The rare sheep on R-Time Ranch come from a long history of usefulness for their fine meat, and not for wool. The St. Croix sheep are hair sheep, capable of withstanding both warm and cold climates, do not require shearing and are approachable for petting.
St. Croix Sheep History
The original St. Croix sheep were carried to the Caribbean on West African sailing ships in the 16th Century and raised as a meat source. However, it was not until 1975 that the first significant Virgin Island white sheep were imported to the U.S. from St. Croix Island. Several agriculture universities promoted the breed and the sheep finally got the attention of many breeders in the 1980 because of their useful characteristics.
A Desireable Breed
The sheep exhibit desirable traits not seen in wool sheep. St. Croix hair sheep do not have horns, respond easily to herding and are parasite resistance. Ewes can produce two lambs a year, sometimes birthing twins, triplets and occasionally quadruplets.
Listed as Threatened
The sheep are bred mainly for meat production and conservation. With below 1000 registrations a year, The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy recognizes the sheep as threatened.
The sheep's lean meat is described as low in cholesterol, with good flavor, juiciness, and tenderness.
Inquire if you have an interest in purchasing any registered St. Croix rams and ewes for breeding.
St. Croix Hair Sheep Breeders Inc., History. http://stcroixsheep.org/history/
Okahoma State University, Breeds of Livestock, St. Croix Sheep. http://afs.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/stcroix