I began my flock in Amity Oregon with 3 ewes from Braeberry Farms (Cheryl Dutton) in Boring Oregon. I later obtained two more ewes and a ram, and later still, two additional ewes from Blacklocust Farm (Barb Lee). My flock grew quickly. I have pondered registering the flock, however I have not had buyers for whom this was important. Each year I sell sheep for breeding stock and meat.
Two llamas were purchased from All Mosta Ranch (rescue) last Spring due to a fox issue. They did defend the sheep from a cougar in late Spring, after which I purchased two livestock guardian dogs. The llamas have not worked out as planned, in that they will not travel through the swamp to the far pastures, however they do act as sentries, alerting the LGD to intrusions from the east side of the property. Additionally, there is often a split in the flock, as I maintain a small flock of wool sheep for my own purposes. The Blackbellies will often browse more freely and farther than the wool sheep, so the wool sheep will often be found staying home with the llamas, while the Blackbellies travel under the watch of Mary (LGD).
Joseph is 3/4 Akbash, 1/4 Great Pyrenees. He is devoted to both person and flock, and prefers to guard the homestead area. He will travel with the flock to the far pastures, but sometimes returns home, unless a predator is in the area.
Due to heavy predation from bears year, I have no breeding ewes available for sale, only rams. Rams will be butchered beginning January or February. The predation also disabled my setup with the rams pulled from the flock, so 2012 ram lambs will all be castrated, as it’s time for a new ram.
Last year’s bottle lamb, Lambie, will be kept by Intention Hill, and either used at stud, or whethered as a pet.
My flock produces Blackbellies of good color, generally a rich mahogany in color, though I have a couple ewes that will throw some dark lambs.
The rest of my ewes are daughters of these foundation ewes. The two I got from Blacklocust were not a fit for me, with one taking ill after arriving, and the other not showing good mothering instincts. One of them did die of her illness, and the other has gone to live in Pendleton on a farm with a better set setup for monitoring ewes and lambs.It is always scary to bring in outside blood, but I will be looking for a new ram this year.