UPDATE!  LAMBS COMING MARCH 2014. If anyone is looking for lambs to BOTTLE FEED or would like to secure some lambs by joining our WAITING LIST, please feel free to call Eric @ (864) 684-2260 any time.  Please call for more information.  We are actually in the process of developing a brand new web site, now active at www.smokyridgefarms.com.  

11.jpg
OVERVIEW
Smoky Ridge Farms is located in Upstate, SC.  We proudly raise Barbado sheep--mostly the spotted variety known as Painted Desert Sheep.  Barbados are "hair sheep," which means they do not grow a woolly coat that needs to be sheared each year.  They do grow a thick winter coat, but it sheds naturally in the spring.  Barbados are "exotic" because they have been developed in recent years as a breed very well known for the ram's trophy-sized horns.  We market and deliver our sheep for breeding stock especially in the southeast--primarilly, but not limited to Tenessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

OUR FOCUS
The traits that we are striving for with our flock are the characteristic "shedding ability" of Barbados, fast-growing majestic horns in our rams, and overall hardiness.  As stated above, these sheep should completely shed their thicker winter coat so that no assistance is necessary to obtain a beautiful sleek hair coat for the warmer months.  We want our rams to exhibit a good set of trophy-sized horns by the time they are 2.5 to 3.5 years old.  We are also focusing on our ewes having horns.  It is generally accepted that Barbado ewes are naturally polled (hornless,) but some do have horns.  We have managed to find some with horns to work into our breeding program and are hoping to perpetuate this characteristic.  Horns are God-made handles, and thus make handling the ewes a lot easier!  It also seems to be that ram lambs out of ewes with horns often have slightly quicker and better horn growth than ram lambs out of polled (unhorned) ewes.  As far as "hardiness" goes, this just means that we try to be selective for breeding stock that are more resistant to parasites, have a low tendency towards dystocia (lambing problems), foot problems, etc.  As a general rule, Barbados are already very hardy compared with a lot of other sheep breeds.

OUR BREEDING PROGRAM
In order to accomplish our breeding goals, we believe it is very important to know the pedigree of each animal and keep good records for comparative purposes.  It is impossible to know the sire of the lambs if more than one ram is in with the ewes at breeding time.  For this reason, we only keep one ram in with each group of ewes during the breeding season.  Then, before the lambs are weaned, we ear tag them and make notes of their pedigree according to their ear tags.  (This is very helpful if we end up with several lambs with similar markings.)
HomePicturesSale Barn

EXPLANATION OF AMERICAN BLACKBELLY, BLACK HAWAIIAN, CORSICAN, PAINTED DESERT & TEXAS DALL SHEEP All of these "varieties" have similar bloodlines, and efforts are being made by breeders to recognize some of them as distinct "breeds."  One of the most ancient breeds of sheep is a wild European sheep called the Mouflon.  They are a magnificent breed of hair sheep in which the rams grow a very majestic set of heart-shaped horns.  Mouflons were first introduced into the United States in Zoos and eventually crossed with some of the more "traditional" wool breeds including Jacob, Merino, and Rambouillet to develop the Corsican family of sheep.  Another shedding "hair" breed that was used in the development of these modern Corsican-type breeds was the Barbados Blackbelly [a breed developed in Barbados from African hair sheep.]  The term Corsican sheep was the term first used generically to describe Mouflon cross hair sheep.  In a broad sense, the term Corsican is often still used to describe any Mouflon cross, although it is usually used more when describing the brown/black strains that show more Mouflon influence than Barbados Blackbelly influence.  As stated above, within the Corsican family are different varieties.  The solid white strain has come to be known as "Texas Dall."  The solid black strain has come to be known as "Black Hawaiian."  The ones that resemble Barbados Blackbellies in their color pattern have come to be known as "American Blackbellies."  The spotted variety is called "Painted Desert."  There is a Painted Desert Sheep Society and a registry.  Technically, an animal with only 1 or 2 spots can be called a Painted Desert, however, most Painted Desert breeders breed for a lot of splashy color in stead of just one or two spots.  If you have any questions about these descriptions, please give me a call. 

99001.jpg

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PICTURES AND INFORMATION OR OUR SALE BARN