The Panama sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from United States. It was originated in the 1990s in Idaho by private sheep breeders. The breed was actually named for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, where it was shown early on in it’s history. It is actually one of the only two recognized breeds of sheep which were developed in the United States by private sheep breeders.
The Panama sheep breed is the result of a cross between Lincoln ewes and Rambouillet rams. Following approximately five years of crossbreeding, rams and ewes were mated among themselves to establish the breed. James Laidlaw developed this breed, who was a Scottish immigrant to the region.
James Laidlaw was seeking a large sheep, better suited to the range than the Merinos, which were most common in the late 19th and early 20 centuries. In the year of 1951, a breed registry was formed, but it has been inactive and it’s unclear whether the majority of Panamas present today have not been crossbred. The sole remaining flock that is known to be pure is one maintained by the University of Idaho. Read some more information about this breed below.
Panama Sheep Characteristics
Panama sheep are large sized animals and they possess a thick, heavy wool fleece. Their fleece is of medium grade and tends to be long in length. Their body color is usually white. Both rams and ewes are naturally polled or hornless.
As a medium sized animal, average live body weight of the mature Panama rams is between 113 and 127 kg. And the mature ewe’s body weight vary from 82 to 95 kg. Photo and info from University of Idaho and Wikipedia.
The Panama sheep are dual-purpose animals. They are kept for both meat and wool production.
The Panama sheep are very hardy and strong animals. They are specially known for their hardiness in the rough conditions of the northern Rocky Mountains. They are highly adapted to range areas with ample feed conditions. Today the breed is raised for both meat and wool production. But they are actually highly valued for their wool production. However, review full breed profile of the Panama sheep in the following chart.
Panama Sheep | Breed Profile
|Breed Purpose||Dual-purpose. Meat and wool|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and strong animals, known for their hardiness in the rough conditions of the northern rocky mountains, highly adapted to range areas with ample feed conditions, good for both meat and wool production, but specially valued for their wool production|
|Weight||Rams weight between 113 and 127 kg, and the mature ewe’s weight vary from 82 to 95 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Native climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||United States|