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You are invited to subscribe to a free mailing list exclusively for people interested in American Blackbelly (horned) sheep and Barbados Blackbelly (polled) sheep. The purpose of this list is to share information about raising Blackbelly sheep. We welcome experienced breeders, newcomers, and people simply wanting to know more about these two marvelous breeds of Blackbelly hair sheep.


Listserv conversations run entirely through email. After you subscribe, when you send a question to "blackbelly@lists.blackbellysheep.info," it goes through email to everyone on the list. If someone is inclined to answer, they send the answer to that same email address. Then everyone on the list sees the answer. You might get fifteen answers to your question, or you might get none, depending on who is busy and who knows the answer.

If you yourself know the answer to a question, you email a reply, usually with REPLY ALL, so the "framers" email address receives the response. Any email sent to "blackbelly" goes to everyone on the list. If you omit the "blackbelly" email address from your reply, then it only goes to the person who asked the question.

A reminder of the basic instructions appears in the header of every "blackbelly" email. If you want to quit the list, you use the "unsubscribe" email address described there.


Like regular email, listservs have their own "netiquette" and expect participants to abide by the standards and culture of that listserv. The Blackbelly Listserv is unmoderated, meaning that there is no "editor" lurking behind a computer, deciding which messages are fit for posting to the group. Therefore, we must behave ourselves and follow a few rules.

  • Do NOT attach anything to your message. No photos, no nothing. Attachments breed viruses, and this list is dedicated to protecting its subscribers from viruses and spam.
  • Do NOT use HTML-styled text in your email. Doing so will require the listserv owner to manually reject your message. This will delay your message and make the listserv owner cranky. You will receive an automatically generated "suspicious header" email, which will make you cranky. To learn how to turn off HTML text, go to http://www.blackbellysheep.info/plain_text_vs_HTML_text.html
  • Mind your manners. Treat others with respect, even if you disagree with them. Be gentle...and be discreet!
  • Don't flame anyone, and if you are the recipient of a flame, wait 24 hours before you reply.
  • This group is not a chat group. Stay on topic. Our listserv is about blackbelly sheep and, more generally, just sheep. That is a big enough arena without wandering afield. Information about sheep, sheep equipment, sheep dogs, sheep events, sheep feed, sheep pasture, sheep medicine, sheep anything is appropriate for posting. If you can put "sheep" in the title and it still makes sense, then it is probably about sheep. If you can't, then please find a listserv that caters to that non-sheep topic. There are thousands of listservs out there, so you should have no trouble.
  • Share your knowledge and be helpful whenever you can spare a moment. The listserv concept relies on community spirit. Today you may be answering someone's question, and tomorrow you may be asking one of your own.

    Enough rules. Now for a couple of tips:

  • It's okay to lurk for awhile to get a feel for the group's "personality" and to muster up courage to post a question or comment. But if we all just lurk, there will be no conversation, so come out of that shell every once in awhile.
  • It's okay to post someone privately (instead of sending the message to the whole group). But if you have asked a question and receive answers privately, please post a summary of the replies to the whole group. There are lots of people out there who are waiting to learn the answers to questions that they probably wanted to ask themselves. If you don't share the answers, then inquiring minds are left wanting to know!
  • When replying, don't include the whole original message in your reply (unless it is short). Snip out the wordy stuff and briefly restate the general jist of the original message.
  • Make sure your subject line is relevant to your message. Digest users, remember to change the subject line when you reply so that it doesn't read "Blackbelly Digest, Vol X, Issue X." A lot of people search the archives to find information, and the search function only searches the subject lines. Help them find your information.
That's it! Have fun.

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