Contact

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Sue Wiegrefe, Owner

Prairie Plum Farm

42443 120th Street

Mabel,  MN  55954

 

swiegrefe@sbcglobal.net

(715) 220-1183 (cell – I’m frequently out of cell range so please, leave message including possible call-back time, )

 

17 Comments

17 thoughts on “Contact

  1. We are located just north of Milwaukee and will be driving to Minneapolis on 7/8 and probably returning on 7/11. If you have any 2015 lambs or 2014 ewes still available for sale, we would like to stop by on our return trip. Please let me know if that is possible or if you no longer have Southdown/Babydolls for sale.

    My daughter and I are looking for a black ram and a black ewe in order to bring in a different family tree into our breeding pool. In addition, it would be interesting to see a more established breeding operation. We’re new and are learning. We wouldn’t be picking up the sheep on this trip, but would be willing to make the necessary deposit and get them on a return visit in a few weeks.

    Many thanks,

    Roger Stafford
    Winterhaven Sheep

    • Sorry – somehow your email ended up in limbo for a bit. Yes, I’ll be here tomorrow and have 3 2015 ewe lambs remaining and 1 from 2014 for sale. Just arranged a sale today, as a matter of fact. I love sharing what I’ve learned so far on this journey so stop by. It’s just a quick hop and jump back up to 90 at LaCrosse.

  2. Hi Sue,
    We are planning to start a small vineyard next spring – in northern MN – crazy, but we’re going to give it a go. We hear babydoll sheep are excellent for weed control (along with fertilizer)! We know nothing about sheep but would definitely like to learn. I know that we’ll need to start with at least 2 as they don’t do well without a companion. I think we’d like to start with at least one mature animal as we plan on raising a guardian dog along with the sheep and we’d like to have an adult put the pup in his place. Any advice you may give as well as potential sheep for sale would be much appreciated.

    • Hello, Becky –
      With the assistance of one or more gaurd dogs I think you can manage it. The hardiness of the grapes may be an issue. I assume you will be using U of M introductions? When I studied Fruit Science at the U a couple decades ago people were using a technique similar to what is used for tender roses called the Minnesota tip method where they buried the vines each year. Will this be for personal use or a commercial venture?

      Babydolls are among the best vineyard-keepers, but even they have issues. I planted just a few grapes this season that were not adequately protected from browsing and they ate the leaves entirely 3x in various escape events. They don’t browse the stems much so are great once the vines are established and older. My advise there is to keep the sheep at a distance for the first year or two until the growing tip is above browsing height.

      Learning to raise the sheep has been an extremely enjoyable experience. I am looking forward to adding a guard dog – likely a Polish Tatra (sp?) mix soon. Wolves have been spotted in the area – well 20 miles away, and coyotes are rampant. I’ve not lost any yet but as the number of lambs increases the possibility of inticing predators increases, too.

      I do have animals available to help you get started. Are you into fiber crafts = does color matter? Possible animals:
      Older ewes:
      Olivia – white yearling
      Rhonda – black yearling
      Younger ewes:
      April – white
      Abigail – black
      Rams:
      Abner – black
      Amos – white

      Inbreeding concerns: all black animals above have the same father. Amos and Olivia have the same mother. Possible 3 animal flock = Abner, April, and Olivia. If bred to a black ram 50% of April’s lambs will be black as her mother was black.
      The other 3 animal group would be: Amos with Rhonda and either April or Abigail.
      Also, I would understand if you wanted to start with ewes only and delay the whole breeding thing for a season while you learn the ropes – not that it is all that hard, mind you. April is a bit younger and smaller than the rest of the lamb group, so I would be less likely to breed her this first year.

      I could offer a 3-some (Ram + 2 ewes) for $1000. 2 girls for $775. 3 girls for $1100. A breediing pair with Amos $600, with Abner $625.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have additional questions…and/or want additonal photos.
      Sue

  3. Hi my name is Michael Goulet I am 14 years old and my dad said I would be able to get some baby doll sheep. I am interested in 2 black ewes and 1 black ram that is tested ‘RR” for sale. For 2016 so if you can please get back to us when ever you can. My dads number is 320-292-3936 and my number is 320-291-2280.

  4. Hi Sue,
    I am researching and planning to invest in a small herd of babydolls in the next year or two. I’m starting a flock of chickens and planting an orchard this year. I’ve read that sheep are good grazers for an orchard, is this true from your experience? I also wanted to know how quickly your lambs typically sell so I can plan accordingly. I am planning on 2-3 ewes and 1 wethered ram. Is it a good idea to start with all lambs, or have at least one mature sheep in the herd? what are your small hear prices?
    Thank you,
    Stephanie Peterson

    • Hello, Stephanie –

      I’m not sure if my reply to your first mssg got sent so I hope you don’t mind if I repeat myself here. I love both names! Thanks for posting. Yes, you are welcome to visit, but be aware I have a schedule that is sometimes hard to mesh with normal peoples’. Let me know if you are restricted to weekends and I’ll expound from there.

