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Barbados Black Belly Sheep

Characteristics

The breed is pure white with a short, light orange bill, and orange feet and Blackbelly sheep of both breeds are able to tolerate heat and exhibit more stamina than most breeds of sheep. They are fleet of foot and in many ways resemble deer. They are “hair sheep,” which means they do not grow wool but have coarse hair instead. If raised in cooler climates, they often develop a wool undercoat that they shed in the spring.

Behavior

Observation indicates that while Barbados Blackbelly withstand either heat or cold well part of this adjustment to extremes is behavioral rather than physiological. For instance, cold wind or warm sun rather quickly results in a herd finding refuge in some shelter under conditions when wooled sheep remain in the open. They are extremely reactive to strange dogs or cats, usually acting as though wishing to flee. In a close corral and in the defense of their young, less timid individuals show protective behavior, raising a front leg as though warning off the predator and occasionally bristling the hair on top of the neck and even jumping at the animal to strike with the fore feet. Ewes with very young lambs show protective behavior to a high degree. Some individual rams will charge dogs repeatedly with little or no provocation.

 

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