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RBR News | March 23, 2017

Posted in Ranch Report

Around the Ranch – 

Lambing season is one of the first signs of spring at the Ranch and a cue that warmer days are on their way. Yet spring in the Roaring Fork Valley can be unpredictable. We had a few weeks of warm weather in February and then, in an instant, our first lamb was born on a below-freezing morning under a blanket of fresh snow. 

This season always reminds us of how tough and hearty livestock can be. As a general rule at the Ranch, we try not to interfere with the birthing process and only get involved if needed. This is true for farrowing (pig birth), lambing (lamb birth), kidding (goat birth), and kindling (rabbit birth). Lambs, piglets, and goat kids are all a pretty incredible sight to behold – most up standing within a few minutes of being born as the mama helps clean them off and they search for her milk. Within a few days they are running around the paddock, jumping, and kicking their hind legs up. And while most people would agree that baby animals are cute, the playfulness of lambs makes them my personal favorite baby animal. 

Lambs are typically born in the late winter or early spring because most ewes (adult female sheep) can only become pregnant in the fall. The decreasing daylight in the fall triggers hormones and the ewe enters the estrous cycle. When paired with a ram (adult male sheep), the ewe can become pregnant and then has a gestation period of about 150 days.  

Every animal on the farm has a job and the sheep are the leaders of our multi-species rotational grazing system. Together with a few other ruminants (goats and cattle), they graze the pastures, acting like lawnmowers to keep the grass constantly at a vegetative state. With multiple pastures, we’re always eager to have new lambs join the mowing crew. 

Along with the lambs, a few new kits (baby rabbits) were born recently. Come visit us down at the Ranch and help us welcome our newest members!

Available Products

  • Full supply of our locally famous, pasture-raised, non-GMO, Animal Welfare Approved, delicious chicken eggs (With the longer days, the egg production is increasing daily!)
  • Salad mix, arugula and kale are available in limited quantities.

Products can be purchased at Ranch during open hours. 

Please call at least one business day in advance to confirm availability or to place an order for pick-up.

Salad can also be purchased at Meat & Cheese Farm Shop in Aspen while supplies last. Our friends at Free Range Kitchen and Wine Bar in downtown Basalt have several items on their menu including kale, arugula, pea shoots and select pork cuts.   

Rock Bottom Ranch is open Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM with Farm Tours Wednesdays and Fridays at 11AM. For questions about Rock Bottom Ranch please email Jason at jsmith@aspennature.org.

 

~ Alyssa Barsanti, Rock Bottom Ranch Agriculture Supervisor