Sunday, April 6, 2008


"The best grazing system for efficiently utilizing pasture is controlled grazing, or management-intensive rotational grazing. In controlled grazing, pastures are divided into smaller units called paddocks. The stock are kept in a paddock until they have grazed the forage down to a predetermined height, and then are rotated to the next paddock. They are not returned to a paddock until the plants have re-grown to the height needed for availability and quality. Sheep prefer to eat forage no taller than 6 inches; forage should be grazed no lower than 2 inches. Controlled grazing reduces both selectivity and repeated grazing pressure—letting plants develop more foliage before being grazed again—while increasing pasture diversity. While rotational systems require initial expenditures for electric fencing and watering facilities, many producers report increased profitability based on lower input and feed costs, less dependence on machinery, and improvement and better utilization of pasture."

a. what breed?
Icelandic are a hardy breed -- chosen locally by
do more research on endangered breeds:
I emailed Mike Thonney at CCE:
Mike says: Dorsets, Southdowns, or Finnsheep
breed is not very important as long as they aren't slow growers

b. where?

sent email to Jennifer L. Fimbel at CCE Dutchess County
asking Owen at Awesome Farm...
sent email to Common Threads Farm asking...
sent email to Dancing Lamb Farm and Icelandic Sheep Dairy

posted a want ad on 4/7/08

c. how much?

d. how many?
at least 2 for company, many farms offer discounts at 3 or more

e. how to transport them?
several lambs could easily fit in my hatchback honda, with some cardboard & blankets


portable electric "net" fencing


grass should be 2" to 6" for optimal grazing

native grass ok, alfalfa, orchard grass, sweet clover, ladino, timothy, all fine

it would be good to get a few bales of nice hay to supplement them at first & for emergencies
& a little grain for training purposes

some kind of bucket/trough needed and a long hose, maybe a wagon to carry it around


salt block/ source of minerals


it is very difficult to control internal parasites in sheep without using chemical dewormers.

Regarding sheep health, please have a look at: the information on sheep and goat anthelmintics:


provide some tree shade or portable shade structure at all times


  • learn how to slaughter humanely & dress the meat

  • find someone who has done it before to help me!
  • eat the meat myself & share with friends & family

(from the Library of Congress): sheep grazing on the South Lawn of the White House, c.1919, as part of wartime cost reductions !

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