Southcentral Katahdin Hair Sheep Association
Serving Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana,
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A Brief History of the Katahdin
Katahdin are a breed a hair sheep developed in the United
States. They originated at the Piel Farm in north central Maine
where Michael Piel was an innovator and "amateur geneticist".
He began making inquiries about hair sheep after seeing pictures
in a National Geographic of West African hair sheep which he
would later import for crossbreeding. He mixed Cheviots,
Suffolks (with the help of LSU), and many others to try and
produce the lamb he was looking for.
In the early 1970s, Piel felt he had come close to his goal of a
"meat sheep that did not require shearing." He called them
Katahdin sheep after Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine.
In October 1975, Piel imported a handful of Wiltshire Horn sheep
from Wales via Canada. The first crosses were born in 1976. The
crossing continued even after his death in December of 1976 with
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