The sheep flock at Black Sheep Farm is raised on pasture from May to October, and on hay in the barn over the winter. They have free access to mineral supplements in the form of a molasses block. No dewormers are used, as parasite control is achieved through intensive managed grazing. The use of dewormers leads to the spread of insecticides over pasture fields, killing insects which help the soil.
When on pasture, the sheep are moved to a new patch every 1-2 days, depending on the quality of the forage and growing conditions. This requires setting up movable electric fencing on a daily basis, as well as moving their field shelter, water wagon and mineral block. The flock is well trained to Skyler’s whistle to gather at the gate to the new patch around 4 pm each day. This is when the sugars in the plants are at their highest, and the sheep are able to graze them into the cool of the evening.
Lambing mostly happens in the barn in late winter/early spring. Shearing takes place in January. We do process our own fleeces with sorting and a first wash, before sending them to an Ontario mill for processing into yarn. When ram lambs are sent to become meat, we also take their hides back to salt and cure them, before sending them on to an Ontario tannery for tanning.
Lamb meat is available in the fall in 10 lb bundles of frozen mixed cuts ($170), as half lambs (~15-17 lbs hanging) cut to your specifications ($215), or whole lamb (~28-32 lbs hanging) cut to your specifications ($14/lb hanging weight). If you would like to be on the list for lamb meat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. A $100 deposit is due on ordering, with the remainder to be paid at delivery or pick up.
Yarn and lambskins can be purchased through our store. Please click here to see availability and pricing.