April 11, 2010

Barbados Blackbelly Lambs Available

We now have a few select Blackbelly lambs on the ground. They will be weaning age in early May, and may be reserved now. Check our online saleslist at http://www.barkingrock.com/sheep4sale.htm

Update 5/6/10 - one ewe lamb left this year!
Update 11/20/10 - we are sold out for the year.  If you're interested in a lamb from our winter/spring 2011 crop, please drop us an email at farms@barkingrock.com

When is a lamb first shorn?

Please tell me when a lamb is born, are they born with some fleece already or are they naked?

After birth, how long can the sheep be shorn for their wool? How long it will take for the fleece to be fully grown before another shearing is needed?

All lambs are fully covered with wool when born; but the wool is very short - just a few milimeters long. The wool grows quickly, and most lambs *can* be shorn at around 6-8 months of age; although typically lambs are shorn for the first time at around one year of age.
While most breeds are shorn annually thereafter, a few of the faster-wool-growing breeds (with generally coarser wool) are shorn every 6 months.

April 10, 2010

Sheep & Fruit Trees

From a recent email correspondence...

I came across your site and I was very thankful to read. I am wondering, do sheep typically eat the bark of fruit trees?


I have a flock of sheep and I would like to put them in the orchard to keep the grass down, but don't want them to damage the trees.

Unless the trees are quite large and well-established, with the trunks well protected, the sheep will definitely damage and probably kill the trees.

Is there something I could feed them in order to deter them from the trees in the case that sheep do eat tree bark?

Pasture the sheep in the orchard ONLY when the grass is very lush and thick, and move the sheep at first sign of the grass being depleted and/or the sheep start experimenting on the trees. Don't pasture rams with the trees. Resign yourself to losing the bottommost branches. Wrap the trunks with hardware cloth...NOT chicken wire or page wire. (Neither of those will do much good.)

Repellants (such as "Hinder") MIGHT work temporarily; but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Sorry I can't give you better news here; but as I look out at what was once our orchard, I can say all this from experience.