Fencing— The fencing may be one of the most important components of a successful sheep operation. A properly designed and constructed fence will keep the sheep in and predators out. Regardless of your reason, there are several things to consider before getting sheep. Ewes that are bred in late August to early September lamb in January and February. There will be people with similar interests and these associations are very helpful to the beginner and experienced person alike. The most inexpensive and effective fence now utilizes high power electric chargers (~5000 volts). For more information: St. Croix Sheep Breeders International Association, St. Croix Hair Sheep Breeders of North America, Taking Stock. Books— There are many books written about sheep production. The reason for this is that these feeds will contain high amounts of copper and are toxic to sheep. The St. Croix has been shaped by natural as well as human selection. You have nothing to lose and the service is free. Mature Virgin Island White ewes and rams weigh 35 and 45 kg, respectively. However, the most successful producers develop their own market, whether it be to individuals or specialty stores. Several companies have portable types of fencing appropriate for sheep. There are many breeds capable of breeding year round. Many have individual instructional video tapes that are available. Biological control can be helped by utilizing cattle of horses to graze after sheep to reduce the larval burden on the pasture. Lambs should be given an anthelmintic at weaning and at 6 to 8 week intervals depending on level of infestation. In some states the state department of agriculture may have someone hired to assist in marketing your products. Please mail your original copies with our email form Marketing— If successful you will have a product to sell! The perimeter fence around the entire area where the sheep are going to be contained must be of high quality material. It is believed to have descend from the hair sheep of west Africa, but some feel it is a cross of the Wiltshire Horn and the native Criollo. Maybe you like to eat lamb and are tired of paying more than $5.00 per pound for a leg of lamb. To have lambs at other times during the year than just the spring, or to have ewes produce more than one time per year, you may want to consider one of these breeds. Twenty-five Virgin Island White sheep, 22 ewes and 3 rams, were selected in St. Croix and imported into the U.S. by Dr. W. C. Foote of Utah State University in 1975. Sheep are known as seasonal breeders. One is by excluding the predators with proper fencing and the other is by protecting the sheep with guard animals. Construction of internal cross fences (to divide the pasture within the perimeter) do not need to be as secure or permanent as the perimeter fence. Sheep generally will not utilize the shelter except to get out of very inclement weather or to seek shade. Cooperative extension— Every state has a Land Grant University and an Extension Service. These chargers cost between $75 and $250 and can be run from regular 110 current, from a car battery or from the sun. document.write('animal-science-mail-form'); While they can withstand high heat and humidity better than British sheep breeds, they have adapted to variable climatic conditions in many parts of the country. Recently, the availability of high voltage or high power fence chargers for electric fencing has improved our ability to keep sheep in, and more importantly, to keep predators out. Email : Hay can be grown on the farm (but this requires a large investment in equipment) or can be purchased from other producers. If not bred, the ewe will cycle and ovulate every 17 days. The sheep owner has several management practices that aid in controlling internal parasite infestation, drugs called anthelmintics can be given to sheep to kill the parasites and practices such as pasture rotation can be utilized. Lambs are marketed at 90–130 lbs at 4 to 8 months of age (depending on breed). Sources of information are also identified for those who want to raise sheep regardless of the reason. These grains can be fed directly to sheep without processing. Please provide a description of this breed as well To purchase a copy, write to: Sheep Industry Development Program, 6911 South Yosemite St., Englewood, CO 80112-1414 or call 303-771-3500. Care should be taken not to use feed that is advertised for dairy, beef, swine or poultry use. Small farms continue to enjoy St. Croix for their ease of care. Organizations— Most states have associations of sheep owners that will be valuable to you to join. Sheep are gregarious, which means they like to be around other sheep and move as a group rather that an individuals. Other management tasks associated with health include hoof trimming at least annually to reduce the chances of footrot. There were no records available on the animals. The cooperative extension service or your veterinarian should be consulted to develop a plan for appropriate parasite control in your area. Generally, for ewes an anthelmintic should be given prior to breeding, before or at lambing and one time during the summer. The Livestock Conservancy, Box 477, Pittsboro, North Carolina U.S.A. 27312 Phone: (919) 542-5704. Correspondence: Garry Vroegh, Dutch Heritage Farm, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Stephan Wildeus PhD, Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia, [Sheep Breeds || Breeds of Livestock || Animal Science Home Page || Comment ]. If woven wire is used, posts must be put close enough together so that animals (the sheep and predators) cannot get through. Unless you are planning to make hay, the machinery necessary for sheep is minimal. Unfortunately, (for the sheep owner) often times it is the neighbor’s dog that causes the problem. These include sheep that are grown primarily for wool, that are grown primarily for meat production and even sheep without wool. Lambs suckle the ewe for 2–3 months naturally, but can be weaned at one (1) month of age. Health care— The major health concern is that of controlling internal parasites. These sheep are typically white in color, though there are known variations such as light brown, tan and black or white with black or brown spots - the breed standard calls for the St. Croix to be white. How much land is available and what the productivity of that land is should be determined. In most states there are state pools to market lamb and wool. St. Croix ewe's lambs show high fertility at 6-7 months of age. This means the female only cycles and accepts the male during times of shortening day length. Lambs are usually twins, some singles, often triplets and occasionally quadruplets.