Critterhaven Home

Critterhaven: the Farm and Its Sheep

Sheep, Freezer Lamb, and Gifts for Sale at Critterhaven

Information about Blackbelly Sheep

Top 10 Web Sites You'll Want to Read

Find Other People Interested in Blackbelly Sheep

Links to Helpful Resources for Shepherds

Where to Find Blackbelly Sheep Breeders

Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Association International (BBSAI) Maintains a current Breeders Directory of BBSAI members. Also go to their For Sale/Wanted bulletin board to check recent ads.
Blackbelly Listserv Breeder Map People who subscribe to the free email list are invited to post their contact information on this easy-to-use map of the United State (links to Canadian and other International breeders are also provided).

Care and Maintenance

Sheep Gestation Calculator and Table Online calculator to quickly display the delivery date plus a handy one-page form showing the breeding date / delivery date for 365 days of the year

How to Apply an Ear Tag (
Regardless of what brand of tag you use, this video helps identify where and how to apply a tag.

Bottle Feeding a Goat Kid (
Veterinarian shows how to bottle feed a goat kid.

Castrating a Lamb (
Veterinarian shows how to castrate a lamb using an elastrator band.

How to Splint a Lamb’s Broken Leg (Pipestone Vet
Veterinarian shows how to splint a lamb’s leg using vet wrap and tongue depressors.

Tubing a Lamb (Pipestone Vet
Veterinarian shows how easy it is to tube a lamb.

Using a Stanchion on a Ewe Who Rejected a Lamb (Pipestone Vet
It is easy to build a stanchion that can help restrain a ewe to enable her lamb to nurse and eventually be accepted.

Correcting a Lamb’s Position During Birth (
Veterinarian shows how to correct the position of a lamb during birth.

Giving an Injection to a Lamb (
Veterinarian shows how to give a subcutaneous injection to a lamb.

Milking a Doe with Udder Problems (
Veterinarian shows the technique for milking a doe with udder problems.

Tube Feeding a Goat Kid (
Veterinarian shows how to tube feed a goat kid.

Trimming Sheep Hooves (
Informal video showing how to trim a sheep’s hooves.

Setting up an Electric Net Fence (
Netting is, without question, the most effective and user-friendly temporary electric fence design ever made. In this video, the experts at Premier will show you how easy ElectroNet is to install.

Lamb Cooking School (American Lamb Board)
How to stuff and roast a boneless leg of lamb.

Butcher Tips (American Lamb Board)

Chef Tips (American Lamb Board)

General Sheep Information

American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) If you own sheep, this is the organization that represents you. Although geared primarily for wooled breeds, this site has good information on disease, marketing, production, regulatory and legislative information. Click the Sitemap link at the upper right for easiest navigation.
Maryland Small Ruminant Page Has one of the most extensive collections of information links for sheep on the web.
An Update on Hair (Meat) Sheep in the U.S. by Susan Schoenian
Oklahoma State University Virtual Livestock Library Breeds and selection information;, commercial information; collections of publications; diseases, disorders and pests; nutrition and feeding; production/husbandry
Barbados Blackbellies—A National Treasure by Susan Schoenian
Ethnic Calendar Use this calendar to help you pinpoint the best times to sell your sheep to ethnic populations who eat sheep as part of their religious holidays.

Magazines, Email Groups, Organizations

sheep! Magazine - The Voice of the Independent Flockmaster. Excellent magazine with online links to many past articles. Good reference tool. For an example of two really good past articles, see
Blackbelly Listserv A friendly email group of blackbelly enthusiasts that provide a great support system for other breeders. Ask questions, share your sheep experience, buy, sell, talk sheep.
Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Association International Association and registry for Barbados Blackbelly and American Blackbelly sheep.
Livestock ConservancyFormerly the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, its mission is genetic conservation and the promotion of heritage breeds. Barbados Blackbelly sheep have been on the Livestock Conservancy's conservation list of breeds for many years.

Supplies and Services Blackbelly Goodies Store—t-shirts, hats, mousepads, and more!!
D-S Livestock Company sells the Billy Buster platform headgate and chute. This amazing piece of equipment allows me to trim hooves, tag, medicate, and otherwise constrain my sheep single-handed. Pricy, but worth every cent!

Udderly EZ Sheep Milker Now you can easily obtain cholostrum from lactating ewes with tiny teats. Freeze it for emergency use in icecube trays. Click here to read people's testimonials.

Premier Even if you never order from them, get their catalog. It is one of the best learning tools for fencing I've ever read. Premier sells excellent sheep lambing products and is the only source for the 2X ear tags suitable for blackbelly ears. They are the people to talk to about your scrapie tags. Excellent customer service.
Gallagher Power Fence See their Power Fence Online Manual for a basic primer on electrical fencing. The site has pictures of a spring fence using four or five long, electrically charged springs as a gate.
Drs. Foster and Smith They sell the cheapest nylon collars (18" long x 1" wide) that I've found so far (Item 9N-9003, $4.99 ea available in 12 colors).
Pipestone Veterinary Supply Of special interest is their archive of sheep articles. Pipestone is a good source for sheep vet products.
Sydell, Inc. Sells quality sheep handling systems.
Pelt Tanning Companies Comprehensive list compiled by Ron Parker.

