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Selection Of Sheep In Katahdin Sheep Kentucky
Sheep form one of the largest sectors of the meat industry in America. Animal protein is a staple in the American diet and mutton is a significant part of that. The sheep is therefore an important agricultural animal. Sheep farming is mass produced, like other livestock husbandry, and so sheep farmers are required to concentrate on specific breeds, such as the Katahdin Sheep Kentucky.
Sheep farmers are faced with the same choice as farmers of other animals - what breeds to focus on. This is extremely important because different breeds are used for different purposes. Not all sheep are bred for the same reason - some are used for their fleeces or wool, and others for their meat. Farmers therefore need to choose the breed or breeds that are most suited to what they are trying to achieve on their farms.
Cattle farmers, too, have this dilemma. Beef cattle are the preserve of meat production, while dairy farmers target those breeds which produce more milk than others. The farmer decides on which breed to target and then uses it to populate their herds.
Sheep breeds, like any other animal, can also be selected and refined using natural selection and hybridization, whereby the breed is purified or some characteristic of its members is emphasized through successive generations. This is important in agriculture because the characteristic might increase the productivity of the farming operation or its economic success.
Farmer will target these individual animals exclusively. An example of an attractive characteristic would be higher-than-average body mass, faster growth (i. E. Faster weight gain - this is very important where meat is being mass produced because the market is enormous) or higher milk production. Only those animals which have these characteristics are considered for breeding. In the end, the entire herd or flock matches them.
A gene which is transferred from one generation to the next is known as dominant. If it isn't, it is known as recessive. A recessive gene is only expressed in the next generation if it is present in both parents. So, where there is a mix, only the dominant gene will be expressed in the filial (next) generation.
A more modern development is to try to genetically manipulate the animal itself (genetic modification or GM). This technique is still in its early phases of implementation and as such it attracts public opposition and controversy. It requires that the embryo is literally modified genetically in a laboratory environment, something which is suspected to reduce the lifespan of the animal or detract from its health.
Also, there is public opposition to GM. It has been contested for years now. It is a new technique and it remains open to more research and debate.
Speaking of Katahdin sheep in particular, they are known for their high meat production, as well as the fact that they lose their fleeces when summer starts. These two characteristics make them very popular with sheep farmers.
To find a reputable breeder of Katahdin sheep Kentucky farm at http://www.stablerockkatahdins.com is the right source of contact. Here is a selection of registered lambs and rams at http://www.stablerockkatahdins.com.