We started our flock with 10 Katahdin and Dorper ewes. As of January 2021, we have 25 ewes, one Dorper ram and two Katahdin rams. They produce an average of 40 lambs per year. Starting in 2020, our animals are certified USDA grassfed.
Sunrise Ranch sheep are naturally raised in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way. Our philosophy is that healthy animals produce healthy meat. We practice only stress-free handling techniques with our livestock. Our herd grazes on non-sprayed pastures using a system known as rotational grazing. During the summer months, ewes, lambs and rams are moved frequently and enjoy the company of their alpaca and llama guardians. Our sheep are able to eat grass and grass hay from our valley and mountain pasture until they are content.
Our sheep are fed only grass from our pastures and a grass/alfalfa mix hay that we produce or buy from a farm in our valley. Our pastures have never been sprayed with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The only natural supplement our sheep receive is continuous access to salt.
We have our lambs processed at Double J Meat Packing in Pierce, Colorado, a locally owned and USDA-approved processor. They dry-age the meat for 21 days and then vacuum-pack the cuts. We have chosen these facilities because they have skilled employees who treat our animals humanely and process small numbers of animals each day, compared to larger corporate facilities that butcher hundreds of animals per hour.