Our small "nearly fifteen" acre farm in eastern Iowa
became home to its first flock of sheep in the spring of 2000 when we were looking for a way to manage the vegetation.
We were doing a lot of mowing back then, so we bought a few sheep to eat it for us. Before long, those sheep had more
sheep, then more sheep. In 2004, we began to add strong purebred Romney genetics to our line from both the east and
west coasts, emphasizing soft, lustrous fleeces and strong, correct conformations. Our Romney flock has now grown to
about twenty purebred and registered breeding ewes who consistently produce award-winning fleeces and beautiful, well-built
In spring of 2007, our desire to help in protecting
the genetic diversity of sheep culminated in the purchase of a small starter flock of Romeldale/CVMs. We have since
added more of this breed to our flock, in order to add a line of finer fleeces to our products as well as increasing
the numbers of this beautiful but endangered breed. We currently over-winter about twenty registered Romeldale/CVM breeding
ewes and several unrelated purebred rams.
Other than at breeding time, the two flocks - Romney and Romeldale/CVM - live together and exist as one large flock,
at least for the time being!
|Phebi, one of our new CVMs, and her lambs in 2007.
The sheep at Peeper Hollow Farm have free access to pasture year-round,
and are supplemented during the snowy months with high-quality grass and alfalfa hay, and a corn/oat blend during lactation.
The ewe flock is shorn in late winter, just before lambing, to avoid tender areas or breaks in their fleeces due to lambing
stresses, and to give them a couple of extra days of gestation to produce stronger lambs. The breeding rams are sheared in
mid-June, to keep them cool during the hot Iowa summers. Finally, all animals destined for the sale barn in late fall,
including lambs and culled breeders, are sheared in October, giving us some beautiful fleeces that would otherwise be lost.
All sheep are covered with coats immediately after shearing to keep
their fleeces clean. Even the lambs wear covers/coats beginning within minutes after birth. The coats keep the
fleeces clean of the vegetable matter (VM) or foreign fibers and dirt that normally find their way into uncovered sheep fleeces.
Each sheep's coat is changed out at least twice over the course of the year as the wool (or the sheep's own physical growth,
especially in the case of lambs!) requires. After all, many of these sheep will be eight to eighteen inches wider
at the end of one year's growth of wool than right after shearing!
To find out how the fleeces are processed for shipping to you, please click on shipping/policies.