Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Doug & Connie made sheep their first focus of their business in 1986. As years passed, business grew and changed, but they always kept sheep apart of the main focus. Today, the Lamb Shoppe still carries the original farm store name.
Worldwide, there are over 1 billion sheep with China being the country having the most! On our farm, we have about 500 sheep on any given day.
"Ewes" are known as the adult female sheep. Ewes are very caring mothers and can recognize their babies by their call (bleat) if they wander too far away. When close, the mothers have a keen sense of smell to familiarize themselves with the babies.
In 1990, Doug & Connie started the first lamb food booth at the Minnesota State Fair named "Ewe Love It!" Over the years, the name changed to the "Lamb Shoppe" to follow the rest of the business. The booth served everything from Lamb Burgers to Sheep Dogs (gourmet lamb hotdogs) to the good-old Gyros. Doug, Connie & their family spent 28 years serving good quality food from their farm at the Minnesota State Fair.
Sheep have amazing vision giving them almost a 360 degree view, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head. Sheep have extraordinary memories. In fact, studies have shown that they can remember at least 50 individual faces for many years. They have a similar neural process and part of the brain that humans use to remember which is why they have such great memory!
In addition, sheep are known to use their ear positioning to display their emotions. They use a variety of vocalizations to communicate with each other.
Naturally, sheep are herbivores and munch on a variety of grasses and plants. They have an unique digestive system with four chambers in their stomachs to help break down their food. This is one of the many reasons why, here at the Lamb Shoppe, we provide 100% grass-fed meat. Interestingly, when sheep are ill they are known to eat specific plants to get well.
A group of sheep are called a "flock". They enjoy staying close to each other. Together, they feel safe and comfortable. If one sheep is alone, it immediately tries to get back with the rest of the flock. That is why both llamas and donkeys work so nicely as guard animals, protecting the flock from predators such as coyotes, wolves and wandering mischievous dogs. The guard animals bond with the flock and then protect their wooly friends.
It is estimated that there are over 1,000 different breeds of sheep. Each one may have a different purpose including wool production or raised for meat. Here at the Lamb Shoppe, we raise a breed called Dorset. Dorsets are gentle, smart and good mothers. The Lamb Shoppe has raised this amazing breed for over 30 years.
Ewe Love It!