College of Agriculture

Sheep Unit


Our mission is to develop and maintain multiple flocks that model modern livestock production and provide a hands-on learning environment for our students.  Our students are exposed to all aspects of sheep management, economics, and marketing while developing interpersonal and leadership skills. 

We have two primary production goals.  Our first goal is to produce quality youth project animals at a reasonable price.  The second is to supply a high quality, seasonal lamb product through the Chico State Meats Lab. 

Management Team:

Our unit is managed by a team of students and staff that are responsible or the day to day management of the sheep.  This involves feeding and health management, irrigation and pasture management, and education and outreach with the community.

Flock Description:

Currently the Chico State Sheep Unit has two flocks to use for education and research. Students are responsible for the daily management of the flocks.  Performance data is collected and used for educational purposes as well as for flock management.  All lambs not sold as project lambs are marketed as feeder lambs or finished on our farm and processed and sold through our meats lab.  It is a unique opportunity that we can collect feedlot performance and carcass data on a subset of our lambs each year!

Crossbred Ewes stand in Pasture.
Crossbred Wether Dams:
Our crossbred flock (Suffolk x Hampshire) is made up of approximately 75-80 mature ewes.  These ewes lamb in the fall (October/November) and winter/spring (January/February) and are used to produce project lambs for youth exhibitors.  We continually strive to improve our genetics and currently the majority of our ewe base is made up of Composure bred females and Lineup bred females.  These ewes are used to teach students about project sheep management and are also used for research on alternative feed products.
Southdown Ewe and lamb stand in pasture.
Southdown Ewes:
New to the Chico State Sheep Unit (2016) are the addition of a small flock of Southdown ewes.  These ewes will be used to produce potential project lambs and breeding projects for youth exhibitors.  This flock is registered and is used to provide an educational model for a registered, seedstock sheep operation.

Dr. Celina Phillips, Faculty: 530-898-4147

Hunter Ortiz, Staff: 530-898-6024