195 Isaac Frye Hwy. Wilton, NH 03086 Google Map 603-654-6082/ 603-721-6426
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Katahdin Sheep

The latest addition to our grass grazing symphony!

Every animal makes a unique contribution to the farm.  The farm has never grazed sheep before, but the intention has always been to add them to the grazing mix in order to better utilize our forage base, and, of course, to add variety to the meats we offer to farm members and non-members who visit our farm store.  

 

     

 

Most of the sheep that we are familiar with are wool breeds of sheep.  But about 10% of all sheep breeds in the world are what is known as hair sheep.  The main difference between a wool breed and a hair breed of sheep is that hair sheep naturally shed their hair annually, while a wool sheep must be sheared (by a person) annually.  The domestic market for wool used to be financially viable, but with the rise of the vast wool sheep industry in countries like New Zealand, Australia and China in the last fifty years, the price that a US farmer receives for their wool has dropped dramatically.  So, unless you are a large producer--which we are not--it doesn't make a lot of economic sense to raise wool sheep.  Luckily, we have some other choices and so we decided to go with the Katahdin breed of hair sheep.  As a breed, it meets our need well for a sheep that does well on grass, has good mothering and fertility and is more parasite resistant (generally) than some other breeds of sheep.  This is a very important consideration in our organic approach to livestock production. You can find out more about the Katahdin breed here.

 

     

 

Our sheep flock began in the summer of 2014 when we traveled to northern Aroostock County, Maine to Hidden Meadow Farm and purchased our first seven Katahdin ewe lambs and two Katahdin ram lambs.  These lambs were grown out on pasture during the rest of the 2014 grazing season, were bred in November and lambed for the first time in April of 2015.  

 

    

Out of that initial lamb crop we held back three ewe lambs for breeding and grew out eight lambs for meat.  Our first (limited) lamb meat was available in October 2015.  In the fall of 2016 there will be even more lamb meat available plus a limited quantity of naturally tanned lambskins.  

In the summer of 2015 we purchased an additional ten ewe lambs from Hidden Meadow Farm.  So, combined with our ten ewes we went into November 2015 with twenty ewes for breeding.  We look forward to our 2016 lambing season happening sometime in April.

 

     

 

With the additional grazing lands that the farm has now leased at Frye Field, the sheep flock will be able to grow to between 50-60 breeding ewes in the coming years.  

Sign up for our newsletter and you'll get first word about when the new lambs are ready for visitors!

 

 

Photo(s) added: JacobOctober 23rd, 2016

New photo added:

New aerial photo of TWCF farmlands available for viewingMarch 9th, 2016

Now you can see the breadth of our various farmlands up here on Abbot Hill.  From Gage Field to Randi's Field, from the top of Frye Field down to the Hidden Meadow that once was a peach orchard a

New Showcase: Cheesemaking at Abbot Hill CreameryMarch 2nd, 2016

Click here to view the showcase.

 

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Contact Us Online or Call 603-654-6082 or 721-6426