Pen&Ink drawings from photos. Ann-Cathrine Loo lives in the U.K., but all she needs is your photograph and an email address to create exquisite drawings and paintings of your sheep, family, and any other artwork you may need. She made this line drawing for me to use on my farm's sign.

Animal Transport

Worley's Hauling They charge by the mile per stall starting at $.70/loaded mile (as of 11/1/2013). Each stall can hold 1-3 sheep comfortably. If you have a large number of sheep or wish a private trip they offer discounted prices with the entire trailer being $2.50/mile. ALERT: Their site plays really awful music, so turn your speakers down. is a free pet transport bid site. Animal owners can list any animal they need shipped--dogs, sheep, goats, whatever--and in turn they receive bids from feedback-rated pet transporters.

Sheep as Food

Lamb Lovers Cookbook. One of only two lamb cookbooks vailable in the entire WORLD! This cookbook contains over 100 mouth-watering recipes and is fully indexed to make it easy to find recipes by name, ingredient, or ethnic flavor.

Sheep's Creek Farm Lamb Recipes (formerly 18, Ron Florence's huge collection of lamb recipes)
Maryland Small Ruminant's Collections of Lamb and Goat Recipes
Spirit of Humane Tools for humane slaughter of sheep and goats including knives and an affordable restraint system


International Animal Export Regulations Want to ship sheep somewhere outside of the U.S.? Here is a list o countries and their import requirements for sheep.
U.S. Animal Import Information Want to import live sheep? You can only do it from Canada. Here are the regulations.
U.S. State Animal Import Regulations Want to sell a sheep to someone in a different state? Here are links to each State's import regulations.
USDA APHIS United States Veterinary Services. You'll need to know how to contact your State vet when you apply for a scrapie premises I.D.


GeneCheck Scrapie susceptibility testing. Read these excellent articles for more information about the genetics of scrapie:

The ParaSite Pictures of the eggs and oocysts produced by the various parasites that commonly inhabit the internal workings of domestic animals, to be used as a guide to identify what you see when studying fecal slides under the microscope.
Antibiotics Commonly Used in Livestock Production Handy table showing clinical indications, dosages, and withdrawal times of the antibiotics you are most likely to use on your sheep.
How to Compost a Dead Sheep Don't laugh...your sheep won't live forever. Learn from this fully illustrated slide show how to return your sheep to the soil.
Fias Co Farm's How to Do Home Fecal Testing Web site This is one of the best sites for beginners to use. Clear instructions, good photos.
Diagnosis of Internal Parasitism Slide show demonstrates how to prepare the sample, how to load it on a egg-counting slide, how to recognize eggs (versus air bubbles), and how to calculate eggs per gram.
Livestock Fecal Examination for Parasite Eggs by Joe Tritschler and Brad LeaMaster Describes how to do a fecal exam using a home-made flotation solution
Farmstead Health Supply Fecal Egg Count Kits
Deworming with Garlic Jean Noon's experimental results from testing the effectiveness of garlic juice as a deworming agent.
Deworming with Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Perma-Guard is a manufacturer of DE, and their site provides good information about the use of DE as a deworming agent.
How to Do a Basic Field Necropsy Marvelous full-color illustrations and step-by-step procedures for doing a necropsy on a cow. It wouldn't be hard to generalize a lot of the information to a sheep. It shows normal and abnormal conditions for many of the organs. Be sure to download the many mini-movies that demonstrate techniques and tips.
Selenium Toxicity/Deficiency Selenium toxicity is a serious threat to livestock in the mid-western United States. Yet most of the Eastern and Northwestern areas of the country have low selenium in the soil and in the plants, creating a selenium deficiency problem. This Web site describes the distribution of selenium throughout the U.S.; symptoms of incorrect levels ; treatment; and prevention.
Copper Requirements for Sheep Copper is a necessary dietary requirement for sheep, but too much creates a fatal copper toxicity. How much is enough?

Pasture and Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information
Cornell University Poisonous Plants Database

Building Plans for Barns, Shelters, Feeders, Etc.

University of Kentucky—Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Iowa State University—Midwest Plan Service
North Dakota State University
Canada Plan Service

Breed Conservation/Preservation

USDA National Animal Germplasm System will collect semen from your ram and cryopreserve it to ensure that your bloodlines are never lose. Their program is free — you donate your ram's semen to the program.
SVF Foundation Rhode Island organization preserves embryos/semen of rare and endangered livestock breeds
Livestock Conservancy LogoThe Livestock Conservancy (formerly the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy) Pioneer organization in the U.S. working to conserve historic breeds and genetic diversity in livestock, including Barbados Blackbelly sheep.