My Sheep...

I have East Friesian Sheep and Gotland Sheep. The East Friesians are one of, if not the, best dairy sheep. They are friendly and calm, curious and a bonus is they have nice, versatile fleeces.

I love to make soap and cheese and raw milk mocha cappuccinos so naturally the East Friesians -

Gotland are also milky and have wonderful fleeces, prized by the fiber arts crowd. The ancient breed, a descendent of Gute landrace sheep, traces back to the Isle of Gotland off the coast of Sweden. The Gotland pelt is prized for its unique metallic silver grey color, soft curling locks ("purling") and high luster. It is the only known truly grey fleeced breed.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Gotland Ram

Magnum's fleece is a gorgeous example of the blue tinged purling fleece of a beautiful Gotland.




Friday, May 19, 2017

Introducing Beau

Beauregard is our future coyote snacker. His sire is a pure Great Pyrenees and his dam a Maremma mixed with Akbash. He's from working parents from a sheep ranch in Montana. They in turn, are from working parents on sheep ranches in Oregon.
 

Progress With The EF Girls


Because my East Friesians ewe lambs are calmed down and know this is home now, I have moved from just a daily grain treat with me in a stall while they eat it, to letting them eat out of my hands. They are still very cautious and suspicious- so unlike my dairy goats. 
We are now up to the point that I let them out with the dairy goats in the corral, and now the past couple days on the 10 acre pasture. They come when I call them, "sheep sheep sheep!" and follow me around. They still won't stand for me approaching them and petting them. I'm learning to be patient, and that for a sheep to really trust and bond takes almost a year in my experience. But when they do, it's thrilling and worth the wait. 
They are curious, and joyful even. It's a pleasure to be outside with them around my legs.
This morning I worked with them, allowing them into the barn isleway and bringing their grain to the  milking stanchion. Once Francesca realized there is an entire bowl of delicious muesli -like grain with brazil nuts up there, she just jumped up, put her head through, and ate. Progress!


I'll keep doing this several times a week for practice until after they lamb next year and we really get to milk.
The Icelandic girls left Wednesday with a wonderful couple who are starting their farm adventure in Oregon. It was bittersweet because I hated seeing them go, but was so grateful that they got to go to a home and stay together.
The Gotland sheep will settle in the barn on Sunday afternoon. I'll be in Seattle with our oldest son, but I'll get to come home to them and I'm pretty excited. Now, to learn to spin.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Why Raise Dairy Sheep?

Why Raise Dairy Sheep?

When looking for a Dairy animal in the US, many people immediately
think of a cow, or
 increasingly, people have been choosing goats for small scale milk
production. So why should 
one choose a dairy sheep if a cow or goat will do? Well there are quite
 a few reasons.
1. They're small and easy to handle When comparing dairy sheep
 to dairy cows, the most 
obvious thing is that sheep are much smaller than cows. So they will
eat less and cause less 
damage to pasture than a cow might. They also require less space
and smaller housing. 
Dairy sheep and dairy goats are actually similar in this regard but
there are a few positive 
aspects that set dairy sheep apart from dairy goats.
2. They are incredibly practical - Sheep are a truly triple purpose
 animal depending on the breed. They can be used for wool, meat and milk.
Depending on how self-sufficient you are, a 
herd of dairy sheep can provide you with clothing from wool, meat such
as lamb or sausage, milk, cheese, yogurt and even soap. No one goat breed
offers these same benefits.
3. They won't destroy your landscaping - When it comes to ease of care,
 sheep are the winners. Sheep are much easier to contain than goats. They are
 much less mischievous. Sheep are also grazers so they prefer things that are
growing close to the grown like grass and herbs. 
Whereas goats are mainly browsers and prefer trees and shrubs to grass. Sheep
will also nibble on trees but if you are worried about your fruit trees and rose
bushes, sheep will tend to leave those alone whereas goats will actively seek them
out and devour them.
4. Their milk is better for cheese - The nutrient properties of sheep milk
are different than those of cow and goat milk. Sheep's milk is typically higher
in fat and protein than goat and cow milk. This makes sheep milk an excellent
 milk for cheesemaking. More cow and goat milk is required than the amount
of sheep's milk to make the equivalent amount of cheese. So you need 
less of it to make cheese and the cheese typically has a stronger flavor than any
cheese made from cow milk, similar to goat milk cheeses.

Taken from Milkingsheep.com

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Gotland sheep Coming Soon!

I have fallen in love with the Gotland sheep breed.
Check out this link
These two darlings (in their overgrown fleeces early spring shots) are coming here from

Magnum before shearing :

Magnum is a 87.5% Gotland 1 year old ram registered with the American Gotland Sheep Society. Gorgeous dark grey fleece full of ringlets. 

Magnum after shearing 



 Arwen is a 75% Gotland 3 year old ewe registered with the American Gotland Sheep Society. Grey fleece with a lovely texture and feel. She lambed a single last spring and twins this spring. 




Here she is after shearing this spring 


 1 year old wether that is 68% Gotland, and the rest mostly BFL, (Bluefaced Leicester) who has lovely fleece.




Tested clean for OPP, CAE, CL

Secret Sauce

Theresa’s Secret Sauce for Sheep

1 cup greek yogurt
2T vegetable oil
2T molasses
2T Karo Syrup (I used maple syrup.)
Enough Nutri-Drench to thin it enough to go through a drencher.
Feed 2-4 oz. at a time.
I got this from a blog post from Living With Gotlands, which I love.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Find Us

 

I' will be at the Selah Farmer's Market this year from June to September and I've also been invited to do demos at the Central Washington  state fair again this year. Come say "hi"!!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Introducing...

My little flock.

I have 4 Icelandic ewes and 2 East Friesian ewes.
My primary concern is dairy, as I make cheese and other dairy products and I make soap. My ewes all have very nice fleeces because I feel like our ranch is more peaceful and happy when everyone is productive and I don't have a lot of buying and selling going on. It disturbs the flocks and herds here.
The animals are happier and healthier when we aren't too large in numbers but the girls still have daughters living with them.
My breeds are selected for the fact that they are triple purpose. Very practical. Both the East Friesian as well the Icelandic are considered a triple purpose breed. Fleece, meat, and dairy. The E. F. sheep are obviously higher producers of milk. They are also friendlier and much larger.

We live in Yakima Washington which is a high-desert region.


This is Francesca one of my East Friesian girls. They one of or the highest milk producing breed of sheep. 

Carmen is a lovely little girl. She will be around 180-200 pounds full grown.


Below is the lovely Francesca, my other East Friesian.

Here is my mentor Valerie from Valhalla Farm in Selah, Washington holding my sweet little Charlotte a bottle fed Icelandic with a superb fleece. She's super cuddly and sweet. I plan on training her to the milk stand.



This is Gisela and her twin ewe lambs. The chocolate is Beatrice, and she is horned. The black is polled like her mom and named Rosamund.





Of course in order for our family of animals here remain healthy and strong and not over-crowded, new lambs and goat kids must be sold every year to keep numbers down and the barn full of quality hay. Keep your eyes out for the sales list.


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