The Katahdin is a breed of sheep developed strictly for its meat. In the 1950's, Michael Piel of Maine saw a need for a hardy meat sheep which would not require shearing. To achieve this, Mr. Piel imported a small number of Virgin Island sheep to cross with some of his existing flock of traditional sheep. His goal was to combine the hardiness, prolificacy and shedding hair coat of the Virgin Island sheep with the carcass conformation and growth rate of the British breeds. After 20 years of cross-breeding, Mr. Piel eventually assembled a flock he called Katahdin, named after Mt. Katahdin in Maine.
Lamb from hair sheep has a wonderful, mild taste. The meat may be eaten hot or cold, after cooking, and may be readily substituted in most beef or pork recipes. The Katahdin breed does not have the odd flavor that most people associate with lamb, because Katahdins do not have wool, therefore the lanolin is not present to affect the flavor of the meat. A 100 pound lamb dresses out at about 52%. After packaging, you usually get between 35 and 40 lbs. of packaged meat.
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