Standlee Spotlight: Hog Island Sheep
La Bella Farm is owned and operated by Laura Marie Kramer, a 6th generation farmer and Standlee Premium Western Forage® employee. La Bella Farm raises Hog Island Sheep, an American Heritage Breed. Hog Island Sheep are classified as a wool and meat breed.
Washington was the first lamb born on La Bella Farm and was named after George Washington, his parent Sedona and Inspector Clouseau were both born on George Washington Mt Vernon. Washington is considered genetically rare because he is both horned and has black wool, two recessive traits for the breed. Washington greats farm visitors at the front gate and loves to have his ears rubbed. Cars frequently stop on the side of the road to watch him play chase with his half-brother Jefferson in the pasture. Washington sired 4 lambs born on La Bella Farm this year a set of triplets James, Dolly and Madison and another lamb Elizabeth. All of his lambs have their father’s loveable personality.
During the 1700's, colonist brought a flock of sheep to Hog Island, a barrier island off the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula. Over time, the sheep of Hog Island evolved in response to the island’s natural selection for hardiness, foraging ability, and reproductive efficiency, shaping the sheep of Hog Island into a distinct breed. The sheep that were left behind continued to thrive on the island. During the 1970's, the Nature Conservancy purchased the island and relocated the sheep to Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy characterizes the status of Hog Island sheep as critical, meaning that less than 200 Hog Island Sheep are registered in the USA, and only a concentrated and sustained effort can save them from extinction.
Hog Island Sheep are hardy efficient grazers, but during late gestation and during lactation, their forage needs are supplemented with Standlee Alfalfa Grab N Go Bales. Standlee Premium Western Forage® Alfalfa gives the ewes the extra calcium and energy needed during these times. Standlee Timothy Grab N Go Bales are feed during times of limited pasture and when the ewes don’t need the extra energy from alfalfa.