The American Blackbelly sheep is a hair sheep, originally developed by  crossbreeding programs involving primarily Mouflon and Barbados  Blackbelly. Resulting hybrids produced poor horn growth that interfered  with the animals' faces. Repeated back crossing on the Mouflon improved  horn growth to the extent that the hybrid attracted the attention of  trophy hunters. Eventually, a strain of exotic looking animals with  massive horns evolved and came to be referred to as "Corsican" in  reference to the origin of the Mouflon ancestors. The original cross has  subsequently been developed into several distinctive breeds of hair  sheep. The American Blackbelly is a breed of Corsican descent that is  readily identifiable by a very well-defined coat pattern and is  registered by the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Association International-  BBSAI. Rams generally display spectacular horns, while ewes may have  horns or are are polled (hornless). The sheep sport a distinctive hair  coat in a range of tan to brown to red, with dramatic black markings.

The  American Blackbelly is a thrifty, energetic, small- to medium-sized  sheep with a strong flocking instinct. Because of this trait, American  Blackbelly sheep are excellent for training cutting horses and herding  dogs. It is well adapted to a broad range of environments, breeding  goals, and management styles. On the farm, it is desired for its  productivity and thriftiness, great prolificacy, and fairly low  maintenance. Mature ewes generally have two to three or more lambs in  any season, and depending on management, are capable of lambing three  times in two years or so. They are very good mothers. Because of  their potential reproductive capacity and out-of-season breeding, ewes  are suited to an accelerated lambing program.

American Blackbelly  sheep will grow more or less winter wool, mostly in response to local  winter conditions, which is entirely shed in spring/summer to reveal a  coarse, flat hair coat with distinctive, antelope-like markings. It is  never docked or sheared.  As American Blackbelly Sheep are hair sheep  (have no wool and therefore no lanolin) to taint the flavor of the meat,  this ensures that blackbelly lamb never tastes "muttony." Blackbelly  lamb is an exceptionally mild-flavored, lean meat said to please even  those folks who say they don't like lamb. It tastes very similar to  Mountain Sheep. 

American Blackbelly Breeder Listings


Rhonda McNaughton

Box 4033 

Olds AB, T4H 1P7

(P) 403-556-8099 


Douglas Noyes: Rusty Iron Acres

35236 RR 263
Red Deer County AB, T4G 0C9

(P) 403-396-4705