Bred For Florida

November 14, 2017

For sheep to survive in Florida's humid, sub-tropical climate, they have to have some degree of parasite resistance. Otherwise, they’ll constantly struggle with parasites (worms) and/or need to be raised in confinement.  Several of the breeds raised in Florida strive to meet this requirement.

 

Image from Calovine Farm. Taken by Beth Senn

 

The St. Augustine is an improved breed of hair sheep. It is a cross between the St. Croix (5/8) and Dorper (3/8). The St. Croix was selected because of its mothering ability, parasite resistance, and hardiness. The Dorper was valued for its size and muscling. Ron & Ruth Taber (Calovine Farm) began developing the St. Augustine breed in 1991.

According to the breed association
The primary characteristic of the St. Augustine is productivity. St. Augustine ewes are early maturing, have multiple births, have excellent maternal ability, and can perform well in an accelerated lambing program. Being bred and managed in Florida, the breed is well-adapted to hot, humid climates and has good parasite resistance.


To learn more, visit the breed registry at http://www.staugustinehairsheep.com/.

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Sericea lespedeza has been shown to reduce barber pole worm infections in small ruminants.