The bloodlines of our flock have been in my husbands' south Georgia family
since the late 1800s. Our sheep are small to medium in size with the ewes weighing around 80-100 pounds when fully grown.
They contain little to no wool on their face, legs or belly. Our rams sport beautiful horns. Half of the ewes
have horns as well. The wool is medium in handle and does not contain any kemp. Each sheep produces 1-3 pounds
of wool. It is light on the lanolin therefore there is little weight loss when washed.
Our management practices fall under the category of traditional pasture management. We
allow multiple rams to run with the ewes so breeding is non-selective. We do select the ram lamb replacements for strong
and open horns, twinning, and beautiful wool (after all I am a hand spinner!). Gulf Coast Native sheep are a hardy breed
uniquely suited to the hot, humid south-east. To ensure that we do not compromise the hardiness of the flock, we are
careful not to interfere with the natural process. All lambs are pasture born and raised. Because the GCN have
rather short tails there is no need to dock them. We do not cross-breed with 'improved' sheep breeds.
maintain biosecurity on the farm. All our breeding sheep remain on the farm their entire life. The flock does
not suffer from any common sheep diseases: CL, OPP, or footrot.
There are claims that this breed is 'parasite resistant'. That may have been true in
the 1800s when 2-3 sheep were kept per many acre and most were allowed to range many hundreds of acres. We have not
found this to be so in the specific confined environment of our Covington farm. We use pasture rotation in combination
with deworming so the sheep can thrive.
History of the breed
scrub sheep found in the south are loosely divided into two types: the English scrub, descended from the sheep brought in
by the early settlers from Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina, and the 'piney woods' sheep, thought to be descendants
from the Spanish sheep of northern and western Florida and southern Alabama. The English scrub was subject to improvements
through crossbreeding with more productive wool breeds such as the Merino as early as 1811. The southern scrub seemed to thrive
better when left alone.