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it’s someone raising club [show] lambs.” The most apparent difference between hair sheep breeds and their wool counterparts is their coat — which contains more hair fibers than the wool fibers, thus eliminating the added expense of shearing. Like wild sheep, hair sheep shed their coats seasonally with some breeds even growing thicker coats in the winter.

Here’s Looking at Ewe Hair sheep are finding their niche in Green Country as farmers look for sustainable, cost-effective ways to raise livestock for meat, profit, and brush control. By Jennifer Zehnder Like many of his commercial livestock ventures, Sean Clark of Westville, Oklahoma, saw sheep as an opportunity to expand his farm portfolio. He began his

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sheep journey in the ‘90s with wool sheep. “I didn’t care for them. The maintenance was just too

much,” Clark shares. “We found hair sheep to be a much better fit for our operation. Now, we hardly ever see wool sheep in my region unless

Clark, who deals in Dorper and Katahdin breeds, appreciates their easy-care coat and ability to thrive in hot, humid climates. Hair sheep also tend to be more disease and parasite resistant than wool sheep. Those attributes, combined with high-reproduction rates and their ability to finish/fatten on pasture only, make them the go-to choice for those wanting to raise hardy, pasture-efficient sheep for meat and sales. Other hair sheep breeds include the American Blackbelly, Barbados Blackbelly, California Red, Romanov, Royal White, Blackhead Persian, St. Augustine, St. Croix, and Wiltshire Horn. According to Clark, hair sheep have given his farm diversity that no other species has offered. “Acre per acre, they offer way better returns than beef, and have a lower startup cost than

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November 2019 (Vol. 33, No. 11)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...

November 2019 (Vol. 33, No. 11)  

Where to Dine. What to Do. Where to Find It. When It's Happening. Preview 918 A regional magazine of national stature, Preview 918 has rema...