St. Croix sheep were introduced to River Ridge pastures in the Spring of 2018. They are hair sheep, recognized for their good meat quality by Slow Food USA—who placed the breed on the Arc of Taste, an international catalog of endangered heritage foods. St. Croix sheep are easy to care for because of their calm disposition and good maternal instincts. They are also known for their resistance to intestinal parasites.
In November 2019, a St. Croix ram (SF 327) from Stauber Farm in Bethania, NC visited our flock for six weeks. Four months later, River Ridge completed its first breeding season in April 2020 with the arrival of 52 healthy lambs from 28 ewes.
The highlight of the breeding season was the birth of triplets to ewe #374 which included our “Tiny”—a 3.5 lb. ewe lamb who survived with a little extra nursing attention provided by Autry and Gus. Although the mother had mastitis on one side, her triplets survived, and she nursed the three lambs all the way to weaning time.
The 30 ewe and 22 ram lambs were weaned in July, and they are now happily grazing on lush pastures. Ewe lambs will be available for shepherds to begin expanding their flocks. As the flock grows, experimentation with multi-species grazing with our cattle may be attempted.
If you come for a visit you may well be greeted by “Tiny,” our friendliest lamb! (pictured below)