The Polypay breed was born out of frustration and a dream. Long-time Idaho sheep man Reed Hulet was frustrated with the production of his family's 600 Idaho range ewes. They needed more productive sheep to make a profit. His dream --to develop a more prolific, better milking and mothering breed of range and farm combination sheep by cross breeding the best sheep available, and selecting for prolificacy and other economic traits. Reed Hulet did not have the resources to develop a new breed of sheep, so he shared his dream with his brother, Dr. Clarence Hulet's experimental breeding plan to reduce breeding seasonality and enhance prolificacy was approved. The dream to produce two lamb crops and one wool crop per year to give sheep producers more profits was on its way to reality!
The fortuitous importation of the Finnsheep with its high prolificacy, early puberty and short gestation; combined with outstanding strains of productive widely adapted, hardy Rambouillets; Targhees with superior fleece quality, large body size and long breeding season; and Dorsets with superior mothering ability, carcass quality, early puberty and long breeding season provided the gene pool needed to develop a more versatile, productive sheep. In 1968 U.S.S.E.S. crossed the first imported Finnsheep rams on Rambouillet ewes. Large-bodied Dorset rams from North Carolina, California, Oregon and Montana, born as twins or triplets from ewes with outstanding lifetime production, were obtained and crossed on Targhee ewes. The foundation Rambouillet and Targhee ewes were developed by mating two rams of outstanding body size and born and raised as twins on the range. The Finnsheep x Rambouillet (F x R) and Dorset x Targhee (0 x T) born in 1969 were big and exhibited early puberty. The F x R lambs were crossed with D x T lambs to produce the first 4-breed composite in 1970.
Subsequent testing of breeds and crosses established that the 4-breed composite (F x R x D x T) most closely met the prescribed production goals. When the potential of the new composite breed was recognized, Dr. Hulet coined the name "Polypay" in 1975 from "poly" many much or many, and "Pay" to indicate return on investment and labor. Even before the name was adopted, information on the outstanding performance of the new 4-breed composite spread and interest grew rapidly. Surplus F x R, D x T crosses, and 4-breed composites were purchased at the Annual U.S.S.E.S. Sales 1971-1974 by early Polypay breeders such as George Nicholas, Don Torrell, Rodney Peterson and Reed Hulet. The first "Polypay" ewes and rams were sold 1975-1977 to George Nicholas, Jack Ryan, Reed Hulet, Russel Beattle, Kermit and Sandy Petersen, Charles Kimball, Hall Schulthies and others who shared an interest in developing a more productive breed. The American Polypay Sheep Association was formed in 1980. Since that time, research at the U.S.S.E.S. has continued. And, hundreds of enthusiastic dedicated Polypay breeders on farms and ranches from Canada to Mexico and throughout the United States have obtained foundation stock from the U.S.S.E.S. or descendants of that stock, and are contributing to the continued development of the Polypay breed. Pride in their work insures a great future for the breed of tomorrow, here today - POLYPAYS made in the USA!!
BREED STANDARDS FOR POLYPAY SHEEP
General Appearance: 15
The Polypay is a medium sized sheep, symmetrical in outline, alert in appearance and free of excessive wrinkles on neck and body. Rams should be distinctively masculine and ewes should be strong but feminine. The head should be free of horns (loose scurs permitted in rams) with an open white face (poll covering desirable). Ears should be medium length and evenly covered with white hair or short wool. Eyes should be clear and bright. The incisor teeth must touch the dental pad. Neck should be medium in length and smooth from head to shoulders.
Weight of Mature Polypays in Breeding Condition* - (condition score of 3-1/2 to 4)
Rams -240-300 pounds
Ewes -150- 200 pounds
Height (measured to shoulders)*
Length (measured from the base of the neck to the base of dock)* Minimum length should be the height + 10%
The above standards are not for determining qualification or disqualification. Discrimination for the above standards should be in proportion to the deviation from standard
Back: Strong and level
Shoulders: Should blend in smoothly with body and top line. Shoulder blades should be smoothly attached.
Capacity: Chest should be moderate in depth and width with a trim brisket. Spring of ribs and body depth should be sufficient to provide enough feed capacity for adult sheep to maintain condition on course roughages or pasture alone.
Hind Saddle: 15
Loin: long, wide and thick, with thickness resulting from muscle not fat.
Rump: Wide at dock, full, deep twist and moderately level between hip and base of dock.
Leg: Thick and plump.
