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  • Welcome to Sheep 101. The purpose of Sheep 101 is to teach 4-H and FFA members, students, teachers, beginning shepherds, and the general public about sheep, their products, how they are raised, and their contributions to society. The site uses simple language and pictures to illustrate the various topics. To begin learning about sheep, click on a link in the menu bar or choose a topic from the drop down menu above.

  • About the author. The author of Sheep 101 is Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center. Susan has been with University of Maryland Extension since 1988. She raises Katahdin sheep on her small farm, called The Baalands, in Clear Spring, Maryland. Susan has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science degrees from Virginia Tech and Montana State University, respectively.

  • Susan Schoenian
    Sheep & Goat Specialist
    W. MD Research & Education Center
    University of Maryland Extension - (301) 432-2767 x343

Baby George
Baby George

Big George

    About George

  • George was born on March 1, 2002, and is named after President George W. Bush. George is a crossbred sheep. His mother (dam) was a purebred Katahdin and his father (sire) was a 3/4 White Dorper named Tarheel. When George was born, no ewe would claim him or allow him to nurse, so he was fed on a bottle for six weeks before being weaned.

  • George is a wether. He was castrated (neutered) so he could be sold as a pet or grazer. He hurt his leg at the time he was to be sold. When he recovered, Susan (the webmaster) couldn't bear to part with him so he became a permanent resident of The Baalands.

  • During the year, George lives with the rams on the farm, sometimes the ewes. He's a little (actually a lot!) on the chubby side since all he does is eat. His favorite food (besides grain) is leaves. George generally speaks when he is spoken to and responds to his name or anything that sounds like it. He can be led with a halter or collar, but prefers just to trot along behind Susan or whoever is carrying the bucket of feed. You have to watch him, though. If you don't hold the bucket up high enough, he will get his head in it and cause you to spill feed.

  • George is a hair sheep, so he naturally sheds his coat (a mixture of hair and wool) each year. Because hair sheep are more resistant to internal parasites (worms) than conventional wooled sheep, George has not been dewormed since he was a young lamb. Like the ewes and rams in the flock, George receives an annual booster for enterotoxemia and tetanus (CD-T). His hooves are trimmed once per year, a procedure he does not like having done. The last time his hooves were being trimmed, he fell asleep in the tilt table.

  • George has become a little sensitive about his weight: over 200 pounds! He hopes you enjoy his web site.

    See George's favorite breeds of sheep =>