Targhee sheep are generally white with average fleece weights of 10-14 pounds with a 21-25 micron count. With this low micron count Targhee fleece is ideal for soft yarn that will not be scratchy next to the skin.The staple length is 3-5 inches and the grease fleece has a yield of 50-55%.
Commonly used for meat production and are considered a dual purpose sheep, producing both meat and wool
Ewes have about 150% lambing rate and they lamb well on pasture.
These are hardy animals and are preferred in South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming because of this. Mature body weight in 200-300 pounds for Rams and 125-200 pounds for ewes. They are easy to care for and long lived.
The Targhee breed was developed at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Idaho in the fall of 1926 and is one of America’s youngest sheep breeds. The breed was developed to meet the demand for fine wool as well as meat in one animal. Rambouillet, Lincoln, and Corriedale ewes were bred to the best Rambouillet rams available at the station. Through careful selection over several years the new Targhee breed was developed. The breed was named for the Targhee National Forest where the animals grazed during the the summer. Targhee originated from the name of the chief of the Bannock Indians who lived in the area in the 1860’s. Since then the U.S. Targhee Sheep Association registers over 2000 sheep per year and has members in 38 states and Canada.