Welcome to our First Annual Old Slate Farm Field Day and Online Seedstock Sale. We are a small farm in central Ohio, raising Katahdins on pasture. All of our sheep are enrolled in NSIP, and we select for balanced EBV’s with a focus on growth and parasite resistance, as we feel this produces the most efficient, profitable and enjoyable Katahdin sheep to raise in a pasture environment.
Our sheep graze mixed fescue pastures in the spring and late autumn, and are currently grazing fields undergoing renovation this summer, a mix of weeds and cover crops. We lamb in the barn beginning in late February, ewes are fed hay through the winter, switching to a high quality alfalfa mix in late gestation/early lactation. Lambs are creep fed alfalfa mix hay and soy hull pellets through an advantage feeder.
We keep a low maintenance flock. We do not do any regular deworming or foot trimming, and poor coats are culled. Good mothering skill is a priority and we prefer a moderate sized mature ewe.
At weaning, ram and ewe lambs are split and sent to continuously graze pastures infected with parasite larvae and are monitored weekly to identify when we have a parasite challenge. We take fecal samples at post-weaning and submit to NSIP. We did not have a sufficient challenge at weaning this year.
After post weaning weights and fecal samples were taken, we separated the sale rams into a dry lot where they are fed alfalfa mix hay and 1#/head/day of soy hull pellets, to ensure their genetic potential for growth is met and they’ll be ready to breed come August.
Ewe lambs were sent back out to pasture to graze alongside their dams, and we recently brought them into a dry lot as well to collect tissue samples for codon 171 testing and GEBV’s. They’ll remain dry-lotted for the next two weeks before the sale.
All sale animals will have genomic enhanced EBV’s, we will submit the tissue samples in time for the August data run. Codon 171 results should be available the week of the sale. GEBV’s will be available at a later date. All sires are genotyped.
All bidding will take place online through PLAuctions.live. Animals will be available for viewing in the brown barn on the property. Sires of sale lambs can also be viewed in the barn. Brad will be available in the barns to answer any questions and help you register to bid. A smartphone or tablet with internet access will be needed to bid, but please let us know if that is not accessible to you, and you may utilize one of our computers to place bids. The sale will be racehorse style, and will officially conclude at 3:00PM, however, these sales historically run over the time by about an hour.
Our Veterinarian will be available at the conclusion of the sale to provide health papers for any out of state buyers. Animals can be taken home by winning bidders who are present at the end of the sale on July 23rd.
Remote buyers, please contact us for delivery/pick-up options. We will be traveling south to the KHSI Expo in Cookeville, Tennessee from August 4-6, and we can deliver animals on the way or they can be picked up at the Expo. Delivery to the expo is free. Local delivery may also be scheduled for a fee, just contact us to discuss. You may pick up your animals anytime from July 24 - August 3rd. We do ask that all animals are removed from our property by August 4th unless electing to have the animal brought to the KHSI expo.
Field Day and Sale Schedule of Events:
Old Slate Farm
7510 Granville Road, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
Kids welcome and encouraged to come along, but please leave your dogs at home. We will have some snacks and drinks available, but plan to pack a lunch if you are staying for the day, or head into town during our programming break. You are welcome to drop in to view animals or for any seminars that interest you, or stay for the day.
10:30-11:00 - Updates from the summer flower and vegetable field and Old Slate flower breeding projects
11:00 - Sale opens for bidding at plauctions.live
11:15-12:00 - Pasture walk and rotational grazing tours - renovating pastures and warm season cover crops.
12:45-1:30 - Herding dog demonstration
1:45-2:15 - Utilizing EBV’s for the commercial producer
3:00 - Extended bidding begins! (Racehorse style close)
'Tex' is a five year old ram we purchased from Lee Wright of Rolling Spring Farm in Virginia, after he bred ewes at Roxanne Newton's Hound River farm in Georgia. This will be our third, and likely final season using Tex, as we have retained so many fantastic daughters in our flock. His powerful phenotype shows through in his lambs, and his daughters have made excellent mothers. His EBV's are also solid across the board, save for parasite resistance, so we take care to cross him on resistant ewes. We love his muscular, masculine build and shorter stature which he stamps on his lambs, no matter the slender phenotype of the dam. His offspring have preformed well and were among the top sellers in the 2019 SWAREC Ram Test and Sale. We sent two sire prospects by Tex to this year's ram test and are hopeful they will perform and be available for sale at the end of the test. Several quality daughters by Tex will be available at our summer sale on July 23rd.
Bred by Kathy Bielek in Wooster, Ohio, 'Red' came to us by way of the Stenger Farm in West Virginia. When Roxanne Newton saw that John had placed this older ram up for sale, she called us immediately and encouraged us to go pick him up, stat! It turned out, he was one of the last known sons of 'Granite' - MOF1214, who Roxanne regarded quite highly. Red certainly hasn't disappointed. His lambs this year showed impressive growth and parasite resistance, with a lovely and consistent phenotype. In fact, we kept each and every one of his daughters last year. He is currently in the top 2% of the breed for parasite resistance, matched with his moderate growth and prolificacy, his lambs will suit our pasture-based model very well. We are excited to see his crop of 2022 lambs, he bred ewes at both our farm and another neighboring NSIP flock. Red has moved on to another flock for 2023.
'Dwight' is a 2 year old ram from Roxanne Newton's Hound River Farm in Hihira, Georgia. Hound River Katahdins are known for their excellent adaptability to pasture based operations, with breeding stock thriving around the country and even on some Caribbean islands. Dwight is no exception, his lambs are fast growing, healthy, and we are looking forward to watching them continue to develop. His EBV's are solid across the board and accurate. He's got a great, stocky phenotype that buyers love to see. We have several nice sons of Dwight consigned in our 2022 seedstock sale.
'Dale' came to us from the USDA's Dale Bumpers Small Farm's Research Center in the summer of 2021. He is a fall 2020 born ram with an excellent slate of EBV's. He is in the top 15% of the breed in all traits that we select for, WWT, MWWT, PWWT, PWFEC, NLW, and Maternal Hair Index. It's easy to see why we are excited to have him on the farm. We plan to breed Dale to a large percentage of our flock this fall. His 2022 lambs are so nice, we are parting with two special Dale daughters in our 2022 sale, and have a nice ram prospect by Dale available, too. Dale also sired one of our SWAREC Ram Test consignments, and is doing well on test. His triplet brother will remain here at Old Slate as a potential herd sire.
'Flanders' is a very nice ram from Waldo View Farm in Maine, the state where the Katahdin sheep originated! We bought Flanders to add a little maternal magic to our ewes, as he has strong maternal numbers while still keeping good parasite resistance and moderate growth. Despite his tough start to life, being born a triplet to a ewe with mastitis (who DID raise all three of her lambs!) and then trucked to Ohio, thrown in with our mature rams, and then turned out on ewes as a lamb...he still performed very well. Even though he was a little guy, our first 2022 lambs were by Flanders, and out of young ewe lambs. That is the ram power we are looking for in our flock! His lambs are consistent and very nice, and we are excited to use him again to see what else he can produce for us.
'Puck' is a really lovely ram from Misty Oaks farm in Wooster, Ohio. Kathy is known for breeding beautiful, parasite resistant sheep, and Puck is no exception. He is in the top 5% of the breed for parasite resistance while keeping his post weaning growth in the top 25%. He's a nice, correct looking red ram. His sire is from Gibraltar farm, a top notch grass-only operation in upstate New York. His 2022 lambs grew nicely, and were fiercely parasite resistant. If you are looking for better lamb survival on pasture, look no further than Puck's offspring.