Feet and Legs: 10
Legs: Front and rear legs should be well placed under the corners of the body. Bone size should be ample as judged by the circumference below the knees. Hocks should be at an angle that allows free and easy movement. Hocks should not be too straight (post legged) or too crooked (sickle hocked) the pasterns should be strong and relatively straight.
Feet: Toes should be relatively close together.
Udder or Scrotum: 15
Ram should have two well-developed testicles. Yearling rams and older should have scrotal circumference of 36 centimeters minimum. Ewes should have a pliable, strongly attached udder, with 2 medium sized teats, and ample udder capacity. Yearling ewes should show evidence of having lambed. All 15 points should be deducted if there is no evidence of a yearling ewe having lambed.
Description: Dense, average staple length with uniform fiber quality from shoulder to thigh and carrying with uniformity to underline with heavy yield of clean wool.
Length: Average length Uniformity of Grade: A spin count of 54 to 62. No extreme britchiness or extreme coarseness of wool.
Condition: Fibers well grown, free from breaks and strong throughout length. Yolk white or cream, not in excess, nor dry or discolored. Fleece free from matting or coning, free of burrs, leaves and trash.
Total Points: 100
PUBLIC SHOW AND SALE REQUIREMENTS:
The American Polypay Sheep Association recommends that all Polypays entered in a Public Show or Sale meet the following requirements: -Be from multiple birth (twin or better) -All ewes in the Yearling Ewe Class must have lambed.
American Polypay Sheep Association Breeder's Guidelines
September 1, 1988
Requirements for registering Polypay sheep with the American Polypay Sheep Association are:
The individual to be registered must meet the following pedigree, physical, and other requirements.
A. Pedigree requirements:
Foundation animals are REGISTERED Polled Rambouillets, Finnsheep, Polled Dorset, Targhee. Copies of the Certificates of Registration must be presented to the American Polypay Sheep Association office as proof of pedigree. The individual to be registered must be the offspring of one of the following kinds of parents: 1. Be the offspring of registered parents, or
2. Be the offspring of parents each containing 1/4 Rambouillet, 1/4 Targhee, 1/4 Dorset, and 1/4 Finnsheep blood or,
3. Be the offspring of a registered POLYPAY parent and a mate containing 1/4 Rambouillet, 1/4 Targhee, 1/4 Dorset, and 1/4 Finnsheep blood, or
4. Be the offspring from the topcross of a registered POLYPAY sire upon a dam, descended from two previous similar topcross animals, whose female ancestor in the 1st topcross was from one or any combination of the four foundation breeds (this offspring, the 4th topcross, would itself be 15/16 POLYPAY and its dam would be 7/8 POLYPAY:) The 15/16 rule will take effect beginning with the 1988 Iamb crop in any topcrossing program must be 15/16 POLYPAY before qualifying for registration, or
5. Be the offspring of a registered POLYPAY sire and some other combination of foundation breeding, which would produce at least a 15/16 POLYPAY offspring.
B. Basic Physical requirements:
Polypays to be registered must meet the following physical requirements.
1. Be free of gross anatomical or physical defects (Entropian eyes, etc)
2. Not be subject to wool blindness
3. Have a smooth body from neck folds
4. Have no color in fleece and less than ten (10) percent color (black or brown) in the hairy parts of the head and legs.
5. No extreme britchiness or extreme coarseness of wool.
6. Be polled. No scurs in ewes. Scurs in rams are undesirable and should be strongly discriminated against.
7. Incisor teeth must touch the dental pad.
C. Other pertinent requirements and information:
1. All Polypay sheep in the breeder's flock must continuously be identified by numbered eartags or tattoos or both for pedigree and record purposes. Although a registration number will be assigned by the American Polypay Sheep Ass'n for it's purposes, the individual flock ear tag will continue to identify the animal in the flock. The flock name, ear tag number and assigned registration number must not be changed. They remain with the sheep its entire life.
2. The registration certificate will list the parents by flock ear tag, genetic make-up code, and registration number.
3. Foundation Registered animals and all resulting descendants being used in a cross- breeding program or topcrossing program to produce, ultimately, POLYPAYS must be identified with ear tags, and listed, along with their genetic make-up (for example R, 1/2 P 1/2 R, ¾ P 1/4R, 7/8P 1/8R, etc) with the American Polypay Sheep Ass"n as evidence of compliance with requirements from a crossbreeding to topcrossing program.
4. Single sire matings are preferred. However, multiple sire matings will be acceptable if the flock numbers of the sires are known and recorded, with the appropriate offspring, on the application for registration. Neither the registration nor listing certificate will contain identities of multiple sires. However, identities of multiple sires may be obtained from the American Polypay Sheep Association Executive Secretary.