Barbados Blackbelly

Barbados Blackbelly Sheep

Breed Type: Hair Breed
Country of Origin: Barbados
Breed Association Website:

Ideal: The shape of the head is oval to triangular with a typical “roman” nose. The head of the ram is distinctly masculine, and that of the ewe is feminine. The muzzle is wide and strong with firm lips. Incisor teeth must meet the dental pad.
Acceptable: A ewe’s head may exhibit some less feminine coarseness, but it must still be decidedly distinct from the ram’s head.
Discouraged: Muzzle more narrow than ideal.
Not to Standard: Overshot or undershot jaw

Ideal: The ears are pointed and when alert stick out from the side of the head parallel to the ground. The ear length should be approximately one-half the width of the animal’s skull at the widest point of the skull. Some variation in the size of the ears is permitted.
Acceptable: Ears pointing forward, ears not parallel to the ground.
Discouraged: Floppy adult ears, half ears or less ( “elf” ears).

Ideal: The eyes are almond shaped. The irises of the eyes can be any shade of brown or golden brown.
Discouraged: Eyes of a color other than brown or golden brown.
Not to Standard: Inverted eyelids, blindness.

Ideal: Sheep of both sexes are smooth-headed with no sign of any outgrowth of the horn plate.
Acceptable: Loose scurs or scurs affixed to a ram’s horn plate no longer than 3/4 in. at maturity.
Discouraged: Loose scurs or scurs affixed to a ram’s horn plate between 3/4 in. to 1 1/2 in. at maturity.
Not to Standard: Ewes with horns or scurs; rams with horns or with scurs longer than 1 1/2 in.

Ideal: The neck is strong and muscular, clean cut, and without loose folds of skin.
Acceptable: Occasionally, wattles are found, but are not discriminated against.
Discouraged: A thin, scrawny neck

Ideal: The arm and the shoulder blade are well muscled.The forelegs appear straight when viewed from the front and side. A slight tendency toward splay-footedness (toes that point outward) is not uncommon. The pasterns are strong and springy.
Discouraged: Weak, bony shoulder blades that protrude from the body. Any deviations from straight legs as long as they are minor, including such things as weak pasterns, feet that are pigeon-toed, and knees that are knock-kneed, calf-kneed, or buck-kneed.
Not to Standard: Marked deviations from ideal, including but not limited to deviations that interfere with the sheep’s ability to walk normally.

Ideal: The hindquarters should be muscular with a long, gradually sloping croup (rump). The hind legs viewed from behind should be straight. From the side view, a vertical line dropped from the posterior of the buttocks should hit the point of the hock and the back of the ankle and contact the ground 1 in. to 2 in. behind the heel. A slight tendency toward cow-hockedness is not uncommon (when viewed from behind, the ‘back knee’ or hock is set inward, resulting in a splayed look in the back legs).
Discouraged: Bowed legs; sickle-hocked legs; and post-leggedness.
Not to Standard: Marked deviations from ideal, including but not limited to deviations that interfere with the sheep’s ability to walk normally.

Ideal: The hooves are cloven, black, and clean-edged with shiny smooth surfaces.
Discouraged: White hooves or hooves with white marks on them.
Not to Standard: Marked deviations from ideal, including but not limited to deviations that interfere with the sheep’s ability to walk normally.

Ideal: Body capacity should be relatively large in relation to the size of the animal. The body should be deep and wide with well-sprung ribs. A mature ram’s testicles should be well developed.
Not to Standard: Cryptorchidism (a condition in which one or both testes fail to descend normally) in a ram

Ideal: The withers are higher than and sloping into a level back. The loin viewed from the top should be broad and strong. The croup (rump) should be long and gradually sloping.
Discouraged: Saddle back or sway back; short, steep croup

Ideal: The tail is long, and reaches to the top of the hocks. It is not docked. It follows a continuous line down from the croup without any crookedness.
Acceptable: A short tip of white on the tail is permissible
Discouraged: Short tails, crooked tails

Ideal: The coat consists of coarse hair that lies flat against the skin. An adult ram has a mane of coarse hair that covers the neck and downward to the chest. The hair coat contains sufficient lanolin to help shed water and repel ticks and other ectoparasites. If the sheep grows a winter undercoat of fine wool, that undercoat is completely shed every year.
Acceptable: A woolly “baby coat” often seen in lambs that does not shed the first summer but does shed thereafter. A hair/wool mixture on the back of the rear legs that does not fully shed from year to year
Discouraged: Small patches of wool along the topline that do not shed from year to year.
Not to Standard: A woolly coat that is not shed and that requires shearing

