Our flock now has 85 ewes. We have two breeds: Coopworths and Katahdins. The Coopworth is a wool breed prized by handspinners for its lustrous, crimpy fleece. The breed was developed in New Zealand as a dual purpose breed (meat and wool) which would do well on a grass-based farm. The Katahdin is the complete opposite--a sheep without wool! They have a hair coat similar to goats. The Katahdin was developed in the state of Maine as a meat animal which would not need shearing
Both breeds have an important place here at the farm. Our Adopt-A-Sheep families, Sheep Camp kids, and other folks appreciate the traditional wooled breed. However, we need lots of sheep for the lamb we sell to folks looking for local, grass-fed meat. Since I do my own shearing, I don’t mind not having to shear the other sheep!
Our sheep are out on pasture all year except for 6 weeks during lambing when they are in the barn under close observation. They eat grass from April through December, supplemented with our own hay as needed. During the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, the nutritional demands of the growing lambs cannot be met with forage,so we add grain to their daily ration.