American Blackbelly

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by True Texican, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. True Texican

    True Texican Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Anybody raise American Blackbelly Sheep? I have a couple questions. I live in North Central Texas (North of Dallas). Can you raise these sheep in a wooded area? I have about 4 - 5 acres of mostly cedar / oak stand that I'd like to put them on. Rotational paddocks.
     
  2. celkins

    celkins Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Blackbelly sheep will do fine in your area. However, they will girdle the cedar and oak trees (they especially enjoy cedar) and kill them. Blackbelly sheep are often used just for this very purpose.
     

  3. True Texican

    True Texican Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    I don't care if they girdle the cedar, but didn't know they'd girdle the oak too. That's a problem
     
  4. mustangglp

    mustangglp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    379
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    California
    Kind of late but how big are you oak trees I have not had mine kill any of my oaks the do prune most every thing up as high as the can reach expecially the cedars
     
  5. True Texican

    True Texican Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    The oaks are a range of sizes from huge 100 year old trees to saplings. Cedars are the same, some as high as 50 ft. I'd like to kill off all the cedar, but can't lose my oak trees. Cleaning everything they can reach on oaks is OK as long as they don't "damage" them. What do you think?
     
  6. mustangglp

    mustangglp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    379
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    California
    If the oaks are more then 10 years old I don't think it will a problem they have not killed an of my trees they like the leaves . I do have one oak tree that is right where they hang at that has some damage .
    When it quits raining I will take few pictures.
     
  7. True Texican

    True Texican Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
  8. True Texican

    True Texican Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    I can't get the pics to open. Would love to see 'em. Can you text them if you had my number?
     
  9. mustangglp

    mustangglp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    379
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    California
    Sure that would be easier pm me
     
  10. manolito

    manolito Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Location:
    North eastern California
    I raise 60 head and cull each year back to 50 Ewes. Are you going to supplement feed or expect them to survive on available browse on 5 acres. How many sheep are you going to run on the property? This is a very hearty breed of sheep and require no docking of the tail nor shearing of the wool. Very lean and good to eat.
     
  11. True Texican

    True Texican Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Don't know all the answers to those questions yet. Just now finishing the house and shop. I am planning infrastructure. All of this information is helpful. Anything you can add will be appreciated.
     
  12. mustangglp

    mustangglp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    379
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    California
    They have worked out very well for me I run 10 to 15 head on 8 acres depending on the season and sell my lambs in spring when they are in demand for weed abatement.
    Thanks for recommending them . I go by 3006 on another site
     
    manolito likes this.
  13. manolito

    manolito Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Location:
    North eastern California
    I am 69 and gave up cattle when I started taking months to heal instead of days.

    These sheep are easy to care for. I have yet to find parasites in the liver or stomach and I butcher often and look at the internal organs as an indicator of the health of my flock.

    With proper clean food and water they will give birth to more twins than singles and occasionally triplets. They will produce two times a year if cared for. In 16 years I have lost two Ewes to birthing problems and many lambs to two causes. My sheep hate me so they birth in the middle of the night and when the weather changes. Sheep can't count so when they birth one lamb they often get up walk away and have their second. To them the last is theirs. Wet weather allows the lambs to die from being cold so if I am not there to dry them off they will lay in a puddle of mud and water and die. Once a Ewe rejects a lamb I reject her. If I have a rejected lamb and a dead lamb within two days I will skin the dead lamb tie the hide to the rejected lamb and the mother of the dead lamb will usually take the bummer and when she has licked all the hair off the hide I remove it and save myself from raising a bottle baby. I lost eight pregnant Ewes to a Lion in my State the lion is protected but finally a predation permit was authorized and knock on wood two years no losses to lions.

    I found a small group of people that prefer rams unaltered and they come pick up the rams in the nicest cars you have ever seen and drive off with that 14 month old ram in the back seat. The rest are mainly sold to people that are starting herds often after eating at our house and realizing how they taste.

    The amount of meat is not like a big meat breed sheep, they are lean and the total package weight is far below other sheep. The cost of veterinary care and the fact that the US has few sheep herds so they have not licensed many of the drugs Australia and New Zealand have to care for their flocks. This has driven me to learn and care for them by myself and also to make the decision an $85.00 animal VS a $250.00 vet call out. A big problem for me is finding a new Ram every two years that is not related to my herd. Most in my area fortunately and unfortunately started with my herd.

    Most important thing I have learned is to make the young rams deathly afraid of me. Rams can hurt you badly and thinking you can break a grown ram from hurting is ego not reality.

    Good luck and I hope I haven't bored you to much.

    Respectfully,
    Bill
     
  14. True Texican

    True Texican Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Thanks for the responses....all valuable!