With the changing of the year, so too do things on the homestead change.
Breeding season ended Oct 15th and the sheep are enjoying the last few weeks of having open pasture before the winter shutdown. We lock the animals out of the pastures from Nov 7th (Samhain according to achaeoastronomy.com) until approx Feb 25th (which is halfway between Imbolc (near Feb 1st) and Ostara (Spring Equinox)). The coldest months here are from November through February and the grass really doesn’t grow much during that time. The time off gives the pastures a time to rest and for parasites to die off. The sheep are locked into “sacrifice pastures” during this time. Sacrifice because the grass gets grazed down to dirt and there is nothing viable about those areas. We have the pregnant ewes and yearlings in one and the rams, llamas, and horse in the other. They get really great local grass hay daily and the ewes also get started on alfalfa slowly starting on lock down and increasing every few weeks until lambing where it holds steady then slowly decreases until a few weeks before weaning. Weaning is forecast for May 5th (Beltaine this next year).
If you are interested in market lambs, commercial breeding stock, or possible registered breeding stock, please send an email and let us know! The list has already begun!