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 two dozen purebred and registered breeding ewes who consistently produce award-winning fleeces and beautiful, well-built lambs.
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 increase the numbers of this beautiful but endangered breed. We currently over-winter about two dozen 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.
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 natural corn/oat blend during lactation. The ewe flock is sheared 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 meat market or sales barn in late fall, including lambs and culled breeders, are sheared in October, giving us some beautiful fleeces that would otherwise be lost.
All of our sheep are covered with coats (also sometimes called covers) immediately after shearing to keep their fleeces clean. Even the lambs wear them beginning usually 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 for a larger size 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 check out the information at Shipping and Policies.
- To maintain the highest quality standards for our products.
- To provide the best customer service possible.