Category Archives: Katahdin Sheep

All things related to Katahdin Sheep

Dorper Lamb

Our first Dorper Lamb was born today

If you recall, last month I purchased four Dorper ewes to breed with our Katahdin Ram. One of those ewes was pregnant when I bought her. Today she delivered her dorper lamb.

White Dorper Lamb
Dorper Lamb

Mom and baby are healthy and doing well. We will keep her in this contained area for a couple of days to make sure they are strong enough to join the rest of the flock. The boy is a bit on the small side, but he is healthy and mom is taking good care of him.

White Dorper Lamb
Dorper Lamb and Mom

This birth wraps up the 2016 season with 16 lambs born. We will have these available for sale in the Fall. Most of the Katahdin lambs will be weened from their mammas in the next two weeks. This little boy will stay with mom until the middle of August.

The long-term goal is to sell off all the Katahdins except Andy, our RAM. We will rebuild the flock with a mix of Katahdin and Dorpers starting next Spring. If you’re curious about that plan, you can read more about it here. 

Here are some other posts about our sheep,

Baby Lambs The arrival of baby lambs means it must be Spring Over the last few days, we have been blessed with the arrival of several baby lambs. Two sets of twins and two singles. As I posted the other day, Golda gave us a nice healthy set of twins, one boy and …

Calling the Lambs Calling the Lambs It is always easier to have animals that will come to you when you call them. Have you ever seen a neighbor chasing their dog? I have. Well, trying to catch sheep is even tougher than trying to catch a dog. Dogs and sheep are both trainable though. …

How to Save an Orphan Lamb  An Orphan Lamb Can Be Saved There are many reasons an Ewe might reject her newly born lamb. An Orphan lamb, in my experience, results from the separation of the ewe and her lamb before she has had an opportunity to apply her sent. I’ve seen this several times over the years. The …

Katahdin Dorper Mix

Katahdin Dorper Mix at Ten Mile Farm

 

Why a Katahdin Dorper Mix? I’ll get to that in a few paragraphs. But first, let me tell you about the Dorpers. Today starts a new chapter in the lamb production business of the Ten Mile Farm. I traveled to Siloam Springs today and picked up four Dorper ewes. Three of them are Fall ewes and one of them is a pregnant 3-year old.

These girls will form the foundation of our Katahdin Dorper mixed lambs. Our Katahdin Ram will breed with these girls in November or December depending on how mild the winter is. The first lambs will be born in the Spring of 2017.

 

Dorper Ewes to breed for Katahdin Dorper mix
Dorper Ewes

I purchased these girls from Coyote Creek Farms. At Coyote Creek Farms they raise pure-bred White Dorpers for show. These girls are premium stock and when combined with my prized Ram, will produce the best of both worlds. The three smaller ones were born in October, November, and December. The larger ewe is three year’s old and she is currently pregnant with another Dorper.

The plan is to have five Dorper ewes as the foundation of our flock. If the lambs they produce do as well as expected, we will add more breeding stock next year.

Dorper Ewes to breed for Katahdin Dorper mix
Loving the New Home

Katahdins and Dopers are both hair sheep. Meaning that they do not require shearing. They grow a thick coat of hair in the winter months and shed it in warmer weather. Katahdins are best known for their resistance to illness and the wonderful meat they produce. Dorpers are best known for their ability to pack on a lot of muscle in a very short time.

Katahdin Ram to breed for Katahdin Dorper mix
Our Prized Katahdin Ram, Andy

The ability of the Dorper breed to put grass into weight gain is remarkable. The goal of this Katahdin Dorper mix is to increase the butchered yield of our lambs. On average our Katahdins produce 48lbs of saleable product. We expect the Katahdin Dorper mix to increase the yield to 60lbs per lamb.

How to Save an Orphan Lamb

An Orphan Lamb Can Be Saved

There are many reasons an Ewe might reject her newly born lamb. An Orphan lamb, in my experience, results from the separation of the ewe and her lamb before she has had an opportunity to apply her sent.

I’ve seen this several times over the years. The first time we experienced this, we were not well prepared for it. The mother had twins and the first born was very healthy and vigorous. He walked away shortly after the second, weaker lamb was born. The mother, following her instincts, trailed the first born and left the younger lamb on its own. Sadly, that girl didn’t make it.

