Today, Danny the shearer, gave 27 haircuts in two hours. The girls mostly lined up nicely. I only had two jump out of the shoot and three that I had to carry all the way. Not bad if past experience is my gauge. We now have wool for sale.
We raise Gulf Coast Sheep, a breed known for its heat tolerance, parasite resistance and exceptional flavor. The meat of the Gulf Coast Sheep is so exceptional that it is listed on the Slow Food Arc of Taste.
Our lamb are pastured all the time. We practice rotational grazing on diverse pastures that provide a choice of grasses, brassicas, forbs, honeysuckle, beautyberry, tree leaves, and much more. We call this “forage fed” because they hunt out and eat what they need at that time. When we move them to a new location they might all start eating acorns voraciously for 15 minutes and then run to the honeysuckle before settling to a long graze on the many grasses we have in the pasture. We plant seasonal cover crops to supplement the native grasses and fertilize with compost tea. We never spray herbicides or pesticides.
Our sheep graze in small movable net fenced paddocks and are moved to a new location every one to four days. Their manure is left behind to fertilize the pasture as they move to a new nutritious dinner. Moving them often like this is good for the soil as they grind their manure into the ground, good for the grasses, because they eat quickly, not overgrazing a single species, and good for the sheep, because they get a diverse diet and do not spend much time in the same place with the same food and parasites. They are fed supplements like salt, sulfur, kelp, magnesium, etc. These supplements are fed free choice and come from Coyote Creek Organic Feed.
The lambs are never fed grain.
Forage fed lamb is lower in fat and calories, yet higher in Omega-3 fatty acids. It also has a much higher rate of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Lamb is an excellent source of zinc, iron, vitamin B12, and carnitine.