We raise sheep for meat, fiber and milk. We keep a flock of around 30 breeding ewes, predominantly East Friesian, with a little Awassi, Forest Clun, Laucaune, Border Leicester, and Icelandic crosses thrown into the mix.
Rather than using chemical dewormers at the drop of a hat, we practice medicinal grazing— grazing our sheep in areas with high tannin forage several times a season. These medicinal hedgerows are full of young maple, polar, willow, and ash trees; fireweed, wild gooseberries, chokecherries, tansy, young burdock, raspberry, comfrey, and blackberry and the sheep love grazing through them, getting minerals, medicine, and tannins not available in their pastures.
Sheep’s milk from grass-fed ewes is one of the most nutritious milks available, and is naturally homogenized with small fat globules, making it easier to digest. Many people who have an intolerance or sensitivity to cow’s milk find sheep’s milk to be much more easily digested. Compared to cow and goat milk, sheep’s milk has significantly more fats, calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals. Sheep’s milk makes the best cheese and yogurt, and is delicious in coffee, on cereal, or drunk plain from the bottle.
Our lambs stay with their mothers for 30-60 days, and then are weaned and brought onto pasture where we rotationally graze them, moving them onto fresh pasture every 1-2 days. We give them only tiny amounts of organic grain for training purposes, other than that, they eat grass, certified organic hay, seaweed, and, in the fall, tons of organic apple drops from our orchard.