American Blackbelly Sheep, Anyone?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Rare Feathers Farm, May 28, 2008.

  1. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    I'm looking for a ewe & a ram in Washington State--although I'd consider Northern Idaho/NW Montana or Northern Oregon, as well....

    Also, if anyone has any--I've got some questions about them, in general...

    Thanks!

    ~Heather
     
  2. WrenAli

    WrenAli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Lebanon, OR
    Not sure about the American Black belly other than they are a hair sheep.. I know the Barbados can be wild and hard to tame/handle.

    Any reason you are looking at the breed? *I have some Katahdin Hair sheep for sale* [​IMG]
     
  3. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Well about three years ago, my husband "won" the food drive with his computer class at the highschool he teaches at. As the "winner" he had to kiss a sheep. It was a GORGEOUS ram...I finally tracked down the pics and discovered it was an American Blackbelly. Since then, I've been wanting a pair of them for breeding...and weed control. I have two goats right now but they don't do anything (besides stink & escape)...so I thought if I was going to have something stinky, it might as well be something I could breed & enjoy looking at...

    What are Katahdin Hair Sheep? What do you do with them?
     
  4. WrenAli

    WrenAli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Lebanon, OR
    Katahdins are similar to American Black Bellies in that they are a hair sheep and are raised for meat.

    Hair sheep grow a winter coat and then shed it out in the spring. So no shearing is needed. I raise mine for meat, pets and living lawn mowers. They take little care and are great mothers.
    They come in a bunch of different colors. Black, brown, pinto, white.

    They will breed twice a year, unlike most other sheep breeds. They grow well on just pasture and can be very tame and friendly. Plus you don't have to dock their tails!

    [​IMG]
    Here is a ewe (left) that is in the process of shedding and the ewe on the right is is shed out.

    [​IMG]
    Pinto Ewe lamb

    I got my current herd ram from some breeders up in Tonasket, WA.
     
  5. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Tonasket?? Really? That's just up the road from me! That little lamb is TOO cute....

    So they must withstand our horrible winters, huh? Do the rams stink as bad as male goats?
     
  6. WrenAli

    WrenAli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lebanon, OR
    Not in my experiance. No one complains when they come out to my barn anyway. [​IMG]

    Nor are they as ornery as a whole. I have seen some pain in the butt rams but no where near as many as bucks.

    I'm not sure about how they handle the sheep in the winter up there. I just give them hay, grain and cover down here.

    There are several people in the Tonasket/Omak area. You can contact some breeders here:
    KHSI Just go to the member listings and search Washington.

    I've met some of the breeders up there on a vacation trip and they were all great.
     
  7. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

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    Deer Park Washington
    The neighbors about a mile from us have american black belly or barbados. Her name is Sandy and her number is (509)276-3139, she is nice and always has sheep for sale.
     
  8. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Thank you!!!
     
  9. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Thanks!
     
  10. Big Sky Chick

    Big Sky Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Townsend, Montana, US
    Hi, I know this post is old, but I'm hoping you're still an active member.

    I have 2 Katahdin ewes that are about 6-7 months old and 2 American Black Belly rams and 1 ewe that are the same age. The ABBs have been wonder. The ProbLambs (Katahdains), as DH calls them, have been a bit more of a handful. They exhibit more goaty behavior - noisy, breaking through fences, climbing, eating more shrubry than grasss, or so it would seem.

    I'm trying to determine what I am going to do with them. I got them to keep the yard "mowed" and go in the freezer. However, I am considering keeping a couple to breed. Since you have both, I was wondering what the age is for each breed when they come into a safe breeding age and if you'd crossed the breeds? If you have crossed them, what was the outcome?

    In case it makes a difference, I have 5 ac of great grassy yard/pasture and 40 of typical high plains Montana prairie around that, and the 2k ac beyond. They stick to the yard and only venture into the other pasture within a few yards of the yard. I don't want to be a sheep rancher, but could see myself maintaining a small flock. I was considering keeping the more docile and behaved of the Katahdins, the ABB ewe and one of the rams. Both rams are a joy. One has an all black more wooly coat and is the definite guard and dominant. The other is traditionally coated and colored.

    What is your advice?

    Thanks!
     

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