started with 14 foundation ewes in 1997. Many of these
ewes were aged ewes that retained a lot of the "old style"
Dorset characteristics-stout, meaty, productive animals.
We are striving to maintain these characteristics in our flock as
well as the excellent mothering and out of season lambing characteristics.
Many of the older
ewes have exhibited out of season breeding for the prior owner, or
were fall born themselves. In addition, all sires are from
Our early lambing typically occurs in mid February
for 55-60 lb. Easter market lambs. In addition, this early lambing
will allow time for rebreeding for fall lambing. Our ewes
are excellent milkers (on little to no grain- read on), as the 30 day weights prove, where the lambs
average over 1 lb. of body weight per day of age. Only
triplet-bearing ewes are given grain after lambing, and only until
they go out on pasture when all grain feeding is discontinued.
We pride ourselves on
our biosecurity measures. Our ewe flock is closed (since 2002), and
the entire flock (rams included) has been closed to live animals since 2005. We now
utilize artificial insemination to continue our genetic improvement.
We used to breed ewe lambs (first lambing at 12-14 months of age),
however, as we've moved to a forage-based system that results in
lower growth rates than when grain-fed, we often wait until 12-18
months of age to breed them. I won't breed a ewe lamb until she is
approximately 2/3 of her mature weight. While they have the
reproductive capability of breeding earlier, they often don't have
the maturity or body capacity to carry the pregnancy. We find that
by giving these young ewes additional time to grow and mature, they
have a longer, more productive flock life. Our mature ewes typically have a 180-190% lambing
rate (occasionally breaking 200%),
with very few lambs orphaned or grafted.
Our ewes are low maintenance. They lamb unassisted (or else
'grow wheels' if assistance is needed) and
require minimal supplemental feed. February-lambing ewes are fed grass hay in mid pregnancy (once the pasture runs out in the fall),
then dairy-quality alfalfa hay in late pregnancy. We do not
supplement any grain to ewes pre-lambing, and only offer 1-
1.5 lb. of whole shelled corn to ewes bearing triplets (and
occasionally a yearling with twins). This grain is discontinued when
ewes/lambs go out on pasture in mid-April. Ewes with singles and twins are not fed grain as long as
forage quality is adequate. Fall-lambing ewes are pastured with no supplementation prior to/after lambing
unless forage quality is very poor/unavailable at which time they
are placed on high-quality hay.
We keep track of the flock with the Ewebyte Sheep Management
We were enrolled in LambPlan
from 2000-14. In 2014 we enrolled in NSIP (National Sheep
Improvement Program) and now have cross-flock EBVs.
We are a Certified
flock in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program and are
working towards export status in the recently revised program.
We sell Dorset rams, weaned ewe lambs and occasionally
mature ewes (see for
sale site). Contact us if you are interested.