said good fences and guard dogs are an absolute necessity for raising sheep.
have two guard dogs that are very vigilant. I also have a herding dog that
saves me a lot of time. We have mesh wire fences around the perimeter and use
mesh wire for cross fencing, also. This type fence in conjunction with a good
guard dog will prevent predation problems from domestic dogs and
good fences and guard dogs, Prokop said sheep producers need to be very
vigilant during birthing season.
forage is also critical for raising meat sheep. Prokop uses a no-till seeder
for planting oats, rye grass, wheat and four varieties of legume clover. He
buys all his feed, seed, fertilizer and soybean by-products from the Florala
Farmers’ and Builders’ Coop.
Blackwell and the other employees are very knowledgeable and helpful. If they
don’t know the answer to a question, they will find out for you.
plant my winter forage by October 15 and want to be grazing winter forage by
December 15. We then take the sheep off the winter grazing by April 15, and by
May 15 we are cutting hay. We sell the surplus hay to the horse breeders in
the area. During the summertime our sheep graze on Tifton 85 bermuda
grass," said Prokop.
is especially proud of Bruiser, one of his rams who is a grandson of the
Canadian Grand Champion ram, Goliath.
weighed 305 pounds at 22 months of age," he said "In 2005, he had
offspring that dressed out 60%, which is an outstanding ratio. For comparison,
an average goat will dress out about 47%. I’m shooting for an average of 60%
dressed weight, and I believe I have the genetics to obtain it."
Prokop’s wife, is a registered nurse whose skills come in handy when it’s
time to worm and vaccinate the sheep.
may be the head sheep herder most of the time, but when it comes time to
doctoring, all Rosemary lets me do is hold the sheep for her to administer the
medicine," laughed Prokop.
is an avid animal lover herself with horses, birds, dogs and a large flock of
geese. She said goose eggs make the richest, best tasting pound cake anyone
has ever tasted.
seen some pretty proper people forget their table manners when they bite into
a slice of that goose egg pound cake," laughed Rosemary.
and Rosemary Prokop have earned quite an excellent reputation in the Southeast
as producers of top-quality Katahdin sheep. Anyone interested in acquiring
Katahdin sheep can contact Ron at 850-834-3333 or by e-mail at [email protected].
For additional information on Katahdin sheep, contact John Stormquest,
president of Katahdin Hair Sheep International, at 815-629-2159.
Norman is a writer from Highland Home.