Sheep at Wattenpaugh Farm

Farmland LP purchased 100 acres just south of Corvallis in April 2011 and as of Feb. 27, 2012 we now have sheep on the upper portion of this field.

I really enjoy visiting Wattenpaugh Farm.  The field begins at the end of a small lane at the highest point on the property.  On clear days the snowy Cascade peaks are easy to see and the pasture spreads out for nearly a mile to the east.

We also have great neighbors.  Afton Field Farm is directly to our north, and Stalhbush Island Farms leases to our south.

Here’s a close-up view of the ewes.  These are due to drop lambs in early April.  Forage resources are pretty slim in February and we are glad to have some fresh pasture available for their final month of gestation.  By early April the pasture growth will  be extremely fast so the lambs will have plenty of milk.

Several improvements have already been made at Wattenpaugh Farm.  We collaborated with Stahlbush Farm to place a shared road between our respective properties and this has held up very well all winter.

Stahlbush also repaired a buried irrigation mainline.  Various other companies and custom farmers performed soil tests and added amendments, placed tiles on several poorly drained acres, and sowed our custom pasture mix.  Over the next month a permanent perimeter fence will be installed.

Not just sheep live here.  I met a Pacific Tree Frog in the middle of our field the other day and he or she seemed pleased with the health of the pasture too.

4 thoughts on “Sheep at Wattenpaugh Farm”

  1. Nice pictures. How do you plan to manage their grazing?

  2. That’s an interesting concept. How does it differ from a traditional rotational stocking system? Is it simply forcing the sheep into a smaller space while managing for forage quality? I wonder if there’s any studies that attempt to look at the optimal rotational paddock size depending on such factors.

  3. Hi Usman,
    There is a growing literature on this. Look for “Management Intensive Rotational Grazing” for example.

    More traditional “rotational grazing” is also sometimes called “alternate grazing” as there may only be a couple of fields and the animals are moved between the two and then “set stocked” for a period of time, such as a month.

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