We are located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
We have raised Katahdins since 1990. We chose this breed because they don't need shearing or docking tails.
We have around 30 acres of primarily fescue pasture.
We use 2 to 3 flock sires each season and single sire mate.
We usually breed about 50 ewes each fall.
We lamb once a year beginning in February.
Our gross lambing percentages have typically ranged around 1.75% to 2.1%.
We lamb in the barnyard and jug all ewes after they give birth until mothering is firmly established and lambs are observed as healthy and good to go.
Ewes raising triplets are kept in a separate area to allow less competition at the feed trough.
We wean between 90 and 110 days usually.
We leave males intact which can present management challenges for pasture space.
We are members of the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) therefore weights are captured at birth, 60 days, and 120 days for input into LambPlan for the generation of Genetically Enhanced Breeding Values or GEBVs.
At birth we booster each lamb with a BOSE shot for selenium to prevent white muscle disease.
Lambs are vaccinated with CD & T at 60 days followed by a booster 30 days later. Sometimes we use an 8 or 9 way vaccination to cover more of the clostridial diseases.
Lambs are weighed and FAMACHA scores are taken every 2-3 weeks during the summer months to monitor parasitism/anemia. We deworm individuals who require intervention based on the combination of weight gain or lack thereof, Famacha score, and body condition.
Once a parasite challenge is confirmed we collect fecals on all lambs. This data is input into NSIP for the generation of FEC GEBVs. We try to collect two sets of fecals on all lambs.
Our post-weaning weights are taken sometime between 120 days and 150 days. Once this weight is taken lambs are available for pick up.