I didn’t mean to buy the sheep.
By that I mean that I wanted to keep mutton sheep on my lawn during the summer of 2012, slaughter them in the fall, and buy a few more in the spring to mow the lawn again.
This plan changed when Chris Hall of Flora/Fauna Farm in Topsham advertized that he intended to seriously downsize his flock. I had met Chris once in 2011, and decided firmly then that his flock would be the source of my first regular flock of sheep…in maybe three years. My plans changed abruptly and in August 2012, five beautiful ewes arrived in Chris’s custom truck box.
Shirley, Peggy, Janet, Dot and Bonnie took a few days to warm up to me. They wouldn’t leave the shed they landed in, even for grain. It took three days of patient coaxing just to get them out on pasture.
After grazing the sheep in my back yard for a few months without the advantages of real sheep facilities, I was invited by generous neighbors to move the sheep to a farm where over 100 sheep had once been kept. My neighbors are many years retired from sheep breeding but still interested in having sheep present. Their land benefits from the increased fertility of sheep grazing. Birds that depend on open land with thick, bushy hedgerows, such as bobolink, woodcock and killdeer, benefit from the flock’s maintenance of the open land. Since 2012, all but one of my original sheep have moved on, while their beautiful descendants provide me with wonderful fleece and meat.
In 2015, I changed jobs and moved to Williston, where the sheep now graze on the property of the Catamount Outdoor Family Center. We built a little barn for the flock, and now enjoy access to a small tractor that allows for improved grazing management. In 2016, registered Bluefaced Leicesters joined the flock. They have a dedicated page at The Dorward Flock where you can learn more about my breeding program.
We are open to visitors by appointment, so get in touch!