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Icelandic and Icelandic-cross

Our foundation flock came from Justin and Tammi Michels at Michels Mountain Sheep.  The Michels have been breeding for a triple purpose (meat, milk, wool) animal that is hardy in our Montana climate, possesses good mothering skills, and produces exceptional meat and wool.  The majority of our sheep are the Michels Mountain Sheep breed mix of ¼ East Friesian (for increased milk production) and ¾ Icelandic (for hardiness and lovely wool), although some have slightly more Friesian in them. 

 

We have been overwhelmingly impressed by the resilience and productivity of these sheep, not to mention their self-sufficient lambing and mothering traits! They gain well on grass alone and are avid, active grazers and foragers.  In addition to these sheep, we also added seven purebred Icelandic ewes in the spring of 2020 who produced their first set of lambs on our farm in the spring of 2021. 

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Lincoln
Longwool

In June, 2021, we bought 26 head of registered Lincoln Longwools from Christiane Payton of North Valley Farm.  We are beyond excited to welcome these guys to our farm and into our lives and feel incredibly blessed to be entrusted with the care and continuation of this flock that Christiane has so lovingly cultivated and built over the past two decades.

Lincolns are known for their size, their striking fleeces of long, lustrous curls, their gentle demeanors and their history—they are one of the oldest breeds of sheep known and have been part of the foundation of multiple other breeds (read more about Lincolns here). Although we are looking forward to what they’ll bring to our farm in terms of wool and meat production, we are most excited that we will be able to play a part in the preservation and continued improvement of the breed. 

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The running of the lambs

What in the world is the running of the lambs?!  We don't know if this event is unique to our flock, or if this is a common occurrence amongst many flocks, but it is absolutely the highlight of our lambing season.  During late gestation and early lactation, before the ewes are put back out to pasture with their lambs, they receive a supplemental grain ration of whole oats and/or barley in order to support the greatly increased nutrient requirements of late pregnancy and milk production.  Every day, when we put their grain in the feeders, the moms rush to eat and the lambs stand around in a group, looking awkward, like middle schoolers at a school dance.  Then, suddenly, one lamb takes off across the barn paddock at full speed, running until she can't go any further.  Then she turns around and comes barrelling back towards the group.  Before we know it, ALL the lambs have joined in (even the ones who are only a few days old!) and a rampaging herd of fluffballs is careening wildly around the pasture having the time of their lives while their moms relax over grain.  It is hilarious!  We can't believe that multiple groups of lambs have done this exact same thing across the years.  It's now an annual tradition, and with about 120 lambs expected in 2022, we're looking forward to seeing how it unfolds this year.  This video from 2021 still makes us smile, and we hope it brings joy to you, too!

 ROVING RAM RANCH, L.L.C.

Bigfork, MT 59911

406-291-4837

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