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Withywindle Sheep

Heritage breeds for hardiness and resilience, in order to thrive on a natural grass-fed system

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Our journey with sheep has been an interesting one, taking many turns but always focused in heritage breeds that have been developed to thrive on forage. Each heritage breed is like a unique story. Old breeds that tell the story of the people who developed them to fit into the natural world around them. 

Although at the time of slaughter heritage breeds will be smaller than the larger breeds raised for commercial meat production, our heritage sheep were bred for hardiness in order to live in wild places. It is not uncommon for many of these breeds to be left out to roam and gathered up a couple times a year. This meant that they needed to be able to survive the elements and on forage. The result being a smaller, but healthier and hardier animal. Our grazing system is focused on sustainability. Our sheep are rotated through our pastures and never allowed to overgraze an area. This allows each species of plant time to regrow. This leads to plant diversity and soil health. Heritage breeds can thrive off the pastures alone without needing to supplement with grains, as well as spreading nutrients from the sheep back into the soil. We even use our sheep to control invasive species through grazing!

Since we began our journey with sheep, we have chosen to keep a few different breeds to decide which we prefer. We started with hair sheep, but have since decided to move toward sheep that produce unique and beautiful fiber and hides!

 

Currently our wool flock consists of Icelandic, Finnsheep, Romanov, and Black Welsh Mountain sheep. We also have a few hair sheep left that are St.croix, Katahdin, and Blackbelly. 

We are excited to continue to grow with our flock! We will work towards developing a flock with excellent fleece, hides, tasty meat, and hardiness that comes with the heritage breeds.  

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