My interest in PolyPay sheep started in my years of college at University of Georgia . I took the first Sheep Production course offered by the university and quickly came up with my answer to the Question that our professor was diligent in asking. “If you were just starting out, which breed of sheep would be in your Flock and why?” My course work was often in the ‘lab” format where we often spent time on a working sheep ranch or processing facility. After learning more about this relatively new breed and seeing them perform in varied environments, for me the answer to that question was POLYPAY Sheep.
Polypay is a dual purpose breed that was developed by the University of Idaho in the 1970’s. By combining four breeds of sheep: Targhee, Dorset, Finnsheep and Rambioullet, thus a new American breed was created. Each breed brings specific traits that were enhanced by the hybrid vigor to result in a breed that was able to lamb unassissted and take care of multiple births. They are born more sturdy and there growth is efficent with a nice sized carcass in 6-8 months and an excellent flavor. This new breed was a medium sized white sheep without horns or fleece on its face or legs. Polypay’s are docile, produce a nice medium to fine quality wool and breed out of season allowing for 3 lamb crops in 2 years. To the shepherd this would mean less work and more income so some witty professor named the breed Poly (many) Pay (paydays).
I later graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and in 1999 we bought our starter flock of POLYPAY sheep, made up of 18 registered ewes and 1 ram. Our first lamb was born on April 15, 2000 and we have never looked back. Our most recent ram was bought in 2013 from an NSIP flock and we have enrolled our flock in that program. NSIP (National Sheep Improvement Program) is a venue that collects data and calulates estimated breeding values based on information gathered from multiple flocks and generations of performance. By using this database tool we hope to improve our end product and thus our efficency.