Sheep Production: Since 1980, Santiam Valley Ranch has raised sheep for meat and wool. Through 1993, the farm maintained a flock of 300 ewes using 100 acres for pasture and grass hay production. Since 1994, the herd has varied between 20 to 70 ewes. As of 2016, we now raise 25 ewes, which means the farm carries an estimated total of 60-65 livestock through part of the year (ewes, rams and lambs). Lambs are sold directly to the public and to Anderson Ranches in Brownsville. Sheep are sheared during the months of April-June and wool is taken to Columbia Wool Scouring Company in Portland.
Our sheep operation requires the “sheep barn” which is necessary for winter lambing. Here the barn stores alfalfa hay and straw for bedding and houses seasonal equipment including lambing jugs, group pens and feeders and infrastructure needed for wool shearing during the spring. In addition, we have a “sorting area” where we can sort sheep and address various other management issues including worming, vaccinations, weaning lambs from ewes, and dealing with any other issues that may develop within the flock. As with any farm operation, maintenance of facilities is a part of farm life. In addition to building or repairing fence, we re-sided the sheep barn in 2015-2016. In addition, pasture maintenance is required, including application of fertilizer, lime and essential minerals, and weed management, all of which is fundamental for livestock operations. To complete the sheep production endeavor, a livestock trailer is essential for transporting lambs to market and for purchasing quality rams to improve genetic superiority for the flock.
Lambs are docked and castrated and are given 1/4 ml of BoSe (selenium). Before headed back to pasture with their lambs, the ewes are wormed, given Covexin 8 vaccine and 4-5 ml of BoSe. Sheep have access to selenium salt year-round.