At Natural Born Guardians, we are converting our livestock over to Hair Sheep.
This change is in part due to the ongoing drought, and the expense of feeding cattle year around.
The Breed of Hair Sheep that we decided to start with is the St Croix. Qualities that attracted us to the St Croix is their legendary resistance to parasites, browsing abilities, high reproduction rate and ruggedness. The St Croix are mainly a meat sheep, and are well adapted to the East Texas heat and humidity. A few of our St Croix have some Dorper blood, and carry some black. My daughters will not allow me to cull them out of the flock, because they are cute :)
Their rugged toughness reminds me of the Boz and Kangals, which is something I admire.
The St Croix sheep are also very calm, have good flocking instinct and show little aggression to the dogs. We feel this has contributed to the introduction with the Turkish Boz Shepherd Livestock Guardian dogs that seemed more like bringing together old friends. Because of this behavior, and the mild temperament of the Boz, I was able to raise 5 Boz pups in a 7 acre pasture with a small flock of 8 sheep. This is something that would generally be one of the first things a LGD owner would avoid, to raise more than one puppy in with livestock. Normally, this would create the environment to where the puppies would entice each other into a play behavior with the livestock. The Boz seem to have less incidence or problems with chasing or acting aggressively with the stock than many of the other breeds I have utilized before.
With enhanced Predator Control from the Turkish Boz Shepherds, the St Crois will hopefully thrive and reproduce.
Check back with me later in the year for any avaliable St Croix Hair Sheep and view the following resources for additional information.
UPDATE!!! We have glided through our first two lambing seasons without a single lost lamb out of 16. The lambs were born in pastures with anywhere from 2-6 adolescent Boz puppies 4-10 months old. This is a comfort level that I was never able to achieve or enjoy with the other breeds of LGDs that I have utilized over the past 23 years. The Boz have shown to have the lowest play prey drive of all that I have utilized so far.
The St. Croix sheep are introduced to our Turkish Boz Shepherds for the first time. The sheep were placed in a pen for a week, then released into the pasture with the dogs. Within a few hours, they were all one well-adjusted family.