Utilizing portable electric netting, we move their fencing every day, rotating our ruminants through some pretty rugged country. Even after the grasses start to dry out (as early as late May in some years), these girls continue to turn dry browse and brush into the dreamiest milk imaginable. Folks who have bought sheep from us report that their milk is preposterously sweet and creamy, which totally makes sense because it contains a whopping (and healthy!) 10+% milkfat. Among our own herd, due to the quality of their feed and their individual genetics, coupled with some dumb luck, we find goats' milk sweeter and less 'goaty' than anything we've ever tasted from a store. Both types of milk are so good that the cheeses we make for ourselves are almost effortlessly complex and flavorful. We think our feta and chevre are pretty spot-on, and we've been working out strategies to age cheeses, particularly cheddars, in our characteristically dry Mediterranean summers.
We also incorporate Kune Kune pigs into our dairy mob. This New Zealand breed is the only true grazing pig since they can thrive on grass alone without supplementary feed. Our Kunes live with the sheep and goats and are trained to run with the rest of the herd to their new spot on pasture each day. While inside the barnyard, their role is to clean up the waste hay that falls from the feeders, thereby removing a key vector for parasite transmission among the ruminants and turning a waste product into adorable, cuddly bacon.
We milk and breed East Friesian and East Friesian/Lacaune crossed dairy ewes, as well as Nubian, mixed Nubian crosses, Nigerian Dwarf/Toggenberg, and American Lamancha dairy goats, selecting for sweetness of milk as well as production, temperament and hardiness. Our sheep and goats are kept and pastured together, and we are fundamentally managing the health of the animals by careful pasture management, animal hygiene, and healthy feed and free choice natural supplements, such as organic kelp, diatomaceous earth, gypsum, and Redmond salt. In addition to alternated brush and pasture browsing as our seasons allow, our animals are fed the best hay and alfalfa we can find, and the milking animals are also supplemented with non-gmo grain to help them maintain proper condition over their lactations. We sell dairy sheep and goats to those looking to start or add to their own backyard herds, and love sharing our outlooks on land management and animal husbandry to any open ears.