Being a somewhat obscure hair sheep breed, with small adult body weight, the Barbados hasn't seen much attention from commercial breeders and is therefore in danger of being placed on the threatened livestock species list.

Dorset sheep produce between five and nine pounds of medium grade wool per year. They have also been used in dairying. Ewes are heavy milkers, easily able to raise their own lambs. It has an economically produced carcass. In common with other Down breeds the Dorset Down can easily be trained to follow the bucket and is a relatively calm breed of sheep. Dorset Down sheep originated in the early 1800s from a cross of Southdown rams over Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire ewes during a period of significant sheep improvement in England. The Dorset Down usually achieves lambing percentages of around 150% and is known for being able to take the ram in most months of the year. Ewes weigh 150–200 pounds, and rams weigh 225–275 pounds. A lot of the wool from Dorset Downs is especially selected for the hosiery and fine tweed trades. The sheep are avid grazers and use feed well. From a fiber standpoint, the fleeces of these [Poll and Horned] Dorsets are quite similar The wool is very white with an organised crimp pattern in both fibre and lock. If you prefer cross breeding, choose a ewe or ram that will pass many of the above characteristics on to its first cross females, thereby improving your profit margins on your existing stock. Poll Dorset “The Polled Dorsets are far more common than their horned siblings, which are on conservation lists. Pedigree Poll Dorset Sheep at Great Garlandhayes Farm The Blackdown Flock of Pedigree Poll Dorsets is a closed flock of superior genetic merit, with a high health status. The wool is very fine textured and can weigh up to 2.2kg washed weight from a mature sheep.
Polled Dorset sheep will provide a regular cash flow by producing lambs frequently – three times in two years if you wish. I'm pleased to report, however, that there is an increased demand for hair sheep in the U.S. as of late, so these guys are slowly making a comeback. The Dorset Down breed also has very sought after wool, regarded as one of the highest grades by the British Wool Marketing Board. In the Horn variety, both ewes and rams carry horns. It feels somewhat crisp or firm, with a good body that carries over to the yarn.” Page 62 . The Dorset Down is a solid, thickset sheep able to cope with most conditions although not suited to the uplands. It is managed using modern methods, but makes the most of their traditional characteristics.