So why do I raise sheep...
I raise sheep because they are smaller, more manageable animals. They are full of personality and are so fun to be around. I raise sheep for meat and wool.
Right now we use the wool for insulation in our chicken and ducks houses as I haven't found anyone local who processes the shorn wool into yarn. The meat from lambs who are 7 months to 1 year old have the best flavor in my opinion. The key to great tasting lamb is that it is less than a year old. after it is older then that the reproductive hormones tend to taint the meat and make it taste gamey.
There are health benefits to eating lamb. Because it's high in iron and calcium it helps the body to produce red blood cells. Iron helps to ward off anemia and reduces tiredness and fatigue. A diet rich in iron can also help fight insomnia and boosts your immune system. Lamb promotes good heart health as it contains and ample supply of Omega 3 fatty acids, alphalinolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These nutrients help reduce bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. These are just a few of the many benefits from adding lamb to your diet.
What breeds do I raise:
I raise a mixed flock of Dorset, Rideau Arcott and Finn. The Dorset brings a medium sized frame and desirable carcass at processing time. They can breed off season, can have multiples and are good milkers and mothers. The Rideau Arcott are a Canadian developed breed from mixing Finn, Suffolk, Shropshire, Dorset and East Friesian sheep. They mature early, are highly fertile, very hardy to cold regions. Because of the mix of the breeds they are also good milkers. Finnsheep are extremely prolific meaning they could have up to 5 lambs at one time. They are fast growing, great mothers and from my experience one of the friendliest sheep. Fleeces are soft and are really good for hand spinning. They have what is called a rat tial so it is shorter then the other and usually doesn't need docking. Finnsheep are native to Finland and are used there for milk. So all the breeds I have are good for milk which is wonderful.
I love all my sheep but there are a few who stand out from the rest. Miriam is a purebred Finn and she is just the most loving ewe ever. But everyone has there own personality. Bella is the instigator of trouble, Twilight is the dawdler and Rachel is our over protective stompy one.
That's it for today.. I'll be back tomorrow with more Sheep talk as I discuss and share how I care for the sheep.
Until next time....