In the spring of 2013, Troy and I decided to add sheep to our little farm. We already had chickens and rabbits, but we felt ready to add a larger breed. Troy raised sheep growing up back in Texas, so we felt we had a bit of experience to tackle taking care of them. Once we decided to add sheep, it came down to which breed to add. Troy had raised Suffolks, but we wanted to go with a breed that had a market for the fleece, something handspinners would enjoy. This past December we had made a family trip to Williamsburg, VA and had the opportunity to take their rare breeds tour, and were introduced to the Leicester Longwools. We loved the idea of helping to conserve and bring back this wonderful breed of sheep. So we started doing our research and put down a deposit on a starter flock with Richard Larson, of Old Gjerpen Farm. We would not be picking up our flock until June of 2014, so we had plenty of time to prepare.
We had a barn, but it had a cement floor and was currently housing our rabbitry. Our son had been showing Holland Lop rabbits for some time and was using a good portion of the barn. We decided to build a loafing shed to match the barn, just had to decide where. After several weeks of plotting out different locations we finally settled on an east facing shed, a little east of the current barn. Troy and I built it ourselves, we were pretty proud of the finished product.
We added a paddock out in front of the shed, added electricity and ceiling fans. It is pretty fancy. :-) We then added an automatic waterer, after we got tired of hauling water.
We prepared the pastures for the sheep, the boys were so happy that I made them pull all of the cactus and yucca out of the pasture. It was now time to go and get the sheep.