Since that tragedy, we have learned to take steps to be better prepared for the birthing of our lambs. See the link the post below for some of the precautions we take now.

This year, we had another mother deliver twins. Fortunately, we had her securely in a stall. Unfortunately, the second born lamb was so tiny, he managed to find his way through the fence panel of the stall. He was only separated for an hour, but he had gone through before mom had finished cleaning him.

When we tried to re-introduce him to her she pushed him away.

When this happens you have to make a difficult decision. The difficulty arises from the time commitment required to keep an orphan lamb alive. They need to be fed every 2-hours for the first several days. This is around the clock and will run you ragged if you don’t have help.

We use a bucket system now. This bucket allows us to leave the lamb unattended for periods of time and is a must-have if you are breeding animals.

The orphan lamb also needs a safe and secure place to live for the first week or two. When they are so young they need extra protection from the elements. We have this little boy in an open top kennel lined with straw in my daughter’s bedroom. You can see in how well the bucket works, so everyone gets plenty of sleep. Even the orphan lamb.

Preparing for Lambing, Lambing at the Ten Mile Farm Katahdin sheep are excellent at lambing and normally need very little direct assistance. There are still a few things that we can do that will make the experience more pleasant for them and lead to healthier lambs. The main thing we want to do is ensure …

Baby Lambs

The arrival of baby lambs means it must be Spring

Over the last few days, we have been blessed with the arrival of several baby lambs. Two sets of twins and two singles. As I posted the other day, Golda gave us a nice healthy set of twins, one boy and one girl.

Spring Lambs
Golda’s Baby Lambs

The next day we had a delivery from Gertrude. She delivered a nice healthy baby lamb on the berm of the pond. There was a scary moment when the baby rolled down the berm into the pond, fortunately, Hilary was there to rescue the little one and dry it off.

2016-02-21 08.52.56Then Blacky had her twins, literally a few hours after Claire lured her into her temporary housing area. The tarp is to keep their food dry and provide shade. The “A” frame is where they sleep.

 

This mom, had her baby yesterday, 2-23-2016, also. She is a first-time mother and is doing a fantastic job with her little one. It never ceases to amaze me when I watch how these beautiful animals instinctively know how to care for their babies.

Baby Lamb
First Time Mom and Baby Lamb

Here’s a group shot of the rest of the Ewes. I suspect they will be delivering their baby lambs any day now. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.

Ewes Ready to delivery Baby Lambs
Expectant Mothers

Curious about how to build expedient farm shelters? Check out this free resource for ideas. These are for people, but farm animals like them too:

Some more posts about our sheep for your enjoyment.

Calling the Lambs Calling the Lambs It is always easier to have animals that will come to you when you call them. Have you ever seen a neighbor chasing their dog? I have. Well, trying to catch sheep is even tougher than trying to catch a dog. Dogs and sheep are both trainable though. …

Fun on the Farm Fun on the Farm There are so many things to do that are fun on the farm. The kids love to play on the giant hay rolls. Sometimes they climb on them to play king of the hill, other times to get a different view of the world. I asked my daughter …

Katahdin Photo Shoot Katahdin Photo Shoot   I took these pictures May 1st, 2015 shortly after I received a call from a man who wants to purchase all of my adult Katahdin Ewes. I was planning on replenishing the herd with new Ewes this coming Fall so this is a blessing. These first pictures are …

Katahdin Sheep Katahdin Sheep We raise Katahdin sheep aka hair sheep. Unlike other breeds of sheep, Katahdin’s do not require shearing. They grow hair similar to deer. In the winter their coat is heavy and in the summer they shed off a layer or two.

 

Spring Lambs

Golda Delivers Spring Lambs

The first of our Spring Lambs were born this morning. Golda, our oldest and most reliable Ewe, delivered another set of twins. Introducing one boy and one girl to the Ten Mile Farm.

These two have a rough road ahead, but we are hopeful they will make it. Golda has always been a reliable mother and she has produced twins every year since we got her.

