sunrise at the farm

Cold Valley Farm raises Jacob sheep southwest of Madison, Wisconsin. We started in 2001 with four ewes and a ram from three breeders and have maintained a closed ewe flock since then that currently numbers about two dozen.

Our flock has a lot of old Midwest genetics that date back to the Chicago zoo imports of the 1950s. These sheep have primitive traits such as a lighter frame and triangular heads compared with some other Jacob imports and improved commercial breeds.

Although we don't select for wool quality beyond meeting the JSBA breed standard, some of our sheep have excellent handspinning fleeces and about one third of the flock are lilacs.

The flock grazes from April through November and is fed alfalfa/grass hay in our century-old barn in winter. Lambing starts in late January, sometimes in sub-zero weather. We don't feed grain (except for treats), wean, dock tails, or stay up all night during lambing.

Our goal is to raise healthy, hardy, interesting sheep that are practical and profitable for a small farm.