Travis Johnson wrote:I had Katadins for awhile but last year I sold all that I have because they just do not make fiscal sense.
I didn't want to tie up space by quoting your whole comment.
I won't doubt that you may make more money with wool sheep in your scenario.
However, you are conflating production per animal with profit. I run a few hundred head of katahdins as a small hobby flock/sideline. In the past I have run several thousand head of carpet wool/meat sheep. Measuring dollars per animal unit is inaccurate. It is dollars per acre/labor cost/and animal cost. I can wean and sell more pounds of hair sheep per acre/manhour/cost of input than wool lambs every time, with very few outside inputs. If you had a market for big racks, and had to spread a fixed price per head slaughter fee over a larger animal, you may have more profitability with a large animal. Everyone has to measure their total cost/versus their total revenues.
To be frank the depreciation cost of good dogs and dog food is about the same as my mineral and vaccine cost. In a climate with 36+ inches of rain a year, and 5 months of winter, I can produce around 9 saleable 90 pound lambs per acre with no grain. I can't do that with any of the black face carpet wool breeds. I lamb outside, unassisted, no jugs, no BS. My ewes lamb, get them up, get them nursed and if I don't get them tagged, weighed and recorded within twelve hours I need the border collie and a fishing net to get it done. I haven't hand pulled a lamb in over 3000 lambings. The black face were a lambing ease nightmare. If I need to worm, fix a hoof, or do any single animal extra husbandry, its a dangle bob'ed ear and to market after the lambs are off. I line breed from inside my flock, and select for grazing ability, fecundity, lamb survival, worm resistance, and ewe body weight/lamb weaning weight ratio. I suspect many hair sheep failures are from a lack of identifying crucial sustainable profitability traits and then closing up the flock and locking those traits in place.
I sell direct to muslims for a premium. I put them in the backs of Mercedes SUVS hog tied. I occasionally sell to a Muslim buyer in Chicago for halal slaughter. Also for a premium. I also sell 100% grass finished lambs to rich suburbanite barbies for a very large premium. I send the bottom enders to be made into whole lamb grass-fed sausage. I get 3 or 4 times the value of pork sausage. It's a nice hobby.
I had some old women of English decent that wanted large, greasy muttony wool lambs they could drown in mint jelly. I couldn't give them a hair sheep for free.