Our Dairy Sheep Flock
We have a base flock of East Friesian x Lacaune ewes. We milk seasonally, and depend on pasture to supply the vast majority of our forage during the lactation season. Over the past 21 years, our dairy flock has been bred to thrive on pasture with a grain supplement in the parlor, and to be hardy in our Central New York winters. We select for milk production and udder conformation. By 2018, using only the tools of metering to collect milk production data, and then subsequent selection and culling, we had many ewes that peaked at > 10/day of milk, and ~ 20% of our mature ewes (aged 2+ year) produced 950-1,200 lb in 225 days.
In 2017 Meadowood Farms was one of 20 US farms that took the opportunity to purchase Lacaune semen from France, through DSANA (the Dairy Sheep Association of North America). Our first Lacaune-sired daughters from those breedings will be milked in the 2019 season. In 2018, we again bred our ewes to Lacaune semen from France, as well as Assaf semen purchased from Ms J & Co in Wisconsin. (For more information on both: www.dsana.org/Semen-Importation and www.msjandco.com.)
In 2018 Meadowood Farms enrolled in DSANA’s Genetic Evaluation program (www.dsana.org/Genetic-Evaluation-Project). We now submit metering and milk component data from each individual ewe in our flock. We meter bi-monthly through peak lactation, and then monthly thereafter; we collect monthly milk samples for milk-component analysis for five consecutive months during the lactation season. The information is analyzed by Genovis in Quebec, and we now receive EBV’s on all our breeding ewes and rams.
We pride ourselves on the health of the flock. The sheep are tested annually for OPP and Johne's (100% negative), and we have no foot rot on the farm. We vaccinate for CL and CD/T.
We do have a few ram lambs available for sale every year, and often some mature ewes become available for sale in the fall. Please go to our “Breeding Stock for Sale” page for more information.