Rusty, Bella, Eldred, Maple May Fiona, and Sophia have taken up residence in the barn.
They are Katahdin breed sheep, which is a hair breed. This means that instead of having wool coats, they have hair coats. They don't need to be sheared in the spring, instead they shed.
We purchased these Katahdins as breeding stock to start our own larger flock. We plan to then sell future lambs as breeding stock, as well as offer lamb meat. Our neighbors raise two sheep per year in their field and share the most delicious lamb stews with us in the winter. Hopefully we can do the same in future winters.
What do sheep need you ask? They need a cozy sleeping quarters with either hay or shavings to sleep on. Each night they get fresh hay to eat as well as a tiny bit of grain. You can't feed sheep too much grain, or they get the runs. We think of the grain as sheep dessert. They also always need fresh water, and enjoy a salt lick in their stalls.
During the day we put them out to pasture in the back fields. We have electric netting fencing that runs from the barn door all the way out to the fields, where there are two sections for them to graze. Rusty and Bella are in one section, and Eldred, Maple May Fiona, and Sophia are in the other. Maple May Fiona and Sophia are the youngest, not yet a year old, so they cannot be in the same space with the ram.
It is very important to also always have fresh water available for the herd during the day. Davyd lugs up buckets from our spring-fed stream for them.
Now that we have sheep, our eight-year-old neighbor has decided we are bona-fide official farmers. "You have two animals now, so that makes you real farmers" she told us. We're pretty excited to be considered bona-fide.