Gibraltar Farm NY
We raise registered Katahdin hair sheep on 100% perennial pastures and grass/legume hay. We expect all our ewes, rams and lambs to be productive with no grain added to their diets at any stage of production. We raise our lambs on pasture so they can learn to be efficient grazers at their mothers side. We overwinter our sheep in the barn as well as lamb there in the early spring. We move the sheep out to pasture in the spring, as soon as there is enough grass growth and they stay out 24/7 until the snow starts in the late fall. We practice rotational grazing and move the sheep to fresh grass once a day. The majority of our lambs are sold for meat at different times during the growing season.
We want our breeding stock to be efficient grazers with proven parasite resistance that grow well on forage. We expect our ewe lambs to produce their first lambs at 1 year old. We collect lamb weights at different ages, two fecal egg counts and loin eye depth/fat thickness scanning on all our lambs, to be used as part of the evaluation process. We are members of NSIP. We use raw data, EBVs, conformation as well as maternal history to select the top 10% of ram lambs and top 50% of ewe lambs to be offered for sale or used in our own flock as replacements.
We both grew up in South Africa spending time on our grandparents farms. My wife’s family harvested all the meat they consumed from the farm and learned from a young age where food comes from. We moved to the USA in 1999 and planned on making our careers as veterinarian and IT professional. Over the years we kept on finding ourselves reminiscing about farming and where our food comes from. We started dreaming about re-igniting our family farms here in the USA. In 2013 my wife did a yearlong apprenticeship at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and fell in love with sheep. We bought Gibraltar Farm at the end of 2013 and spent the next one and half years waiting and working to be able to start farming full-time in June 2015.