Animal Husbandry Department
Sheep, No Tail, Notail, Animal Husbandry, Breeds, Cross-bred
This is a progress report of an effort to develop, if possible, a breed of sheep without tails and with other desirable characteristics.
The possibilities for developing such a breed originated in 1913 when Dr. N. E. Hansen, horticulturist at the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, went to Siberia in search of seeds and plants that might be of value to the conditions in this state. While there his attention was attracted to the condition of the fat-rumped sheep grazing on the comparatively scanty vegetation of that country. He had an idea that if this breed of sheep was so well suited to the conditions of that section it might be of value to the sheep industry of South Dakota.
Accordingly he purchased six head-four ewes and two rams-and brought them back. This was the only flock of fat-rumped sheep, as far as known, in the United States. The two rams were not closely related and their pictures (Fig. I) would indicate some variation in type.
A breed of sheep without a tail should be of v:ilue to the sheep industry for several reasons:
1. There are no tails to be docked.
2. They are cleaner at the rear and less subject to troubles caused by blow flies than sheep with long or improperly docked tails.
3. At shearing time there are no tails or docks to be shorn and there are fewer tags.
4. Due to the ancestry of the Notail breed the individuals are exceptionally hardy and appear to be good rustlers.
South Dakota State State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station
Wilson, J. W., "Development of the Notail Sheep" (1940). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 25.