Acquired: Farmyard / Feedstore adoption
Thompson, Connecticut, United States
Posted Sep 27, 2016
My children wanted to show sheep at our local county fairs. We knew nothing about sheep at the time. We went to our local county extension for a class all about raising sheep, we watched them sheer the wool, and trim their hooves.
After some time we decided to purchase one when they had the new lambs up for sale. We decided on the Shropshire breed. They are a heritage breed, the black and white wool caught our eye as very unique. Did you know lambs are born with a very long wiggly tail?
So after we did much research, and turned our shed into a small barn we brought Teyha ( Native American for precious) home. Teyha, our ewe lamb brought us much joy over the years. We trained with her, taught her how to walk on a lead and without, sheared her wool in the summer to keep her cool, and trimmed her hooves. She placed 1st in many shows we went to. She was loveable, gentle and always had a piece of straw sticking out the side of her mouth.
Showing our Shropshire sheep for the 4-H fairs was very educational. We liked that the Shropshire can be shown as a meat breed or as a wool breed. We all made new friends and learned a lot of things we didn't know before. We continued for quite a few years with Shrops and had a total of 13. We learned sheep husbandry on de-worming, breeding, shearing, and caring for our sheep efficiently.
We bred them ourselves, and had a set of twins and triplets. It was always in zero degree weather and middle of night when they would go into labor. So we used heat lamps and the lambs would wear cute puppy sweaters to keep them warm until their fleece was a little thicker and dry.
Also, did you know that sheep jump on all fours? Our Shrops would graze the field but a quick shake of the feed can and they would come running and bounce all the way to the barn. It was very amusing to watch a 200lb sheep bounce on all fours, much like when deer so gracefully dash away but sheep are not so graceful.
I would highly recommend the Shopshire sheep as a great 4-h project, pet, small hobby farm, or as a meat sheep. We did not use our sheep for meat, they retired and lived on our hobby farm as pets after 4-H until old age.