Sheep at Our Long Island Zoo

Long Island Sheep

The American Blackbelly sheep are a unique species due to their appearance—badger-faced with black facial bars as well as their breeding. They are a type of hair sheep and are actually a cross between Barbados Blackbelly with the Mouflon and the Rambouillet sheep. Typically, they are small to medium-sized and show a great amount of muscle in their necks and legs.

This type of sheep have a stern look, with their defined muscles, dark color, and slick hair. The female Blackbelly sheep are referred to as ewes and the males are known as rams. They range in height—from 24 inches to 32 inches. Both rams and ewes have horns; however, the rams’ horns are distinct—long horns that curl up to 30 inches or even longer, as they mature. Rams usually weigh about 125 pounds, while ewes are smaller, weighing in at only 90 pounds. They all have a medium to thick-haired wool coat. Typically, they grow more or less wool depending on weather conditions.

These sheep have large, bold eyes that are brown and almond-shaped. A black line runs from above the eye to the base of the crown. Black lines also run on the nose, forehead, and inside of the ears. American Blackbelly sheep have a light diet, which consists of grass, branches, shrubs, or even hay. Three quarters of their diet should be these items in order to keep their stomachs working efficiently. These sheep can reside everywhere, besides the frigid Polar Regions and are raised domestically. On average, American Blackbelly Sheep live for 13 years.