St. Croix Hair Sheep
Our St. Croix sheep flock started in 2006. We had looked at sheep and different breeds for years. I thought about Gulf Coast Native sheep but did not want to shear them. I thought about Katahdins but the more we looked and visited farms the more variability we encountered. I also learned of the open flock book and that explained a lot and was even less attractive to us. So we settled on St. Croix sheep and started off on life’s journey with 5 ewes and a ram lamb. The ewes were supposed to be bred but that did not happen as planned and only one was actually bred. The other shocking education we had was that our ram lamb and all of the ewes were at least half-brother or half-sister and some were even more inbred than that. Later we added a flock that had been split between Alabama and Florida due to a major drought.
From these purchases we have 6 lines of sheep on the farm. These are the results of selection and culling. I prefer selection but culling is necessary especially in a breed like St. Croix that I refer to as an unimproved breed. You can read the history of the breed at the website. Selected from a landrace on the island of St. Croix in the 1980’s until today are a hearty breed of sheep which is still able to be refined with each breeding season. We have seen qualities improve in our time with the sheep. I will give more details in other places on the website but for one tidbit: not one lamb has needed worming in a wet and hot 2020 season.