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Good day to you.  My name is John. 

Let me tell you briefly why I decided to raise sheep.

I am a child of metropolitan suburbs and grew up in a neighborhood with sidewalks, curbs, and well-manicured lawns.  The only animals I ever kept were cats, and the only animals I generally saw from day to day were the dogs, cats, and parakeets that lived in people’s homes.  Now seventy, my farm began in 2015 with 6 bred ewes.

Although the idea of raising sheep after I bought this 5-acre home in 2012 was at first an occasional daydream, it gradually percolated into a serious consideration, and then became an illuminated pathway with a bright neon sign saying "This Way!" flashing in my mind!  These 5 acres of hillside present its owner with a tedious obligation in the form of vegetation which must be cleared annually because of potential brush fires.  At my age, this yardwork is nearly impossible. 

One afternoon, I was talking with a neighbor about the Forest Service requirement—naturally my ability to keep up with that work became the topic—and he mentioned that many people keep goats to do the weeding for them.  From that time on getting and raising a flock of sheep became a serious consideration.  

One day, quite unexpectedly, I saw a handwritten ad for six bred ewes posted on a bulletin board in a store in town.  After going online and learning what I quickly could about Babydoll sheep, I lost no time in closing the deal and getting back home with fencing supplies to make the place ready for them.  Now my babies do some of that work for me—or they would if they could.  Burrs and thistles don't mix well with fleece, and that makes the matter quite a bit more complicated than I had then expected.  But there is so much more to my becoming a shepherd than just that one initial motivation that it doesn't matter to me—doesn't matter to me at all.

Because I seek the One whom I follow, I have many questions to ask,

And because He called Himself "The Good Shepherd," I naturally want to know why He chose that title for Himself, that I might understand Him better.  Certainly I can surmise from general knowledge about life and the animal kingdom a great deal of the rationale for that identity, but to know it intimately and personally to great depth, the only way to really know it is to do it.  Because my relationship with God is the single most important thing in my life, the need to know Him on a deeply personal level made this decision to raise sheep—once I had a big enough yard to make it possible—an imperative for me.  I believed that it was the only way I could truly get to understand this aspect of Him most intimately.  Abel was a shepherd.  Abraham was a shepherd.  And these men are held out to us as examples of men who had an intimate relationship with God.  I knew that this was no mere coincidence.  For the circumstance of our own mortality—that we are carnivorous creatures who depend upon the slaying and eating of animals for our own temporal survival—is a matter of profound significance, and it cannot otherwise be than that a shepherd—who also eats of the creatures that he loves and cares for—must confront this very stark reality head-on.  Doubtlessly this very mortal circumstance must be, for a shepherd, a matter of some very profound contemplation; doubtlessly this very issue and its contemplation must have been a key component of the understanding that Abraham and the prophets had about the nature of God.  And so I seek that same understanding  .  .  .  by raising sheep. 

What is this creature like, this ovian ruminant herbivore, what are its habits and idiosyncrasies, its joys and desires and fears, this soft and gentle animal of whom the Word says that He, too, is like it, is like a lamb who was led to the slaughter?  And what is He like, the shepherd that leads us, and cares for us, and surely knows, if anyone, what the journey looks like from this side as well as the other?

Dual Registry Update

       Due to a registration mixup and delay that were beyond our control, our 2016 lambs were registered only with NABSSAR even though the bred ewes we purchased had Olde English Babydoll Registry (OEBR) Certificates of Registration.  Having just recently established with the new managers of the OEBR that all of the sheep in our flock are descended from OEBR pedigree ancestors, the mixup was resolved and we have now successfully obtained Olde English Certificates of Registry for all of our flock. Our Babydolls are now 100% dual-registered with OEBR (OEBMSSR) and NABSSAR. This increases their value substantially.  That and our year-over-year increase in costs has made it necessary for us to raise this year's prices.  The cost of dual-registration for each lamb is included in its price.  Buyer may select the registered name for each lamb purchased provided that the name is chosen and we are notified of it before the lambs are registered. Transfer of registration into buyer's name shall be the responsibility of the buyer.

20 good reasons for keeping sheep

  1. Sheep are lovely and cute.

  2. Sheep don't stink like some animals do.

  3. Sheep eat grass and weeds.

  4. Sheep don't bite visitors or their children.

  5. Sheep are friendly and emotional creatures.

  6. Sheep are usually gentle and polite.

  7. Sheep are appreciative of good treatment

  8. Sheep make you feel happy to be alive.

  9. Sheep are relatively easy to care for.

10. Sheep entertain you and make you laugh.

11. Sheep teach you about human behavior.

12. Sheep mow your lawn and weed your orchard.

13. Sheep don't bark; they bleat for lambs and food.

14. Sheep produce fleece, yarn, and wool.

15. Sheep's waste is tidy; dries quickly, & doesn't stink.

16. Sheep fertilize your lawn and fields.

17. Sheep beautify your yard and hillsides.

18. Lambs are playful and entertaining to watch.

19. Lambs are more cuddly than lizards or birds.

20. Lambs will melt your heart and fill it with joy.

Why Sheep?



Rockstair Farm