Welcome to Solace Farm

I am blessed to be a farmer and a shepherdess who shares my life with three generations here in the Pacific Northwest.  My days are filled with caring for my family, land and animals. Over the years I have been mentored by many knowledgeable and creative individuals and feel it is only right that I share the wisdom and skills that my life has grown around. 

My goal is to pass along my experiences in the hopes of brightening your day, encouraging your creativity, and possibly saving the lost arts of living a self-sufficient life in harmony with our world. 

I will cover many topics including Farming, Cooking, Gardening and the Fiber Arts to name a just a few. 

The products of our farm will be listed in our Farm Store and I hope to eventually to be able to put together some tutorials. 

Thank you for stopping by and spending a moment or two with me.

Selenium and Lamb Growth

Increased Selenium Dosage Boosts Growth and Immunity in Lambs

In a new study published in the Journal of Animal Science, Oregon State University (OSU) researchers show that maximum selenium levels permitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be too low for sheep to reach optimum growth and health.

Selenium is essential for cellular function in animals and aids development. Large selenium doses can be toxic, but too-low levels can impair growth and compromise the immune system.

“When sheep don’t grow to their potential or have weak immune systems, it can be a sign of insufficient selenium,” said Gerd Bobe, co-author of the study and an OSU professor. “Our research shows higher levels of selenium can result in healthier animals that grow bigger and that can improve returns at the marketplace for farmers and ranchers.”

A challenge is that the range between selenium deficiency and selenium toxicity can be narrow; current FDA regulations limit the amount of dietary selenium supplementation for animals grazing on selenium-scare soils to 0.7 mg per sheep per day or 3 mg per beef cattle per day.

In OSU’s experiments, pregnant ewes were given selenium doses up to five-times higher than the FDA’s allowed level – an amount of supplementation researchers determined to be not harmful to sheep. The element is carried into the bodies of offspring, helping young animals during development.

At the highest selenium doses, ewes gave birth to lambs that grew to be 4.3-pounds heavier than average after 60 days. Furthermore, survival was 15-percent higher in lambs receiving the highest amount of organic selenium supplementation. As farmers look to sell sheep at five to six months old, weight and health metrics are keys to profitability.

A new generation of OSU research is attempting to determine how much selenium and in what form is best for optimal growth and health of sheep and cattle.

Finnsheep for the Farmstead

– Finnsheep mature earlier than most other breeds

– Finnsheep ewes naturally cycle out of season

– Finnsheep ewes naturally produce larger litters (2-3/litter) than competitive breeds

without flushing for increased ovulation rates.

– Quality Finnsheep possess better wool traits than other breeds known for high

reproductive abilities allowing farmers to shear a premium, saleable wool clip.

– The single coated Finnsheep fleece possesses better crimp, luster and handle than all

other short-tailed breeds, allowing a much more diverse use of the wool by a larger

variety of markets.

– The docile, friendly temperament of the Finnsheep makes them one of the easiest

sheep breeds to safely work with (children, adults and seniors).

– The Finnsheep is a polled breed, providing additional safety for handlers, preventing

the sheep from getting their horns stuck in fencing and eliminating the risk of

infections or infestations of the horn.

– The naturally short tails of the Finnsheep require no docking

– The Finnsheep crosses well with most other breeds, improving wool, temperament

and production traits in the cross-bred flock

– Scrapie resistant genetics are available within the Finnsheep breed.

– Finnsheep ewes possess excellent mothering abilities

– Finnsheep ewes receiving proper nutrition produce an abundant supply of milk for

typical Finnsheep litters (2-3 lambs/litter).

– Finnsheep meats are leaner as Finnsheep deposit fat around their organs, not

throughout their muscle tissue, providing a healthier meat for the consumer.

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