Raising livestock is a rich and rewarding endeavor. There is always more to learn, and it's all hands-on! Through our years of shepherding generations of sheep we have learned the processes of milking, cheese making, turning wool into yarn, butchering and preserving meat, and caring for these fruitful animals.
Raw Wool....Contact us about Fiber!
It all starts with lambs. In early spring they are born. It is not uncommon for a ewe to have twins. In their first few days when the little lambs are very dependent they are closely cared for.
Once the lambs are strong and the pastures are green they are let out for the summer to graze. During the weeks of spring is when we milk the sheep. The milk is creamy and delicious! As much as they enjoy eating new green grass and turning it into nutritious milk we love drinking it!
Icelandic lamb meat is sought after by gourmet chefs around the world for its tender texture and flavor. Our sheep are pastured using 'management intensive grazing'. This means that the animals are moved regularly to a new patch of grass during the growing season, giving the other areas of pasture time to grow more grass. Other than a small amount of commercial sheep feed, which the ewes receive in their trough during milking, the animals are primarily fed grass and hay.
In the late fall, once the lambs have grown we slaughter and butcher ourselves. We love knowing that our meat comes from happy animals we raised ourselves.
Sheep's Milk has almost twice as much protein as cow's milk. It also contains more minerals than cow's milk and is easier to digest. It is high in calcium, and is excellent for making cheese on the homestead. An interesting fact unique to sheep milk is that it's naturally homogenized, meaning the fat doesn't separate like in cow's or goat's. Because of this butter and ice cream can not be made from sheep's milk! We do love making cheese though!
Icelandic wool is highly valued for artisans, for its texture and colors. The sheep produces a long outer coat and a finer inner coat, which produces wool of exceptional quality.
We have obtained an antique spinning wheel and learned to use a drop spindle to turn the wool into yarn or sting.
We personally shear the sheep twice a year, once in spring and once in the fall. Please let us know if you are interested in purchasing wool!