The most picturesque part of 123 Farm, especially in the spring, is our 70 acre pasture. When the sun rises over the hilltop, and the sheep are peacefully roaming and grazing, it is quite a sight to take in. Our flock started with a mere 25 sheep and has since fluctuated between 75-100 head, depending on how many lambs are born each year. When we first started, the focus was solely on meat quality. As the years have passed, we became more interested in using their wool as a finished product. The decision was made to bring in Cotswold rams (males). This breed is known for their long, hair-like, silky wool. The cotswold ram was introduced three years ago and since then, we have received some pretty interesting hybrids. Our breeds are a mix of Jacob, Shetland, Debouillet and Cotswold.
Previously hidden above the reservoir, our flock of chickens plays many roles here at Highland Springs Resort. They provide organic eggs for The Grand Oak Farm to Table, keep their space insect and weed free and also serve as an educational component in our summer Farm Camp program. Kids who participate in Farm Camp learn about the difference between standard production eggs, cage free and free range as well as gather eggs themselves for use in a cooking class. We hatch eggs all summer and with the power of an Ovascope, kids can take a peek inside of a developing egg. It's amazing, to see a little chick moving inside of it's shell before it hatches. Our current breeds are Rhode Island Red, Australourp, Amerucuana (they lay green eggs!), Welsummer, Gold Laced Wyandotte, and the hybrids that we have hatched ourselves.
A few other friends on our farm include a female llama named Schokie (German slang for Chocolate... can you guess what color she is?). She is a guard llama for our sheep. Since she is taller, she can see danger sooner than they can, with their heads down grazing all day. She will run if she feels a threat is nearby, and the sheep will instinctively follow her lead. In the pasture with the sheep and llama, are Marie, Jack and Adelise. These are our cows. Marie is a Jersey milk cow. Jack, her calf, was born here in January 2016 and Adelise is a Charlais and Brangus cross; beef cow breeds thanks to the pasture neighboring ours.
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