We purchased 8 two year old ewes from the Altomare Sheep Company and then 10 more ewes with lambs in 2009. We are now up to 51 breeding ewes, 5 rams and about 40 meat lambs, depending on where we are in the year. We pasture them on 10 acres of irrigated pasture while they are finished up to market weight. We made the decision not to certify our flock organic, as the regulations make it more costly to butcher and package for sale. Our sheep are managed as if they were organic with the only exception being a once-a-year application of a de-wormer, Safeguard, for the ewes and breeding stock only. With proper rotation and good herd hygiene, we have had little parasite issues.
We have not lost a single animal to worms in the 4 years we have been breeding this flock. Our ewes most often twin, and are
California Red Sheep have unique personalities and as a heritage breed, we are proud to keep the genetics going. As far as eating goes, we have found the lamb to be extremely mild tasting, with a lamby flavor only in certain cuts such as ground lamb. The rack and tenderloin are so mild, you could be eating an exceptionally juicy, fatty steak.
Our wool spun into yarn is available at farmer's market stands. It is often sold out before the next shearing is processed. The roving and yarn are processed at the Yolo Wool Mill and we will soon be trying out the Oakhurst Fiber Mill. Both are cooperatives that strive to preserve local, artisanal wool production and hand crafts. Full lamb skins available on request, please let us know you'd like one and we will get it processed for you. At this time, we do not sell full fleeces for hand spinning, as we do not blanket our sheep. We prefer to process out the vegetable matter by machine as part of the processing.