has never given birth worth less than an experience one? At what age does the price start going down?
What sort of documentation, if any, should I want to see?
At this point I am looking at Katahdin (presumably purebreed) sheep and a ram. But how important would you say is crossing with Texel, Suffolk, Dorper, etc. if your main end goal will be having them butchered? I am thinking at least keep a Katahdin ram for a few years to build up a herd, and then bring in something else to produce cross breed lambs from the pure parents, but the pure breed aspect might also allow me to sell live to other markets easier than if I just produced cross lambs.
The Ram, since it is coming from the same farm, will possible have the same father as at least some of the ewes I will be able to pick form. But not everything I have been reading has seemed to be consistent. Inbreeding can be a problem, but sometimes you want to use inbreeding to set a trait. How much worry should I have about this?