Tuesday, August 9, 2016

INTRODUCTION -- Thank you for visiting the blog, and welcome to Zoar Farms.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have concerning this breed of sheep at ZoarFarms@gmail.com.


I've only been in the sheep business for a few years, and have made some mistakes, but I have learned from those mistakes.  So, perhaps my experience with many issues may be able to assist you as you begin your farming experience with a starter flock, or in adding these amazing sheep to your on-going operation.  


Zoar Farms began with thirteen ewe lambs from Sunny Slope Farm in Missouri, two adult rams from Lone Star Farm in Texas, and two adult rams and two adult ewes from Old Forge Farm in Maryland.  In time, three more ewes were purchased from Critterhaven Farm in Colorado, and lastly, a new line of sheep was acquired from Bellwether Farm in Illinois, which is no longer in operation due to the death of the owner, Mary Swindell.  She helped me greatly, through phone calls and emails, and set me going in the right direction with this breed.  Among her many accomplishments with Barbados Blackbelly sheep, including breeding over 500 lambs over many years, Mary had a dream to preserve a very rare line named for Saint Phillip VSU, a founding ram within the Barbados Blackbelly breed in the United States.  When she passed from this mortal life, I was privileged to acquire her remaining breed stock in the Saint Phillip Line, and Zoar Farms continues her work.  Of the six surviving ewes sired by Saint Phillip VSU (with no surviving rams), I came to own five of them, while the sixth ewe was owned by Breedlove Barbados Blackbellies Farm in Linn County, Oregon.  As the Registrar for the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Association International, (BBSAI), Mrs. Breedlove and I are now collaborating with each other to expand this rare genetic line.  In the summer of 2016, Zoar Germanicus, a ram bred and raised at Zoar Farms, made his way to Oregon with the hope of crossing his genetics with her Saint Phillip daughter and granddaughter.  See the pedigree of Saint Phillip here.  As you may observe, Saint Phillip's sire and dam both have lineage back to the beginning flock lines imported from the University of the (U.S.) Virgin Islands and from the North Carolina State University and Virginia State University test herds.  These animals trace their roots back to the original sheep from the Island of Barbados, and thus provide us with a clear and true bloodline -- a sort of baseline for the specimen -- by which Breed Standard can be measured. 


Zoar Farms breeds quality registered Barbados Blackbelly Sheep. They are a polled, hair sheep.  They have no horns and instead of wool, they have hair, which, depending on the climate, may grow thicker in winter. They are a meat sheep prized for the mild and sweet flavor, and the meat is lean.  Zoar Farm policy means that when one of the rams doesn't make breed standard, he is sold for slaughter, but most of the sheep at Zoar Farms are sold as breeding stock to individuals.  Zoar Farms is dedicated to excellence in the approach to preserving this breed, specializing in breeding according to the highest standards of the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Association International ideal breed standard.  The practices of Zoar Farms concentrates on eliminating hornbuds and scurs from this breed, along with white markings that may appear from time to time.  Standard head, neck, leg, coat, color and markings conformation, strength in health and temperament, and good carcass size are hallmarks of our registered sheep.  Zoar Farms rarely registers any ram lamb, but waits for months to see how he will develop.  When you purchase a ram from Zoar Farms, you will be assured of this high standard, and a guarantee is offered on every ram: "Rams will be ideal breed stand, and they will sire lambs under normal conditions, or we will exchange him for another available ram when he comes of age."
  
If you are interested in learning more about this unique and beautiful breed, please contact Zoar Farms, now located on 43 acres in the magnificent Texas Hill Country, approximately an hour northwest of San Antonio.  If you would like to visit the farm to view the sheep, please email to make an appointment. 


CONTACT INFORMATION: ZoarFarms@gmail.com
Native Texas Bluebonnets bloom in March

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