Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself
Posted Jun 28, 2016
My family started our flock about 4-5 years ago. I had been working with hair sheep at the college I attended. I really enjoyed the fact that you can have sheep that don’t require shearing ever! Hair sheep lose their coat naturally. We chose Barbados sheep because of their ability to manage themselves. By manage, I mean we only trim hooves 1-2 times/year, no shearing, and no need to have a lambing barn and watch each one at 4 A.M. during lambing season. Ewes have lambs on their own with no assistance. We have over a 100 head now, and have never had to help a ewe lamb. Ewes wean their own lambs naturally which reduces stress. Barbados can be flighty, but they are tough and hardy. We graze them all over our home state that has lush grass. We only supplement feed them grain in the winter if the stockpiled grazing areas are used up. We feed them mineral and a rumen buffer year round to promote efficient grazing, slick off hair in the summer, and aid in milk production for lambs. The carcass weights are lighter than a traditional wool breed lamb, but Barbados sheep are smaller framed too. In our case, we get paid to graze and paid for meat production. We can take the carcass price difference, because we are making a money during the animal’s whole life, not just at market time. My advice is this: Barbados are hardworking sheep, but not great pets. If you are looking for a bottle lamb to be your pal, Barbados sheep are probably not the answer.