Now that autumn is here, the Thompson-Neely Farmstead team is looking ahead and preparing for another winter.
Four new lambs (pictured), welcomed in August 2021, have brought our heritage breed flock up to 15 sheep. The sheep and goats requires a lot of care, which is largely supported by generous donors through our popular Sponsor a Sheep program.
Here’s how farmstead staff and volunteers are preparing the flock for winter:
Food: Once winter arrives and the grass in the meadow stops growing, our hungry sheep are fed hay. They go through about half a bale a day, or 200 bales a winter. In addition, a few sheep need a prescribed amount of supplemental grain each day that is loaded with protein to help them keep weight on over the winter.
Bedding: The straw used for bedding in the barn must be kept clean. Each year, the farmstead goes through about 100 bales of straw for bedding material
Medical care: Hoof rot and parasites are key concerns. To help keep the sheep healthy, a veterinarian pays regular visits to help with testing and deworming if necessary. These visits, along with various medications, can cost several thousand dollars each year.