Dakota Farmer

Bring NDSU genetics to your flock

Romanov sheep genetics integral to university research.

May 1, 2024

2 Min Read
Romanov sheep
TOP QUALITY: Romanov sheep are a long-standing piece of research at North Dakota State University, primarily in fetal growth and early-pregnancy development. Travis Hoffman

by Travis Hoffman

Spring lamb prices are holding strong, and the new crop lambs are growing. As North Dakota State University continues to evolve with the sheep research, teaching and Extension program, an opportunity exists to add quality sheep genetics.

The NDSU Department of Animal Sciences is offering Romanov ewes and select Romanov and EasyCare rams for public auction on May 6. Interested buyers can bid on a total of 44 ewes and seven rams.

The ewes offered include:

  • 16 fall 2023 ewes

  • eight 2-year-old ewes

  • 12 3-year-old ewes

  • eight mature ewes

The herd sire offerings are:

  • five EasyCare rams

  • two Romanov rams

Romanov sheep have been a long-standing part of research at NDSU. They have served as a model for developmental programming for fetal growth. These prolific ewes have been key in learning the role of placenta and early-pregnancy development that has led to advances in sheep reproduction.

“Production economics suggest that the largest driver of profitability is [the] number of lambs born,” says Travis Hoffman, an NDSU and University of Minnesota Extension sheep specialist. “The Romanov breed sets the standard for increasing lambing percentage in commercial operations, similar to productivity of Finnsheep. With the increased merchandising of ethnic lambs in the spring, these prolific ewes fit the model for profit.”

The NDSU ewes have an average lamb crop born of about 250% in the spring and 220% in the fall, Hoffman says. The half-blood Romanov lambs grow quickly at a rate of about 0.7 pounds per day prior to market, reaching 80 to 100 pounds at 5 months old.

Interested sheep producers can look at sheep and bid on the event page at ndsu.ag/romanovsheep. Check the NDSU Animal Science website or NDSU Sheep Extension Facebook page for photos and videos. Bids are due via the online closed bid form by 5 p.m. May 6.

Bidding will occur the evening of May 6, with ewes and rams sold to the highest bidders. Buyers must arrange transportation and pick up their sheep before May 17.

The NDSU sheep unit continues to serve the university mission with registered Hampshire and Columbia and commercial Dorset and white Dorper/Royal white ewes, and the NDSU Hettinger Research Extension Center maintains registered Columbia sheep and a large Rambouillet range flock.

For information, contact Hoffman at 701-231-2222 or [email protected] or the Animal Sciences Department via email at [email protected].

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like