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Information about Blackbelly Sheep

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Links to Helpful Resources for Shepherds

Articles about Raising Blackbelly Sheep

We believe that there is simply no good resource for blackbelly breeders who want to learn more about their sheep and how to raise them. We've written a lot of articles to help give you reliable information.

  • From the Brink of Extinction describes the successful efforts of the Consortium for Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Breeders to restore the population of rare Barbados Blackbelly sheep in the U.S.
  • Accelerated Breeding Chart provides a convenient timetable to schedule your breedings so that ewes can produce two litters in 12 months.
  • Raising Bummer Lambs on a Bottle provides emergency information to help keep a rejected lamb alive.
  • Delivery Date Chart gives you the corresponding lambing date for any day you breed your ewes. PDF 246KB
  • Blackbellies—Why and Why Not? Article published in the November 2007 issue of The Shepherd Magazine and also presented to the North American Hair Sheep Symposium at San Angelo, TX, to introduce blackbellies to new breeders and to explain the pros and cons of the two breeds. PDF 3.6MB (big file because it is full of great pictures)
  • Conservation Breeding—How to Grow Your Flock with Only One Ram describes in lay terms the complicated breeding program designed by the American Livestock Breeding Conservancy (ALBC) to help rare breeds increase their population and genetic diversity. HTML with option to download PDF 105 KB
  • History and Preservation of Barbados Blackbelly Sheep slide show that puts into perspective as much information as is currently known about how the breed began and how American Blackbelly sheep were derived from it. Great photos, big PDF 1.6MB
  • Getting Started in Blackbelly Sheep Article published in Backwoods Home Magazine November/December 2014. Good overview of buying sheep, getting set up for them, and what to do with 'em once you get 'em
  • Using a Stanchion to Feed a Rejected Lamb Article published in Countryside Magazine March/April 2015 describes how to build an inexpensive stanchion out of scrap materials and how to use it to help convince a ewe to reclaim her lamb
  • Barn Setup illustrating how a small pole barn can contain both a handling chute as well as lambing jugs, a stanchion, and a feeding area.
  • A Short Pencil Is Better than a Long Memory discusses the importance of recordkeeping and tagging with clear instructions on how to do both. PDF 312KB
  • Garry Vroegh on Hair Sheep provides some good wisdom about selecting and raising hair sheep.
  • Barbados Blackbelly Stewards Needed Article published in the Sept/Oct 2007 American Livestock Breeds Conservancy newsletter concerning the need for more people becoming involved in the conservation of the breed.
  • Linda Sakiewitz shares her views on Barbados Blackbelly sheep. She and her husband, Claude Hughes, purchased North Carolina State University's purebred research flock descended from the sheep originally imported from Barbados in 1904.
  • Genetics of Scrapie is a brief introduction that gives you the basics of the disease.
  • 8 Easy Steps for Complying with the Federal Scrapie Eradication Program is the best info available in an easy-to-understand format. PDF 521KB
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