• Learn About Deer Hollow Farm’s Sheep

    By Jenise Henrikson, March 13, 2015

    Deer Hollow Farm is currently home to four ewes, one ram, and a new lamb, Pepper. The ewes all live in the red barn during the night for protection from predators and spend their days in the accompanying pasture. Occasionally, we also let them up onto the pasture on the hillside of the farm, which they love, especially when the grass is still green and delicious.

    The ram, Bret, lives with the ewes only during breeding season in the fall. For the rest of the year he lives in a pen on the hillside with our buck Jemaine, and a wether (castrated male goat) named Willy. They get free range of the hillside during the day, and then go into a barn at night.

    ram at deer hollow farm on hill

    Sheep Breeds at Deer Hollow Farm

    As for breeds and ages of the sheep, we have a big mix:

    • The ram, Bret, a Dorper, was born in October 2013
    • Harriet, a St. Croix, was born in 2010
    • Belle, a Romney, was born in 2007
    • Ivy, a Suffolk/Hampshire cross, was born in 2010
    • Marionberry, a Suffolk/Romney cross, was born in 2011

    Suffolk Breed

    The Suffolk breed was developed in England in the late nineteen hundreds, but has become one of the most popular breeds in the United States for meat, with wool being just a byproduct. The Suffolk breed tend to have large frames and a muscular build. They have dark faces and legs and generally have lighter fur.

    Romney Breed

    Romney sheep, on the other hand, are prized for their long wool. They are a high yielding wool breed, due to the low grease content which also means their wool shrinks less when washed. They come in two different colors – white or natural colored. Ours has a colored fleece.

    St. Croix Breed

    St. Croix sheep are a hair breed native to the US Virgin Islands. They have hair instead of wool and shed in the warmer months, not needing to be shaved. They are a hardy breed (resistant to most parasites) used for meat, are great mothers, and are able to produce two lamb crops a year, which is more than most other breeds.

    Dorper Breed

    Dorper is a South African breed that is quickly growing as a popular meat breed. They have a combination of hair and wool, making them very low maintenance as they do not have to be shorn. They are also a hardy breed, fast growing, and very adaptable. Their tough skins allow them to withstand harsher climates but they also flourish in drought-like arid environments. Dorpers come in two different colors, white-headed and black-headed. Ours is a black-headed Dorper.

    New Lambs Due Soon!

    ewe w lamb at deer hollow farm

    All of our ewes are also due to give birth within the next month, with starting due dates of next week. You can come see the new lambs and meet Pepper at the Farm Tour on March 21st! 

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