The American Blackbelly is a thrifty, energetic, small- to medium-sized sheep with a strong flocking instinct. It is well adapted to a broad range of environments, breeding goals, and management styles. On the farm, it is desired for its productivity and thriftiness, great prolificacy, and fairly low maintenance. Mature ewes generally have two to three or more lambs in any season, and depending on management, are capable of three litters every year and a half or so. They are very good mothers. Because of their fecundity and out-of-season breeding, ewes are suited to an accelerated lambing program.
American Blackbelly sheep do not produce lanolin like wool sheep, so they have no mutton flavor and are considered a gourmet treat. Lamb is also a great source of protein, essential vitamins, minerals and contains the correct ratio of all 8 of the essential amino acids. The American Blackbelly is known for its vitality, thrift, easy lambing, and lean carcass. Unlike the lambs we are used to the American Blackbelly has far less fat content on carcass. If you like me are looking to cut down on your fat intake these lambs are the ones for you.
Our sheep are rotationally grazed on pasture, and are lightly grained through the year. The feed is not medicated and there are no hormones ever given to the flock.
We are still growing our flock and will not have any females for sale for a period of time. We have one small male for sale at this time 7/28/11 He's not quite a month old. If you have an interest please send us an email or give me a call at 330-763-3533.
Finally we have some good pasture pictures! Other than the older ewe that is laying down these are the girls that are less than a year old. The ones with white on their coats are Friesian Milk Sheep crossed with our ram. Their dams came with a small flock of Black Belly sheep that we purchased last winter.
Although some breed the girls at less than a year of age we prefer to wait until they are a year old and the proper size. While it slows up the flock growth a bit, we will wait as the new born lambs tend to be larger and the new mothers have more milk and will regain their weight faster then when they are bred at a younger age.
The older ewe in the picture is taking a break from the lambing cycle. She raised a nice set of twins but was slow to regain her normal weight, so she is hanging out with the teenagers as she enjoys some sun.
Below is part of the flock, we did a bit of timbering and built new fence so the pasture is tore up. I plan to reseed next spring, 2012.