Our RAM - springwood "burl"

Our RAM - springwood "burl"

Barbados Blackbelly Sheep

Originating from the Island of Barbados, they come in a variety of brown colors with black markings on the face, chin, chest, legs and bellies, where they got their name - Barbados Blackbelly Sheep.  The only importation of this breed occurred in 1904, when the USDA brought a flock to Bethesda, MD.  They are a smaller sheep & being a heritage breed, grow a bit slower than other commercial sheep breeds. A Blackbelly ewes gestation period is about 5 months, lambing about every 8 months.   Blackbelly ewes are excellent mothers and typically twin or better!

What are Hair Sheep?  Hair Sheep Breeds, because they don't have wool are often mistaken for goats - but they are sheep!  They do not require shearing, because they naturally shed their coats in late spring.  Some hair sheep have pure hair coats, while other have a combination of both hair & wool fibers. unlike wooled sheep breeds, which can be dual-purposed (wool & meat) and ti-purposed (wool, meat & milk), hair sheep are a single-purpose breed raised solely for meat production.

Raised on 100% pasture - We raise our flock on pasture for most of the year, then feed them grass/alfafa free-choice hay over the winter months. Blackbelly Sheep have a diet which is more "goat-like".  They are not as picky as other sheep breeds, eating not only grasses, but weeds and brush as well!

Mild flavor - Blackbelly meat is low in fat and cholesterol but high in protein.  It has a very mild, sweet flavor and is very lean, making it a healthy choice.

Beautiful..... We love raising Blackbelly's!  Not only are they really quiet - in fact, if we hear them crying we know there is a problem -  they are just beautiful to look at.  They bring a serene calm to the farm, and we often find ourselves just standing, watching them peacefully graze.