Anyone Own Blackbelly Sheep?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SarahFair, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    I think I might pick one up if the price is right.. but how is their temperament?
    Are they extremely shy or can you calm them on down?
     
  2. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Do you mean Barbados sheep, the ones that shed on their own and do not have to be sheared?

    The barn owner where I boarded my horse in Arizona had them to keep the irrigation ditch mowed.

    Hers were *very* skittish, they never became anything close to tame. And if one escaped, it was nearly impossible to catch, they are *fast*! The best we could do was herd it back towards the others and it would eventually figure out how to get back through the fence.

    Not having to shear them is a big plus, but if you want friendly pet sheep, I don't think these are a good choice.

    ETA: did I read correctly that you are only planning on getting one? Maybe if you got a very young one and hand raised it you might have a chance... but in general their brains are not wired for critical thinking and they really need to be in a herd to feel safe.

    -Wendy
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  3. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    There are two breeds of sheep that fall under the blackbelly label. The American Blackbelly have horns and were created by crossing Barbados Blackbelly sheep with Mouflon. Barbados Blackbelly sheep are naturally hornless. There is also a mixed breed sheep that's usually called Barbado (with no "s"). These sheep have blackbelly in them, but are not purebred. You see a lot of them in Texas.

    I have a small flock of registered Barbados Blackbelly sheep that I got last year. One was a 3 year old ewe and the rest were 3 month old lambs. I tried and tried, but could make no headway at all with the older ewe. I was able to get the lambs to come eat out of a bucket I was holding, but they never allowed me to pet them for more than a few moments. Now they are approaching a year and it's like having a herd of whitetail deer. They are VERY skittish and spooky. They are terrified of my livestock guardian dogs. Even the 2 month old lamb that was born here in October is as wild as the others. I do love them....they are gorgeous and incredibly hardy. I have not dewormed them since I have had them.....they simply don't need it. They eat only hay and I use alfalfa pellets in a bucket to get them to come back into the paddock. I have accepted the fact that these will never be cuddly pets. I have a small herd of Katahdins too and they are much friendlier and easy to handle. But they also do need more care and deworming.


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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  4. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
  5. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    Those are not purebred American Blackbelly.....they are more of the "barbado" type. See their underbelly? The breed standard for both the American Blackbelly and the Barbado Blackbelly calls for a black underside and those sheep do not. They are crossed with some other hair sheep. Here's a link to the breed standard as per the blackbelly association http://www.blackbellysheep.org/abstandards.html. There is a woman in Wesminster SC that sells registered Barbados Blackbelly sheep for around $200. There are a couple of breeders in Georgia too...here's a link to the breeders list http://www.blackbellysheep.org/directory.html
     
  6. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    im not looking to breed.. just pets [​IMG]
     
  7. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    honestly...if you want pets, don't get this breed. You'd be so much better off with a nice Katahdin or Katahdin/dorper cross. These blackbelly sheep are pretty to look at but they are just not pets. They are more like wild animals. Katahdins shed their wool off each spring and are pretty low maintenance. If you wait until spring and get a spring lamb, you can tame it down very easily. And Katahdins come in colors too. Most are white, but many are black and white spotted or have brown in their coats. Another interesting sheep is the Jacob sheep. Some of them have 4 horns! They come in pretty spotted coats too.
     
  8. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
  9. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    thanks!
    i was originally looking for another goat for an xmas git to mysef and just came across these.
    they are beautiful and i love the horns!
     
  10. SarahFair

    SarahFair Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    Quote:aw! adorable!
    they are on the other side of the state though [​IMG]
     

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