      Two ewes and a wether are a great start for a flock. I don’t breed or recommend my buyers breed the girls their first fall – but of course you are free to do as you wish. It sort of depends on the set-up if a mature lead animal is helpful. The one instance I can think of where “experience” would help is if they might encounter predators. Then having a mature animal may prove beneficial, but in general they operate from instinct more than learning.

      About orchards and sheep – Even with Babydolls, it is still good practice to protect your young fruit trees from having too many of their leaves and especially their bark eatten. I have a page or post on my site detailing the increased fortification I’ve installed since beginning to comingle my sheep with the trees.

      When selling multiple sheep to any one farm I reduce the price of second and subsequent animals by $25 each. In some instances I have offered group prices if it would mean a lone straggler wouldn’t be left here, but demand has been strong so I don’t anticipate needing to worry about having sheep left over. Last season I had sold all my available animals by July. Reservations sometimes start arriving in December because parents or spouses choose to give the promise of one for the holidays. Each season is different, however, so it’s hard to predict. This year an unusually large portion of the inquiries have been for rams, for instance. I do run two rams so I can even provide unrelated breeding sets, if desired , most years. The wethers are great for keeping the ram company – and they tend to be social little dudes who are fun to have around.

      How far away are you? I’m 2 miles from Iowa just north of Decorah. I hope this helps. Let me know if and how I can help.

      Sue
      715-220-1183

    • Hello, Naomi –

      Thank you for your interest in my woolly ones. I have no lambs born yet, so everything is based on probabilities at this point. Based on reservations received as of today I expect to have ewes and rams available in both black and white fleeces.
      I advise against breeding Babydoll ewes their first fall, but could provide an unrelated ram/ewe cluster. Before I can start drawing out the possible cluster composition I need to know what color(s) and traits you are most concerned about having in the mix. Another note – In any starter flock, a wether is very useful if not essential. He keeps the ram company during the months when he is separated from the ewes. In very rare situations people run their rams and ewes together all year but then need to expect lambs in February.

      The price for a cluster of 2 ewes and 1 ram is $1125. 2 ewes and 2 wether = $1025. 2 ewes + 1 ram + 1 wether = $1325.

      Let me know how you wish to proceed once you’ve digested these suggestions and consider color/trait options from the animal descriptions.

      I look forward to helping you start your new flock1

      Sue 715-220-1183

  5. If you recommend not breeding the first year then how old do you want the ram to be when he first breeds? How many different breed lines do you have? What do you charge per ewe, ram, wether. Any difficulty with birthing in this breed. What is the best use of this breed. I am looking to use to mow around my trees.

    • This is a “dual purpose” breed = both meat and fleece, but also highly prized for orchard/vineyard care. The ram can breed his first year – mature around 7 months. I ran two rams this year (white and black) and had 4 original foundation ewes – beyond this it gets complicated with which rams were used which years for second and third generations from those original ewes. Any birthing difficulties are due to management issues not breed. We can discuss further during your visit. Drive safely! Sue

  6. Hi Sue,

    I sent you an email, too, but we’re looking for lambs to start a flock. We’d likely be interested in a cluster of two ewes, an unrelated ram, and a wether. Do you still have this available? If so, what’s the next step. Thank you!

  7. I am looking to purchase a couple of fiber quality sheep. Your Banydoll/Finnsheep blend sound intriguing. I’d love to hear back from you about pricing and availability. I live in the St. Paul metro area and have a flexible schedule for pick up. I’ll look forward to hearing back from you.

    Karen

    • Hello, Karen –
      Are you adequately healed to think about sheep again? It is near time to shear the Shetland wether, Moonshadow, again. Just received back lovely combed rovings from his spring shearing.
      Almost breeding time (mid-October). Next spring I should have brown pure Finns and both black and white Finn x Doll crosses. Finn x Doll pricing (breeding stock will be registered) will be: ewes $500, rams $400, and wethers $300. I’m devoting a greater number of my flock to the hybrid line as I LOVE the fleeces. Hope things are looking up for you. Sue

  8. Sue,

    We are in the process of starting a small flock of babydoll sheep. We purchased our first pair this spring and fell in love with the breed. My daughter did her first year of showing in 4h with them and did very well. She enjoys showing them and taking them to the senior center.

    Currently we have a four year old ewe that we are leasing a ram for this fall and then a 2017 spring ewe lamb who we are not breeding until fall of 2018. I had both tested and they are codon 171 RR and negative for I believe it was called opp test.

    Hoping you can help us out. We are looking for a registered purebred babydoll 2018 spring ram lamb. Off-white in color. We may need a weather as well but this I’M not 100% sure yet. It all depends on what our matured ewe has this spring. If she has a ram then we plan on gelding him but if they are girls then we’d need a weather from you as well.

    Little more about us my husband is an agricultural teacher and FFA advisor here in Beaver Dam WI. I’m a certified veterinary technician.

    So hopefully you can help.

    Patti Ganske

    • Patti –
      There should be a number to choose from. Breeding set to start around October 18th. 5 off-white RR ewes will be bred to my RR white ram. Price will be $400. You can choose a dam/sire combination and put down a deposit or take chance and wait to see what arrives with the stork. I love waiting for the babies!!
      Sue

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