Sheep

2We started out raising wool breeds of sheep including mixes of CVM, Merino, Wensleydale, BFL, and Lincoln Longwool.  We like to cross the sheep with finer wool (CVM, Merino, etc) with the longer wool breeds (Wensleydale, BFL, and Lincoln Longwool) to produce sheep with fine wool that grows faster.  We enjoy all the different and beautiful textures, colors, crimps, and lusters that our wool sheep give in their fiber.

In the fall of 2019 we bought our first dairy sheep and added them to the flock.  We are now breeding wool sheep and dairy sheep separately, and also crossing the wool breeds onto the dairy breeds to see if we can improve the wool quality but still have good dairy production.

Because we are just a small backyard farm with no pasture we keep two to five breeding ewes at any given time and their young lambs, plus our breeding ram.  We sell our ewe lambs (or keep for breeding), and use the ram lambs for meat (although they occasionally get sold as well).

The wool from the sheep is for our personal use and we also sell our yarn in a local yarn store.  At first, we processed our wool by hand.  But then, in 2017, we opened Willow Creek Fiber Mill, where we custom process wool, alpaca, llama, mohair, and other exotic fibers into yarn for our customers.  So now all of our own sheep wool is processed in our mill instead of by hand.  Though I do still enjoy spinning when I have the time.

We jacket our sheep to keep the wool from being stained, bleached, felted, and to decrease the vegetable matter and waste getting caught up in it.  The jackets add value to the fleece that will be shorn off.

 

To read more about our sheep you can click on the menu on the sidebar entitled “More About Our: Sheep.”

 

 

 

 

Click here to read our series on hand processing wool.

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One thought on “Sheep

  1. Pingback: High-Altitude Cold-Climate Gardening : Overcoming Wildlife Challenges | Just another Day on the Farm

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