This December we said goodbye to one our flock.
Erik has been our ram for the past two breeding seasons. He came to us from a local Suffolk farm when he was a little over a year old. He has typically been kind and non-aggressive. However, this fall he really matured, as a 3 year old ram should. Our facilities are not yet equipped to deal with a large, aggressive ram. And with the little one running around we just don't want to risk it. We additionally don't have the space to handle two rams. After two breeding seasons our flock has about 35% of Erick's daughters. We will not breed them back to him, which means we either need two rams, or a new ram. So after he was finished with the 2015 breading season we sold Erik to a farm that could handle him better. We wish him the best of luck with his new flock of ladies.
We are now on the search for a new, young ram for 2016.
It is the ram's favorite time of year at Whinmont Farm: Breeding Season.
This is Erik our ram. He is a Suffolk ram with a mild disposition who loves to have his ears rubbed. He has eagerly been awaiting mid-October.
Sheep are short day breeders. Which means the ewes will come into heat as the daylight gets shorter each day. We choose to breed our sheep later in the fall than most farmers. The majority of farms will turn their rams out with the ewes in August or September. This would result in January or February lambs. I am not a fan of lambing in the middle of winter and this leads us to turning our ram out in the middle of October.
The ewes have been very interested in Erik recently as some have already come into heat. There is a lot of longing stares between the two pens.
This past Friday Jesse and Alice went to a "back to farm auction" in hopes of picking up some new sheep. Jesse was brave taking a two year old to a livestock auction, but it was a successful night. The next morning we were ready to welcome the sheep to the barn.
Alice wore an appropriate barn outfit....... don't argue with a toddler when they pick out their clothes. (If you look close, you can see her shoes are on the wrong feet!)
I peered into the trailer to find these three cuties looking back at me. These are Suffolk ewes, they were all born in January 2015, and have been with a buck for the past few months. They are potentially bred with an unknown lambing date..... Have I even mentioned how much I LOVE surprises?
Suffolk sheep have an all black "smooth" face. Our last buck was a Hampshire, and his offspring have a bit more wool on their face, we refer to them as The Fuzzies. Below is 22, a 2014 Fuzzy.
The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of