Sheep and Other Animals
We raise mostly Dorset crossbred sheep for lamb production with a sprinkling of Border Leceister and Romney for their higher quality wool. Heather uses fleece for felting and other fibre products. The sheep are pasture raised and mainly fed forages, but we do feed supplements to the ewes during the demanding lambing season, and later to the lambs. We use a minimum of interventions and medications with our sheep and try to reduce the reliance on worming agents by modifying grazing practices, using mixed grazing with cattle, and by promoting good flock health.
Lamb is typically sold by the half or whole carcass. Slaughter takes place at a government inspected abattoir and the meat is cut and wrapped at Withrows Meat Shop, in Belnan near Elmsdale. Individual cuts are sold, when available, at the farm. Special orders can also be arranged. Fibre products are sold from the farm or at the Hubbard’s Farmer’s Market or by special arrangement with Heather (see products page).
Pigs can generally be found on Ironwood Farm although numbers vary according to the season and availability. We usually buy Landrace or Berkshire cross weaner pigs. They are raised either indoors in large pens bedded with hay or on pasture when labour is available. The pigs are fed a mixture of waste vegetables, cooked food wastes from the Flying Apron Cookery, and commercial grower ration. Pork is sold from the farm gate (see product page).
The cattle belong to us or are animals brought to the farm for custom grazing over the summer months. Rotational grazing techniques are used to boost pasture growth, as well as maintain quality for the more fussy sheep. Beef is sold from the farm gate when available.