Last month we had the pleasure of welcoming our newest farm residents: a flock of 15 beautiful Katahdin sheep, given to us by a generous family from our church. We also bought a livestock guardian dog. Katahdins are a hair sheep breed, which means they don’t have wool. Some people think they look more like goats. There are advantages and disadvantages of course to all breeds, but one of the best aspects, in our opinion, is that they don’t need shearing. With Mike working full time and I a homeschooling and foster mom, we welcome any reduction of labour! Twenty-five percent of a sheep’s energy intake goes into producing wool and shearing costs are higher than the wool is worth. So it make sense to maximize meat production. I think eventually we will get some different breeds and perhaps use the wool for some value-added products. Sheepskin rugs or wool duvets anyone? We won’t be selling lamb this year, but there will be freezer orders available fall 2017.
Our puppy is a Maremma which we purchased from HollowTree Farms. We had a great visit with them when we picked her up and they helped us out by answering our multitude of questions. Her name is Katniss and we hope she will live up to her namesake and protect her people (the sheep!) She lives with the sheep full time so that she can bond with them. We try not to touch her too much so that she does not bond to us. It is so tempting though!
We have had a difficult few months on the farm with everything breaking and culminating with an accident with our hay wagon. A very frustrating experience, but thankfully no one was hurt. We are still waiting to see if insurance will buy a new one.
Spring is here and we are keeping busy. Garden planning and spring cleaning are taking up a lot of time and we are also preparing to say good-bye to the precious boy that has blessed our family for almost 9 months. Keep us in your prayers. We are also planning more fencing and doing an intensive rotational grazing system for our cattle and sheep. Farmers can stay tuned for a ‘guest’ post from Mike on the subject. Our new lip balms have been very popular and we have lots of eggs of course. Stop by for a visit anytime.
I am so excited to let you all know that we have finally launched our newest product: Welsh Hill Farm...