Our Ranch

Shepherd's Lamb is produced on our family ranch in the mountains of north central New Mexico. The ranch is located about 100 miles north and slightly west of Santa Fe, at the foot of the San Juan Mountains. Our home place is at an elevation of 7900 feet.
This area of northern New Mexico, with its cool summers, high-quality forage, and relatively dry climate, is ideal for raising lambs. At one time in the early part of the last century, more lambs were shipped out of this area for market than anywhere else in the world. Shepherd's Lamb is proud to continue this tradition of raising superior-tasting lambs in the mountains of northern New Mexico.
A Family Tradition
Our family ranch in the Tierra Amarilla area originally belonged to Antonio's grandfather, Carlos, who for years ran his own band of sheep. The land was leased to local ranchers for a number of years before Antonio and Molly inherited the place. Molly also grew up in a ranching family; her father Richard was the cattle foreman for Bond and Son Cattle Company in the Valle Grande before he and his wife Vera moved their family to Chama, NM and began ranching there.
When Antonio and Molly married, Antonio owned a flock of only 30 ewes. With a lot of hard work and determination and help from their four children, they built up their small herd into a thriving business devoted to supplying their local communities with high-quality organic lamb. Today, Shepherd's Lamb's flocks numbers around 1000 ewes and their business has grown to include a line of organic yarns and wool.

A Year at The Ranch

There is never a dull moment in the life of a sheep rancher. Each season of the year brings new challenges and surprises.

Never a dull moment...

A shepherd cares for our flock with the help of several guard dogs and working dogs that live with the sheep year-round. The guard dogs help to protect the sheep from predators like coyotes, bears, other domestic dogs, and the occasional mountain lion. The working dogs help the shepherd gather and move the band and also act as watchdogs. It takes the cooperation and hard work of our whole family and our animals in each season of the ranching year to run our business successfully.

The ranch year starts in December when the ewes are bred. They graze on our winter pastures on the prairie about 30 miles west of Taos in the Carson National Forest.

By the end of April, our ewes have accumulated year's worth of wool growth and must be shorn before they have their babies. It takes a crew of 4 shearers about three days to shear the whole band. Each ewe's fleece weighs about 8-10 pounds! Once the shearing is done, thousands of pounds of raw wool must be skirted, sorted, baled, and hauled to where it will be stored until it is made into yarn.

Our ewes begin giving birth at the end of April. It takes about a month for all our ewes to lamb. During that month, we spend all our time on the range with our ewes and the new lambs.

At the beginning of June we trail the ewes and lambs about 40 miles overland from the lambing range to their summer pasture in the Carson National Forest above Canjilon Lakes. It takes about five days on horseback through the forest to get to the summer range.

Our band's summer pasture is located at 8000 ft. above sea level, surrounded by ponderosa pine, spruce and aspen. The flock and the shepherd's camp are moved to a new location weekly. This allows the ewes and lambs to have access to fresh feed at all times and ensures the long term good health of the range.

In mid-September the lamb harvest begins as the lambs become ready for market. In early October we trail our ewes and their lambs to the ranch, a move that takes about three days to complete. The lambs are weaned from their mothers and the ewes are checked for age and health. Cull ewes are separated from the flock and replacement ewes are selected from the lamb crop.

Two months later our ewes are bred and the cycle begins again.

Contact Us

Do you have questions about ordering from Shepherd's Lamb?

Want more information about Churro wool? Or do you simply want to know more about our flocks?
Give us a call or send us an email at shepherd@valornet.com. We love to talk about our products and our flock and welcome any questions you might have about Shepherd's Lamb.

Shepherd’s Lamb
P.O. Box 307
Tierra Amarilla, NM 87575
fax 575-588-9332