A mother of an adult with autism from Sebastopol reached out to us recently through our website’s contact page and introduced herself. She had read about our intention to start a farm at MCC and said she would be willing to donate some farm animals to help with our grass control. Who are we to refuse? She also invited us to meet her animals in Sebastopol, and she let us know that her sheep had just given birth and there were lambs to meet as well! This called for another field trip for Fiona and Susan in the name of farm research!

Sebastopol is a city in Sonoma County, about 17 miles northwest of Petaluma. Our new friend introduced us to her pigs, alpacas, sheep and lambs. She has been breeding sheep and alpacas to be small and friendly. We can confirm that her animals are indeed small and friendly, and very huggable at that!

Alpacas and sheep have a friendship made in heaven. Alpacas make wonderful guard dogs for sheep and keep predators away, while sheep comfortably coexist with alpacas around them. A neat trait about alpacas is that its hooves are softly padded, which reduces their environmental impact on the land that they graze.

Five Fun Facts About Sheep

  • Sheep mow your lawn without requiring gas or oil changes!
  • Sheep are autonomous self-driving lawn mowers. No assembly required.
  • They do not talk back and complain that you have too much grass to trim down.
  • For each acre of grass, two to four sheep are a good number to keep the grass trimmed.
  • Sheep have no top front teeth. For that reason, they do not pull up plant roots when they eat close to the ground.

We learned about the term bummers, which are lambs that have been abandoned or orphaned, and as a result are being bottle fed by humans to enable their survival. Bottle feeding lambs must be one of the most joyful activities we can think of! They wag their tails incessantly as they feed, and they doze off right after from the milk high.

On this “research” trip, we also met not-so-typical sheep dogs. They were just calm and marvelous around the sheep and lambs, as well as with the humans.

Not to be outdone by the sheep and alpacas are the pigs that also live on the farm. While we do not plan to have pigs at MCC, it is wonderful to come close to these sturdy, gentle farm animals that provide diversity to the farm ecosystem.

This was yet another wonderful opportunity for us to get to know the different breeds of sheep and alpacas, which may one day call MCC home. Having these close up experiences increases our knowledge of farm animals, and helps inform our farm planning to make Mustang Acres Farm at MCC a reality.

Do check back for more blogs and join us again on our journey.