Rolling Stone Sheep Farm is one of my favorite farms, so I have been waiting to write this because I really want to get it right and there simply has been too much going on personally (the birth of a niece, friends’ weddings, vacation, and my actual day job), I was worried I would not do it justice. So here it is finally!
Shepherd Frank greeted me, accompanied by Stella, an Australian Shepherd. While Stella is technically a herding dog, the sheep naturally get excited to move to fresh pasture (and will even cross the road!), leaving Stella without work. So she is the family pet.
I have arrived in the midst of lambing season. The newest lambs are still in lambing jugs bonding with their moms. Without the lambing jugs (if lambs and their moms are immediately sent back out to pasture), other sheep in the field will try to adopt lambs and the ewes can get confused. So they stay in the jugs for a bit.
Frank is currently growing his flock. This is his third lambing season. Right after birth, the mothers are sheared in order to help keep the lambs warm. The sheep’s wool is so well insulated that if they were not sheared, the babies would not get any of their mother’s warmth.
Frank currently has 2 lambs being bottle-fed at home. “There’s no housebreaking sheep” he laughed. They follow his daughter, the “lambsitter”, around the house like puppies.
Outside, Frank has fenced off two 1-acre grazing plots, with access to the barn, for the two different breeds of sheep. Each set of sheep is protected from coyotes by electrified fence netting and the llamas, who are very protective of their sheep. As I walk with Frank in the pasture, Gus immediately spots me and comes over to check me out. I am with Frank, so Gus is not too worried. However, he still inserts himself between me and the closest members of his flock.