Farming isn't just a hobby.
It's a way of life.
Nestled in the heart of British Columbia's Cariboo region, Whispering Pines Farm started out in the 1980s with backgrounding calves for the feedlots in Alberta. Border Collies and horses were the mainstay of how we kept tabs on 300+ head of cattle scattered across the ranges and pastures.
With stock dogs came sheep for training purposes and naturally this led to 4-H sheep for the kids. A small Registered Suffolk sheep flock grew into a larger flock of hair sheep. Back in the 1990s, hair sheep were uncommon and everyone referred to them as Barbados. Looking back, the little white hair sheep we kept were more likely of St Croix breeding.
Due to time constraints that come with working off the farm, we have slowly evolved from raising cattle to raising stock dogs and sheep. The lack of a profitable wool market and lack of desire to shear sheep, the tiny hodge-podge flock of hair and wool sheep has slowly evolved into a growing flock of primarily hair sheep.
There have been no regrets with the choice of going exclusively to hair sheep. Our American Blackbellies and AB crosses are low maintenance and prolific, easy breeders. Sometimes referred to as 'edible weed-wackers', they have made life simpler. We are dedicated to sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices that works best for the land and for our animals. The sheep graze acres of mix grass pasture from May to October and then tuck into the barnyard with locally grown, organic grass hay and grains. It's not uncommon to have lambs in the house for extra TLC during lambing season.
If you are interested knowing more about hair sheep, and American Blackbelly sheep in particular, check out the links below