We have never had an issue with Golda, but that hasn’t been the case with all of our Ewes. One time, when we were new at this, we had an abandoned lamb. None of the Ewes would claim it has their own. And therefore, none of them would allow the little fellow to eat. S

When this happened we had to be bottle feed for a few days and then transition the lamb to a nipple feeder. The first 72 hrs are critical. They will need a warm bottle every couple of hours around the clock if they’re going to survive. Once they are in the clear and showing strength, we can transition them to the feeder.

Lamb Bucket

This feeder will hang from the roof above their stall and provide them with nutrition as we transition them to solids. We’ve only had to do this once and it was a learning experience for all. The little Lambs are very fragile at this stage, especially the smaller ones. With proper management and good Ewes we shouldn’t need this bucket again, but it is comforting to know we have it available.

Here are some more posts about lambs for your enjoyment

Calling the Lambs Calling the Lambs It is always easier to have animals that will come to you when you call them. Have you ever seen a neighbor chasing their dog? I have. Well, trying to catch sheep is even tougher than trying to catch a dog. Dogs and sheep are both trainable, though. …

First Bloom at Ten Mile Farm and Market First Bloom Finally the snow – and any credible threat of its return – is gone. I was out walking the property today when I saw a few bright yellow daffodils popping their heads up showing the first bloom of spring on the farm. So nice to see come color. [gallery columns=”2″ …

Katahdin Photo Shoot Katahdin Photo Shoot   I took these pictures May 1st, 2015 shortly after I received a call from a man who wants to purchase all of my adult Katahdin Ewes. I was planning on replenishing the herd with new Ewes this coming Fall so this is a blessing. These first pictures are …

Lamb Update Lamb Update I took a break from prepping the garden yesterday to take some pictures of the Lambs. They have adapted quite well to being away from their mothers. I tried to get a picture of the Ram with all of his offspring, but they were a bit scattered. Here’s what …

Pasture Raised Lamb Pasture Raised Lamb Imagine being confined in a small, malodorous and dank space with just enough room  to stretch your legs. You feel hungry, but there is no sign of food. Then suddenly the door opens and in comes a person carrying buckets of something. He comes forward and tips over …

Preparing for Lambing

Lambing at the Ten Mile Farm

Katahdin sheep are excellent at lambing and normally need very little direct assistance. There are still a few things that we can do that will make the experience more pleasant for them and lead to healthier lambs.

The main thing we want to do is ensure they have a protected space to care for their new offspring. We want the Ewes and their lambs to be comfortable and have unfettered access to fresh water and a variety of feeds.

 

Preparing for Lambing
Preparing for Lambing

To accomplish this, we have modified our old chicken coup into a three stall “barn” for the girls. We will introduce the girls to their space a few days before lambing begins and keep them confined to this space until the lambs are about six weeks old.

One of our Ewes developed a hardened udder. This will prevent her from feeding her lambs. We will put her newborns in one of the three stalls and suspend a bucket with feeding nipples for them to use.

Lamb BucketWe bought ours here

This set up provides protection from wind and rain. It will contain feed and water and the floor will be covered with straw.

 

Preparing for Lambing
Preparing or Lambing

The sheep should be quite content in this space. It will keep them warm, well fed, and provide them with a sense of security.

 

Another benefit of restricting their movement the first few weeks is that it will help conserve their energy. In the past, we have allowed Ewes and their lambs to roam the farm. This has resulted in two tragedies. This first tragedy was when a newborn lamb wandered into the pond at night and drowned. We were awoken by the mother’s desperate bleating as she searched for her lamb. It took us a full day of searching before we saw the lamb floating in the pond.

The second tragedy came when a young lamb found it’s way through the fence, but could not find it’s way back in. Young lambs need to feed every three to four hours and this one was separated from its mother for nearly 10 hours before we found it. As hard as we tried, we were not able to nurse it back to health.

The confined area will prevent these types of accidents and as long as we keep it clean, will provide the best environment for the Ewes and their lambs.

Calling the Lambs

Calling the Lambs

It is always easier to have animals that will come to you when you call them. Have you ever seen a neighbor chasing their dog? I have. Well, trying to catch sheep is even tougher than trying to catch a dog. Dogs and sheep are both trainable though. This video is what it looks like once you have your sheep trained to come when they see you.