Dark Coloring
Light Coloring
Ideal: Body color can vary from light fawn through brown to dark red. Points can vary but should include a contrasting black belly extending down the back side of the rear legs and including the underside of the tail. The top of the nose and the lower jaw are black and may include a continuing black stripe down the front of the neck that connects with the belly. A wide black mark runs from the inside corner of each eye to the crown of the head and may continue downward to the mouth. These markings are called facial bars. They are sometimes more pronounced in the ram. There may be an additional black mark from the outside corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. There is a crown of black hair at the top of the head. The inside of the ears is black. The forelegs and hind legs are black downward from the knee or hock; often the outside edge of the leg is not black. A ram may have a light tan “saddle” above and including the ribs
Discouraged: Black or white markings found anywhere on the body other than those listed. A dark facial color that obscures the black facial bars. A coat color that is so extremely dark that a clear delineation cannot be seen between the dark body color and the black belly color.
Not to Standard: Absence of a black belly or black facial bars

Ideal: Barbados Blackbelly is a slow maturing breed, and sheep do not reach ideal weight until about 2 years of age. At that time, rams weigh between 90 to 150 lb., with 100 to 130 lb. being the average. Ewes weigh between 70 and 120 lb., with 85 to 100 lb. being the average.
Acceptable: Sheep older than 2 years who weigh more than the maximum ideal weight, providing that their weight is proportionate to the size of their body frame and they are not obese.
Discouraged: Sheep older than 2 years who weigh less than the minimum ideal weight.

This breed presented by

Blackbelly Up Farm
Nancy Johnson
12350 State Route 144
West Friendship, MD 21794
(301) 440-4808

2023 Featured Breed: Jacob

Learn more about the Jacob breed and talk to JSBA members in the Breed Display Barn (Barn 7-8 on the map) while you are at the Festival.

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Note from the festival office - Fleece Show & Sale checks (premiums and fleece sale proceeds) have all been delivered to the post office. Auction checks and checks for Sheep Show premiums have all been written and signed and are in the process of being stuffed into envelopes (fingers crossed that I don't run out of envelopes before Staples delivers more on Monday). Factoid - those three categories generated a total of 300 checks, which is a stack almost 2" high. Waiting for payment information from the Skein & Garment committee so I can write checks for their special prizes. Ditto for payments to the Sheep-to-Shawl teams. ... See MoreSee Less
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In case you missed our earlier announcement, we are now accepting orders for a second printing of large tote bags and moss green t-shirts at Orders will be accepted through COB on Wednesday, May 24th. After that time, the order will go to the printer. They have given us a turn around time of around 2 weeks to have the items printed. Once we have the shirts in hand, we will start shipping to fulfill the orders. Your credit card will not be charged until your order ships. Note: The "guesstimated" shipping fee that is computer generated by the online sales platform at the time of your order tends to run high. You will likely notice the actual charge when your order is shipped is considerably less. Store pickup at the Sheepman Supply showroom in Frederick, MD is also possible; put "store pick up" in special instructions when you check out and you won't be charged the shipping. #mdsw #mdsw2023 #festivalgear #celebrating50years ... See MoreSee Less
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Due to the overwhelming popularity of our 50th anniversary items, we are now accepting orders for a second printing of select items at The order period will run until COB on Wednesday, May 24, at which time we will send the order off to the screen printing company. The delivery time will run 2-4 weeks from that point. These second printing items are limited to the large boat tote bag and a short-sleeve t-shirt in Moss green. The shirts are a ComfortWash by Hanes garment-dyed t-shirts in 5.5 ounce, 100% ring-spun cotton and standard unisex sizing, sizes S to 3X. All sales on this second printing will be final (no returns or exchanges). There is also a small quantity of already-printed items available on a first-come, first- served basis until supplies are exhausted:Short-sleeve t-shirt in “Indigo Blue” – Small (16), Medium (14), Large (8), XL (6), 2X (4), 4X (4), 5X (2)Hooded long-sleeve t-shirt in “Saltwater” – Small (6), Medium (4), Large (4), XL (8)Large boat tote bags (8) – these are the same mentioned above“Peacock” blue backpack (13)“Red Rock” beach wash shoulder tote (6)Large posters (12)Small posters (7)These are the same items that were available online prior to the festival and were also sold at the festival. Pickup at Sheepman Supply in Frederick, MD is available. Put “Store Pick Up” in special instructions when you check out and you won’t be charged the shipping. Thank you for your patience while we worked out these details.#mdsw #mdsw2023 #celebrating50years #festivalgear ... See MoreSee Less
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