We raise Katahdin sheep, a breed of hair sheep first developed in the New England region of the U.S. They are known as hearty, adaptable and low-maintenance. They do not produce fleece and therefore do not require shearing. Ewes have great mothering instincts and lambs are stout and healthy. They tolerate heat and humidity rather well (great for the southern US!) and are quite docile. Their meat is very lean, with a mild flavor.
We have raised two different types of chickens in our efforts to find a suitable breed for our farm, and our favorite so far is the Freedom Ranger. Chicks are shipped from Freedom Ranger Hatchery in Pennsylvania the day they hatch, and arrive within 48 hours. The Freedom Ranger is a beautiful red bird, slow growing and suited to an all-natural life in the pasture (vs. the commercial chicken houses many are familiar with). They reach maturity at 9-11 weeks (compared to the 6 weeks it takes to grow out a commercial bird). Our chicks are kept in brooder boxes for 2-3 weeks, then moved to pasture for the remaining 6-8 weeks.
We raise a breed of cow called Hereford, developed in England in the mid-18th century. Herefords are a resilient bred, able to withstand harsh weather conditions and less-than-perfect grazing conditions. Their docile temperament makes them easy to handle and their gentle nature is appreciated by all who encounter them. The cows arrive on our farm as weaned calves, and thrive on pasture until they are processed at approximately 18 months.
At Dellinger Family Farms, our sheep, cows, & chickens live outside on pasture. This means they enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and dining on a variety of grasses and greens. They live a happy and stress-free life!
Our pastures are not treated with pesticides/herbicides, so our animals never consume such chemicals. The small amounts of supplemental feeds they consume are not treated with chemicals either, and we are proud to say our supplemental feed is sourced locally and is non-GMO! Our sheep receive a single vaccine within 48 hours of birth, called CD-T (to treat overeating disease types C & D and tetanus), but never any antibiotics or growth hormones. Our chickens consume water treated with electrolytes as chicks (to prevent dehydration), but nothing else!