Last week, these same lambs completely ignored me – or worse – ran away when I approached them. That would make giving them their annual boosters nearly impossible, let alone try loading them on the trailer.

Calling the lambs
Andy, the Ram

After a few more days of this, the lambs will be waiting for me at the trough just like Andy does. Sheep love routines and by feeding them at the same time each day, I have established a routine for them. At the same time, I have trained them to associate me with food and they will come whenever they see me.

Here’s anoher lamb video – although this one isn’t one of mine.

Here are some other posts about the sheep at Ten Mile Farm

Anything About Katahdin Sheep 

This is the category to use if you have questions that have Anything about Katahdin Sheep. What to buy one? Sell one? Cook one? This is the place. Recipes, where to buy, how to raise, whatever. If it is anything about Katahdin Sheep, post it here.

Fun on the Farm 

Fun on the Farm There are so many things to do that are fun on the farm. The kids love to play on the giant hay rolls. Sometimes they climb on them to play king of the hill, other times to get a different view of the world. I asked my daughter …

Katahdin Sheep 

Katahdin Sheep We raise Katahdin sheep aka hair sheep. Unlike other breeds of sheep, Katahdin’s do not require shearing. They grow hair similar to deer. In the winter their coat is heavy and in the summer they shed off a layer or two.

Lamb Update 

Lamb Update I took a break from prepping the garden yesterday to take some pictures of the Lambs. They have adapted quite well to being away from their mothers. I tried to get a picture of the Ram with all of his offspring, but they were a bit scattered. Here’s what …

Meat Quality of a Pasture Raised Sheep 

Meat Quality The meat quality of pasture-raised animals is far superior to that of confined animals. The decision to eat meat is personal. Although in an era where public reaction to animal cruelty is one of the main highlights, many decide not to go the carnivore way and are good with …

Lamb Update

Lamb Update

I took a break from prepping the garden yesterday to take some pictures of the Lambs. They have adapted quite well to being away from their mothers. I tried to get a picture of the Ram with all of his offspring, but they were a bit scattered. Here’s what I got.

Katahdin LambHe really doesn’t seem to mind having all the company of the lambs in his pasture. These lambs will spend the next three weeks with Andy (that’s the Ram’s name) and then I’ll separate the boys from the girls and move the girls to another pasture.

Katahdin Lamb
Andy – the Ram

The lambs are a lot of fun to watch. They are very playful, not unlike children. Yesterday they were playing king of the hill on one of the old hay bales.

Before they started climbing on the hay bale, the lambs were happily grazing the pasture. The 13 lambs will keep this field nice and short and they will fertilize it at the same time.

These lambs are growing like crazy. That is the result of good genetics and plenty of fresh green grass. In fact, these lambs have so much green grass I have not been able to get them to come to me for cracked corn yet. The Ram runs to me when he sees me because he’s already been conditioned to at least get rubbed behind his ears – something he really enjoys. I need to get these lambs hooked on the cracked corn so they will be easier to manage.

Sheep don’t need a lot of immunizations, but they do require one. Covexin 8 protects sheep from eight clostridial diseases. It is administered twice initially and then annually. No big deal to give if the sheep come to you, not so easy if you have to round them up. So, I have a week to get the little ones more comfortable around me. Guess I need to spend some time in the fields.

I’ll sit out in a lawn chair with my  kindle and get caught up on some reading 🙂

Other posts about Lamb and Sheep

Katahdin Sheep 

Katahdin Sheep We raise Katahdin sheep aka hair sheep. Unlike other breeds of sheep, Katahdins do not require shearing. They grow hair similar to deer. In the winter their coat is heavy and in the summer they shed off a layer or two…

Meat Quality of a Pasture Raised Sheep 

Meat Quality The meat quality of pasture-raised animals is far superior to that of confined animals. The decision to eat meat is personal. Although in an era where public reaction to animal cruelty is one of the main highlights, many decide not to go the carnivore way and are good with …

Pasture Raised Lamb 

Pasture Raised Lamb Imagine being confined in a small, malodorous and dank space with room just enough to stretch your legs. You feel hungry, but there is no sign of food. Then suddenly the door opens and in comes a person carrying buckets of something. He comes forward and tips over …

