Truly local homegrown sheep and lamb products. Using the whole animal to support sustainable resource use and soil to soil fibre systems. The main pillar of the farm is the soil and environment we work with. Nourishing and managing this valuable resource is key to support the rest of the farm through productive crops and healthy animals. A huge commitment to animal health, care and environment gives our animals the opportunity to be productive creatures.
We are the Schill Family, Ryan and Romy and our 3 little helpers. We are the 4th and 5th generations to farm on our land located in beautiful Mapleton Township in Wellington County. We live and breath farming and spend lots of time in the barn looking after all the animals, growing crops and managing our operation. Romy manages the farm during day and Ryan works at a local custom operator and crop inputs supplier. The kids get to have fun playing in barn and roaming the farm yard, a great place to grow up! Ryan completed an Agricultural Certificate at Lakeland College. Romy has a BSc. in Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Our education and experience on farms and within the farming community gives us confidence to do the right thing for our sheep and our farm. Education and interaction with consumers is very important to us. Many people lack a connection with the farm and we hope to fill that blank. Being open and honest about what we do is key to developing consumer trust.
Animal Care and Nutrition
We grow most of the feed that animals eat. The feeds are tested and rations are balanced based on the stage of production a sheep is in for optimal health and production. Crops we grow include; hay, haylage, pea and oat forage, corn silage, grain corn and barley. Additional ingredients like protein and vitamins and minerals are purchased locally. A total mixed ration (TMR) is fed to the sheep to ensure an ideal bite each time. By using stored feeds year-round (instead of pasture) we ensure a consistent healthy diet every day. Lambs raised for meat are fed a grain ration (corn or barley) with a protein and mineral pellet. We use hormones & antibiotics on our farm in a responsible and respectable manner in consultation with a vet and an animal nutritionist. Antibiotics are used if a sheep gets sick and needs treatment. Hormones may be used to help a sheep get pregnant and synchronize a group (so they lamb in a narrow window of time to manage for feeding or breeding). We also use some feed additives (kind of like probiotics in your yogurt) to help ensure stomach health of the sheep.
Land and Environment
We manage our land in an environmentally sustainable way by using, no-till, minimum till, crop rotations and manure. This maximizes crop production and limits the amount of commercial fertilizer applied. Healthy soils = quality crops = quality feeds = healthy sheep. Soil testing and working with industry experts helps us manage crops and inputs. Fertilizer and any pesticides are applied only when needed and in responsible manner.
Our animals are housed indoors or in a dry-lot type yard with a shelter. This helps us manage our sheep in a number of ways. Keeping the sheep indoors helps protect them for predators like coyotes and we can also greatly limit exposure to intestinal parasites. Good ventilation and lighting in our barns makes them very comfortable ... warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The sheep always have access to fresh clean water.
When a lamb is born it gets an ear tag which is then scanned into a computer program. Each time this animal is handled or treated (weights, breeding, health events) we can enter the information. We are then able to monitor weight gains, productivity and even determine which ram to put with which ewe based on each animals history. Using the latest modern agricultural technologies and science we can create a strong farm system for our future generations.