Our goal is to consistently produce quality POLLED rams that will be available to breeders in future years.
It takes some effort to learn the genetics behind your individual animals. We have been breeding Barbados Blackbelly sheep long enough that we have familiarized ourselves with the bloodlines we want to use to further propagate our flock. First we had to acquire the sheep that have the traits we are looking for, then we bred them to see if they could produce those traits. Remembering, while pairing them with other chosen bloodlines who also have desirable traits that we are interested in cultivating, that it is essential to always be moving toward the "ideal" of the breed standard.
It has taken time to accomplish what we have done thus far. That is combining bloodlines to see how they produce, actually deciding which traits were showing up that we wanted to keep, and eliminating the ones that we didn't want. You will probably be doing the same with your own flock, unless you have chosen to breed a commercial flock and your objective is to focus on quantity rather than focusing totally on quality. Whichever you choose is up to you. We have been breeding for quality since day one, and it is our intention to continue in that direction. We are satisfied that we have improved the quality of our flock to a place that is acceptable to us and coincides with the breed standard as well. Our goal now, is to reproduce that type of sheep consistently, while improving certain unique characteristics that have enamored us through the years.
This form of breeding is know as line breeding. We are breeding a particular line (bloodline) of Barbados Blackbellies. Occasionally, we will be inbreeding within those lines to lock in certain traits. I have always understood inbreeding to mean breeding mother to son, father to daughter, or full brother to full sister. Anything more distantly related than that, within the same line, is line breeding. Some people will disagree with that equation, but it has served us well for many years of breeding (through many species) and as the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" fits well here. By breeding this way, we can expect the "best of the best" and the "worst of the worst", due to those hidden recessive genes that pop up when one breeds anything. The best will be used for future generations, the worst must be culled. We will only sell sheep for breeding stock that we at Lone Star Farm would use for breeding ourselves. The sheep that show less desirable traits than what we are looking for in breeding stock are sold as market lambs and are always very tasty in one of the recipes from the Lamb Lover's Cookbook. The cookbook was edited partly by myself, and it is available as a Kindle E-book from Amazon.com for a mere $2.99.
Photo: Lone Star Dress To The 9's
Lone Star Rebecca
Lone Star Farm | Barbados Blackbelly Sheep
Typical Lone Star lambs grazing.