Pictures of Katahdin Sheep 

Pictures of Katahdin Sheep   We’ve been raising sheep at the Ten Mile Farm and Market since 2007. We started out flock with one Ram and Nine Ewes. The Ram was quite the stud and it took only one year to triple the number from ten to thirty with every girl delivering …

 

How to get rid of black flies

How to get rid of black flies

As wonderful as Spring is, it brings with it a couple of annoyances; pollen and black flies. There really isn’t much we can do about pollen. It is a necessary evil. No pollen, no fruit. Black flies, on the other hand serve no discernible purpose. The question is how to get rid of black flies without creating a toxic environment for other creatures we adore? I have found three effective ways to trap and kill black flies without the use of toxic chemicals.

How to get rid of black flies
Black Fly

First, you need a fly trap. Now if you have ever tried those annoying fly tapes that stick to everything but flies…well that is not an effective trap. An effective trap is one that will catch mostly flies, not bother you, won’t harm your pets or kids, and is easy to set and forget.

how to get rid of black flies
StarBar Captivator

You can make your own trap using 2 liter soda bottles and bait or you can purchase a ready made reusable trap like the Starbar Captivator. I have used both methods and as long as you have a good bait, both work really well. I currently use the Starbar because it looks nicer than a soda bottle full of dead flies and it is easy to clean and reuse.

How to get rid of black flies
Soda Bottle Trap

To use a soda bottle simply cut the bottle in half about 3/4 of the way up from the bottom. Put the bait in the bottom half and insert the top with the cap off inverted into the bottom. If you are using a good bait, the flies will come to the bottle, climb in and become trapped. A 2 liter soda bottle can hold hundreds of flies. Eventually you will want to discard this and make a new one.

Here’s a video demonstrating how to make a soda bottle trap – they can be very effective.

How to get rid of black flies
Fly Bait

For bait you can use a piece of rotting potato with a dash of vinegar. The vinegar will keep bees and other beneficial insects from entering the trap. You can also use old table scraps of meat and veggies, dog poop, or even a bit of yeast mixed in sugar water. These all work pretty well. I’ve found that the best bait for collecting the most flies in the least amount of time is Farnam Home and Garden Fly Trap Attractant. This stuff costs about $12 for a bottle and the bottle will last you all summer. Combined with the Starbar Captivator, this is the most effective method I have found to get rid of black flies. The Farnam Home and Garden Fly Trap Attractant works so well because it contains pheromones that attract flies and it doesn’t stink. The flies smell it but we don’t. I have three of these traps set up and even though I live on a farm, there are practically no flies bothering me.

Now you know how to get rid of black flies without killing friendly insects, the hassle of poisons, or the smell of stink baits. If you are handy you can make great traps yourself. However, I do recommend Starbar Captivator if want a hassle free easy to clean trap. I also recommend the Farnam Home and Garden Fly Trap Attractant in any trap.

I got both of these at Amazon.com for about $12 each. You might be able to find them locally at a hardware store or lawn and garden center. I have not seen these at Lowe’s or Home Depot and I can tell you from experience that the traps they sell simply do not work as well.

My Fan Club

My Fan Club

This short video shows what happens when my fan club sees me. I was walking around the farm getting pictures of Springs’ first blooms when I was spotted.I learned early on that it was important to have sheep who would come to me willingly, rather than make me chase them down. It isn’t often I need them to come near me – give them annual shots, check their health, get them on the trailer when they’re sold or going to market.

I learned early on that it was important to have sheep who would come to me willingly, rather than make me chase them down. It isn’t often I need them to come near me – give them annual shots, check their health, get them on the trailer when they’re sold or going to market.

A bucket of cracked corn is a very inexpensive way to train these animals to come running to you whenever they see or hear you.

It really is fun to be greeted with such enthusiasm. Some people have dogs that are happy to see them when they come home after work. I have that and I’m also blessed with dozens of chickens, ducks, and Katahdin sheep who are all happy to see me.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if your family and friends always greeted you with such enthusiasm? On second thought that would be weird. I guess this is what it would be like to be Johny Dep or Angelina Jolie wandering onto a public beach or something.

I think I prefer being mobbed by hungry animals at least they don’t stalk me and they can’t carry cameras.