Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feeling a Bit Sheepish

Today we met two delightful women who raise a flock of fiber sheep, a few goats, and Icelandic herding dogs. Connie and Laura live on a great old farm 20 miles west of us, but due to health reasons are moving to town and selling their livestock. When we arrived, two of their four guard llamas checked us out to make sure we were not a threat. The llamas take their job of guarding the flock from coyotes and stray dogs very seriously.
Because Connie is a fiber artist, the women raise Icelandic, Lincoln Longwool, Romney and Shetland sheep selected for their fleece texture and colors. I was smitten by Icelandic sheep when I first saw them at Knoll Farm in Vermont last year and have been dreaming of raising them ever since. They are a very hardy calm breed, great for meat, fiber and milk. And they are strikingly handsome. These particular sheep are doted upon and very friendly. The ewes came running when they saw Connie and Laura.
The women recommend a small flock of five sheep for our space and pointed out which five sheep would be a great fit for our farm and our purposes (fleece, friendliness and fun - probably not breeding or meat). Connie and Laura offered to visit our farm and make suggestions for the fencing and shelter. Now we have to decide whether to commit --and whether we can afford a flock of sheep...

I'll keep you posted!


Anonymous said...

Icelandic sheep and guard llamas - wonderful! Glad that you shared this story and the photos to go with them. What beautiful animals! - Karen

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

I sure do wish I had some property! I wouldn't want a huge piece of land no more than say, 2 acres. Someday soon- and reading your blog is really helpful in my research. That llama in the first photo looks like it's smiling- how cute is that! I can only imagine the responsibility that must go into having even a small flock of sheep- good luck with this, and I look forward to seeing how it all turns out :)

Jen and Rich Johnson said...

Oh I am so excited for you. I hope you go ahead with the decision to raise sheep, we absolutely love it!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Susan hi

I felt I should reply to your comment on Moles over here so I know you've got it. I wouldn't plant into the hills they leave. The hills are a by-product but they return frequently as they go up and down their tunnels 'hoovering' worms and the like that fall into them. You need to rid yourself of them.