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Barbados Blackbelly Sheep

Overall satisfaction

5/5

Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself

Gender: Both

Appearance

5/5

Temperament

3/5

Tolerance for heat

5/5

Tolerance for cold

5/5

Meat production

5/5

Milk production

N/A

Fleece quality

N/A

Commercial value

4/5

Beautifully exotic, hardy hair sheep--easy to raise with exceptional meat

By

Colorado, United States

Posted Apr 07, 2011

I've been raising Barbados Blackbelly (BB) sheep for almost 14 years and have been instrumental in helping to save the breed from extinction in the U.S. BB sheep are beautiful (#1 reason why people are first attracted to them) and easy to keep. If you are considering a breed of sheep, then this might be a good breed for you.

WHY?

  • They are hair sheep and need no shearing
  • Their tails do not require docking
  • They are parasite tolerant (no deworming) and disease resistant
  • They thrive on poorer forage
  • They regularly have twin lambs and can lamb 3 times in 2 years without your help
  • Their meat is lean, mild-flavored (no muttony flavor) and commands top dollar in niche markets
  • They are affordable (good registered sheep sell for $175 to $250)
  • They are a good choice for people new to raising sheep because they are relatively idiot-proof (I was a total idiot when I first started raising with zero sheep experience) and very forgiving of newbies. That is NOT an excuse to be negligent or to raise them without first learning what will be required to raise them.
BUT
  • They are not kissy-huggy-in-your-face sheep and are always alert (some call it flighty)
  • They will learn to eat from your hand but will scatter in all directions if you move quickly
  • They can be challenging to handle without a herding dog or a good animal handling set-up

3 members found this helpful