The Katahdin is an improved breed of hair sheep, the first hair breed to meet North American industry standards for carcass quality. The Katahdin is a cross between British meat breeds, notably the Suffolk, African Hair sheep, specifically the St. Croix, and later the Wiltshire Horn. They were developed in the 1950′s by amateur geneticist Michael Piel and take their name from Mt. Katahdin in Maine where the Piel farm was located. They are hardy, adaptable, low maintenance sheep that produce superior lamb crops and lean, meaty carcasses. They do not produce a fleece and therefore do not require shearing. Ewes have exceptional mothering ability and lamb easily; lambs are born vigorous and alert. The breed is ideal for pasture lambing and grass/foragebased management systems.
They are naturally tolerent of climateic extremes and capable of high performance in a variety of environments. One of the most outstanding characteristics of the Katahdin is its natural resistance to internal parasites. The Katahdin is one of the most popular breeds of registered sheep in the U.S.