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Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offers Educational Program on Hair Sheep

PALESTINE, OCTOBER 31, 2017 -- Anderson County Extension will conduct a Hair Sheep Educational Program on Monday, November 6 at Ben E Keith located at 2019 W. Oak Street.  Registration is at 6 p.m., program will start at 6:30 p.m.  1-hour CEU will be offered in IPM. 

Hair Sheep Farms in Anderson County range from 8 to 10 head, up to several thousand head.  We will focus on the St Croix Breed.  I get calls weekly from land owners, small acreage and large looking to get into Ag Production, Cattle, Farming and Goats, this want work for everyone. Haired Sheep are small animals much like goats or sheep breeds that have wool.  Stocking rates are somewhere between 6-10 per acre depending on your pastures, brush and browse.  Allow me to share a few details about St Croix.  Origin:  Developed in the Virgin Islands for crosses of West African Hair Sheep and Wiltshire Horn.  In 1975 Utah State University imported a small flock of Virgin Island White which is the basis for the present St Croix Breed in North America.  Coat and Color:  Most of the individuals are white, but tan and spotted ones exist.  Breed is mainly free of wool and do not normally require shearing.  Mature Weight (Lb):  Ewe = 130 – 140 (Average is 136), Ram = 170 – 200.   Disposition & Mothering Ability:  Breed is docile and calm with good flocking instinct.  They are excellent mothers.  Breeding Season: Year-Round.  Lambing %:  Lambing rates vary from 150% to 250% with 3 lambing every 2 years not uncommon.  Average Birth Weight (Lbs): 7.5 lbs for single, 6.5 – 7 for twins, and less for triplets.  Weight Gain/Daily: 0.5 lbs daily. 

Speaker for this program will be Mr. Rob Bass, St Croix Breeder in Anderson County.  Rob travels across the State and Country speaking and is currently serving as President of St Croix International Association.  Mr. Bass will be discussing traits of the breed, what you need to raise the breed, External parasites and guard animals.  If you will be attending please call the Anderson County Extension Office 903-723-3735 by noon on Monday, November 6.  Come join us!

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