He Found A Market For Easy-Care Sheep Breed

A Missouri farmer has found success with Royal White Sheep. This hybrid breed was established in the late 1990’s and has a combination of St. Croix and Dorper sheep traits. The resulting animal is low-maintenance, highly resistant to many parasites, and an excellent meat producer with a relatively low-fat content.

 

   Mike Hackbart first encountered Royal White Sheep after he had poor results raising Jacob sheep. His herd of Jacobs were professionals at escaping from his fencing, so he went looking for a more docile breed. Royal White Sheep’s relative rarity caught his attention.

 

   These days, Hackbart works to maintain a flock of 20 to 30 sheep that provides him with breeding stock to sell. “I never have enough for my customers.”

 

   The placid personalities of Royal Whites have lived up to Hackbart’s expectations. The sheep are naturally hornless and often act more like pets than livestock. He can easily grain train them to get off pasture in the evenings so they can spend nights safely in the barn away from coyotes and neighboring dogs. Hackbart lets them out again in the mornings once the dew has evaporated from the lawn to reduce the risk of parasite problems.

 

   Royal Whites will breed at any time of year, and owners can get up to three lamb crops every two years. Hackbart buys and sells his breeding stock over a wide geographic range to boost the breed’s genetic diversity. Prices vary, but he generally gets $300 per ewe and $150 per wether.

Anyone interested in Royal Whites can connect with certified breeders online. “I’m part of the Royal White Sheep Association, as well as a Royal White Hair Sheep Facebook group,” he says. “That’s how I connect with many of my customers.”

 

   Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Miklin Creek Farm, Mid-south Missouri, near Lebanon (mdhbart@usa.com; www.miklincreekfarm.com).