Buying Breeding Stock from DewGreen Farm
We are taking a break from breeding and lambing. Please bookmark us and check back, or let us know you are interested. We will let you know when we gear up for this again.
What is Included in the Purchase Price of My Sheep?
- Official health certificate issued by a veterinarian specializing in small ruminants.
- Pre-sale health care including hoof trimming, shots, supplements.
- Record of extended pedigree of your lamb that shows its lineage.
- Ownership transfer with the registering agency and associated fees.
- Support for keeping your flock and using organic practices, if you so choose.
- Starter bag of our custom-blend balanced vitamin and mineral mix.
- Handouts with list of useful supplies and where you can get them, and informational
resources to help keep your flock healthy.
What Kind of Support Will You Provide After I Take My Sheep Home?
We will provide ongoing support and will gladly share with you all we know. If we encounter a problem that we don't know the answer to, we will reach out to our fellow Icelandic breeders and find out for you.
Can You Deliver?
We can deliver animals within New England, and we will assist you with arranging delivery elsewhere. Delivery charges depend on the distance. We strongly prefer that you come to the farm to pick up your sheep. This allows for good, solid Q & A and hands-on time with the animals. We require that all sheep housing facilities, fencing, feeders, waterers and supplies for basic care be on hand at your farm before you take sheep home. Attending a FAMACHA training and getting certifed in integrated parasite management ahead of time is also a good idea.
Do You De-worm Sheep Before Sale?
Conventional wisdom says sheep should be de-wormed with a chemical de-wormer before they move to a new farm. Well, that turns out to be the wrong thing to do. Why?
Conventional de-worming practices end up creating parasite resistance. This happens because these drugs kill susceptible parasites, and leave resistant bugs alive. Hence every time you use a conventional de-wormer, you end up with a higher percentage of drug-resistant parasites in the animals' gut. Then, when the parasites that are left alive reproduce, there is a higher probability that both "parent" worms will be drug-resistant, so their offspring will also be drug-resistant, progressively increasing resistant parasites in your flock.
To head off potentially serious health threats to the animals (and serious tearing-out-your-hair for you), we do herbal deworming just before delivery, but not conventional. (A Northeast SARE research report states that Artemisia Absinthium has been shown to significantly reduce Barberpole Worm larvae in sheep. We have used the tincture of this herb and found it to be quite effective. Garlic, not so much. Ginger juice is also reported to be effective, but we have not tried it.)
We do not regularly use conventional dewormers on our farm anyway. Rather, we use the FAMACHA method to monitor animals' parasite loads, use herbs, plant forage plants with de-worming properties, and give our animals capsules of copper oxide wire particles that stay in the animal and kill parasite larvae over time. These capsules also supply Icelandics with some of the copper they need. These practices keep parasites down without building up resistant bugs.
Since early summer 2013, we did not need to do even the spring de-worming. All the ewes and their lambs have deep pink or red membranes, which means they are on a high level of health.
Mineral nutrition is perhaps the most important practice for preventing parasite problems, with Cobalt, Selenium and Copper as the Big Three (but they are only three elements of a balanced mineral supplement, not the whole thing). Our flock receives chelated minerals regularly to ensure health. We are also part of a parasite monitoring program that is collaboratively managed by veterinary schools of five universities in the Northeast, and receive support and laboratory analysis services from these institutions.
With these practices in place, we are confident that we sell only healthy sheep.
How Does the Purchase Process Work?
Once you select your lamb, you give us a deposit of $200 to reserve your animal. (If you are just starting out, you need to get at least two sheep. They are flock animals and need at least one companion.) Deposits are on a first-come first-serve basis. When you give us your deposit, we sign a Purchase and Sale agreement that spells out our responsibilities as seller and your responsibilities as buyer (below).
We will raise your lambs until you are well and ready to take them home. While we raise them we also watch how they are growing, their conformation, temperament and general health. If we see potential problems, we let you know and discuss options. You can choose to take the lambs with suggestions on how to improve the potential problem areas; you can decline and get your deposit back; or we try and find another match for you.
When you are almost ready to take your sheep home, you pay the remaining portion of the total purchase price. You can pay by PayPal, check or cash. We get a health certificate from a veterinarian who specializes in small ruminants, and complete the ownership transfer papers if you want to maintain your flock's registration as purebred Icelandics. We also give you a hand-out with suggested practices and supplies to keep your sheep healthy. You should get supplies before your sheep arrive, and be familiar with the practices that you will need to start soon after. We will inquire about these things before we deliver your sheep.
Finally comes the big day! Hopefully you come to the farm to meet your sheep and ask us questions. We help you get them in your trailer, and off you all go to green pastures. Or, we deliver them to your place, and visit your green pastures. Delivery charges are additional to purchase price and depend on distance.
Oh, and what happens if I reserve sheep and change my mind later, you say? If you change your mind in the next 3 days we will gladly refund your deposit and void the Purchase and Sale contract. After 3 days, if we locate another buyer and complete the sale, we will gladly void the contract and refund your deposit.
Other questions? Just give us a call. We'll be happy to discuss them with you.