Kathy and trusted Labrador retriever, Woogie, in the sheep barn during lambing.

Kathy and trusted Labrador retriever, Woogie, in the sheep barn during lambing.

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.

 Kathy and Smitty Cox at Scio Ram Show, 2016, buying a new ram.

Kathy and Smitty Cox at Scio Ram Show, 2016, buying a new ram.

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.

 Lambing Time! Ewe with newborn lamb.

Lambing Time! Ewe with newborn lamb.

 2017 brought frigid temperatures for two weeks. Here we are using a heat lamp to keep triplets warm after birth.

2017 brought frigid temperatures for two weeks. Here we are using a heat lamp to keep triplets warm after birth.

 Ewes and lambs coming in at dusk for evening feed.

Ewes and lambs coming in at dusk for evening feed.

 Shearing with Bill Reiser.

Shearing with Bill Reiser.

 Shearing with Jenny Galvin.

Shearing with Jenny Galvin.

 Long ago, Kathy and niece, Anna Martinsson, at Smitty Cox's farm, gathering wool bags from area farmers to be shipped in bulk to Utah.

Long ago, Kathy and niece, Anna Martinsson, at Smitty Cox's farm, gathering wool bags from area farmers to be shipped in bulk to Utah.

 Shipping wool bags to Utah. Loading up bags at Smitty Cox's farm.

Shipping wool bags to Utah. Loading up bags at Smitty Cox's farm.

 Working area, which has three sorting gates and four separation areas.

Working area, which has three sorting gates and four separation areas.

 Footbath with zinc sulfate for hoof rot.

Footbath with zinc sulfate for hoof rot.

 January, 2017: Ken holding lamb.

January, 2017: Ken holding lamb.

 Two years of re-siding sheep barn thanks to our son, Nils Dunder, and his friend, Dave.

Two years of re-siding sheep barn thanks to our son, Nils Dunder, and his friend, Dave.

 Residing the south side of the sheep barn.

Residing the south side of the sheep barn.

 Selling fat lambs to Jake Anderson, Anderson Ranches, Brownsville.

Selling fat lambs to Jake Anderson, Anderson Ranches, Brownsville.

 Shipping lambs in livestock trailer.

Shipping lambs in livestock trailer.

 Hopi's first birthday!

Hopi's first birthday!

 Creep feed area.

Creep feed area.

 Ewes and lambs in sheep barn.

Ewes and lambs in sheep barn.

 Ewes sheared and unsheared

Ewes sheared and unsheared

 Shearing with Bill Reiser and getting help from our son, Nils Dunder, who is stuffing wool in the wool bag.

Shearing with Bill Reiser and getting help from our son, Nils Dunder, who is stuffing wool in the wool bag.

 Shearing with Bill Reiser.

Shearing with Bill Reiser.

 Stuffing the wool bag.

Stuffing the wool bag.

 Working area for sheep.

Working area for sheep.

 Worming lambs with help from son, Luke Fitzpatrick.

Worming lambs with help from son, Luke Fitzpatrick.

 Kathy and son, Andy Fitzpatrick, docking, and giving selenium shots to lambs. Ewes are vaccinated and wormed prior to release from lambing barn.

Kathy and son, Andy Fitzpatrick, docking, and giving selenium shots to lambs.
Ewes are vaccinated and wormed prior to release from lambing barn.

 And once in a while, there is a midnight trip to the vet. Here we are at Scio Animal Clinic, preparing for a ceasarean section.

And once in a while, there is a midnight trip to the vet. Here we are at Scio Animal Clinic, preparing for a ceasarean section.

 Fencing is part of the job -- here fencing off the base of the wind turbine.

Fencing is part of the job -- here fencing off the base of the wind turbine.

 Sheared lambs.

Sheared lambs.

 Sheepherding and True Partners: Hopi and Ken

Sheepherding and True Partners: Hopi and Ken

 A sheep farmers' trusted companion.

A sheep farmers' trusted companion.

 A few ewes and lambs in field next to house.

A few ewes and lambs in field next to house.

 Sheep farming at Santiam Valley Ranch.

Sheep farming at Santiam Valley Ranch.