Archive of ‘Sheep Breeds’ category

BARBADOS BLACKBELLY SHEEP IN SNOW

It is really amazing to discover the versatility of this ‘tropical’ breed of sheep, the Barbados Blackbelly. Jack Gowler has his farm in Pincher Creek, Alberta Canada and I am amazed to see them thriving in Snow!

barbadosinsnow

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Thanks Jack for giving us permission to use your photo’s.

THE NEW BARBADOS KID

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Our first kid of the year Barbados Blackbelly Sheep kid born in the very early morning of 1st January 2009. Weighing in at 1.67kg. What a fantastic start to a new year! Happy New Year!

BARBADOS BLACKBELLY SHEEP FARM

Here is a video taken by a friend BajeBob in St. Thomas, Barbados at Genuia Gogg & Kendal Plantation, Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Farms. Thanks BajeBob!

Genuia Gogg Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Farm

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOpoD0gGXcs

Kendal Plantation Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Farm

Once Again, Cheers Mate!

PICKING THE RAM

This is when we went to select between 2 Barbados Blackbelly Rams some weeks back. We want to expand our herd but quality specimens like these are pretty hard to come by in Kuching, Sarawak. These were the descendants of the original imports that were made by MARDI many years back.


POSITION OPEN FOR VETERINARIAN

Position Available at The Kebun for

VETERINARIAN

You should be Specialized in Ruminants

email thekebun@yahoo.com

BARBADOS BLACK BELLY RAM

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The long search for a pure blooded Ram worthy of my Barbados Black Belly girls is over. He was found him rather surprisingly from somewhere rather unexpected, right here in Kuching. It has been a good week.

THE DORPER

A Dorper is a fast growing meat producing sheep. The Dorper is an easy care animal that produces a short light coat of wool & hair that is shed in late spring and summer. It was developed in South Africa and is now the second most popular breed in that country.

This breed was developed by the crossing of a Dorset Horn x Blackhead Persian around the 1930s. Other breeds such as the Van Rooy are also believed to have contributed to the development of the breed. The name ‘Dorper’ is a coupling of the first syllables of the parent breeds Dorset and Persian.

The breed is well adapted to survive in the arid extensive regions of South Africa. It has high fertility and maternal instinct, combined with high growth rates and hardiness. The breed has the characteristic black head as well as white heads. This resulted in the birth of mainly black and a few white Dorper lambs. The difference in colour is therefore, merely a matter of preference for each breeder. Black-headed breeders constitute about 85% of the members of the Dorper Sheep Breeders’ of Society of South Africa.

Lambing percentages in South Africa of 150% are not uncommon. Rams reach sexual maturity at an early age, rams have been observed to start working by five months. Live weight gains that allow lambs to reach about 36kg 17-18kg carcase in 100 days has been obtained from first cross animals grown in the Mallee region. Local experience indicates that carcases with fat scores of 2 to 3 to be easily obtained under these conditions.

The Dorper adapts well to a variety of climatic and grazing conditions. In its native South Africa it has spread from the arid areas to all parts of the republic. It reputably does well in various range and feeding conditions and is also suited to intensive feeding. In Australia, Dorpers are now farmed throughout the arid and tropical areas as well as the high rainfall southern States, thriving even in the extreme cold and wetness of Tasmania. Dorpers can be run as a replacement or with suitable management as a complementary flock to merinos, particularly as shearing costs continue to rise and wool prices fall.

The breed is extremely adaptable with a high ability to flourish, grow, produce and reproduce in irregular and low rainfall environments. Dorpers are known to adapt well to feed lot conditions which offers farmers an alternative method to finish lambs in times of drought. The breed is regarded, as having the ability to graze and browse which suggests it will consume plants seldom eaten by the Merino.

The Dorper is an easy care breed, which requires minimal input of labour. The Dorper has a thick skin, which is highly prized and protects the sheep under harsh climatic conditions. The Dorper skin is the most sought after sheepskin in the world and is marketed under the name of Cape Glovers. The skin comprises a high percentage of the income (20%) in South Africa. Management is as for merinos, but Dorpers do not need Shearing, Crutching, Mulesing and they don’t get Flystrike.

Sarawak does not have any Dorpers yet. A farmer based in Mukah was thought to be going to import some numbers but no word since then. Whoever decides to bring in any sheep will have to do their homework properly, as there are very few farmers that have good hands on experience in managing sheep successfully in the tropics. Most farmers in Sarawak get their sheep on subsidy and farm their sheep much like goats, in raised houses. I gather the lack of interest in them stems from the very low market demand. Sheep live weight prices hover between the RM12-15 mark.

DOMBA – FAT TAILED SHEEP

Domba - Fat Tailed Sheep a breed i came across in Indonesia (Sulawesi)

Domba - Fat Tailed Sheep a breed i came across in Indonesia (Sulawesi)

Facinating breed. It looks really odd to me when you look at the fat tail. Supposedly hard to come by and the meat is considered good eating, leaner since the fat is mostly stored in the tail. It looks like the Damara’s in Australia but any likeness mostly is to the fat tail. Its a pity that it will be such a hassle to bring the Indonesian Domba’s in.

THE GEEP

Contrary to popular belief sheep and goats CAN in fact crossbreed just like in this article here. Due to the mismatched chromosomes (Goats with 60 and sheep with only 54) most of the offspring will stillborn, and those who live are generally sterile and can not therefore reproduce. Many “Geep” resemble hair sheep while others have patches of hair in one place and wool in the others. A hair sheep and goat cross will look nearly identical to either a goat or the hair sheep depending on the species of the father.

Goat & Sheep Cross

Goat & Sheep Cross

Whims of Nature?