Trial & Error Acres

About the Farm

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     Trial & Error Acres is located in central Maryland, about an hour from Baltimore and Washington, DC.  The farm consists of twenty acres of gently rolling pasture land in the foothills of the Piedmont Plateau.  Sheep first came to the farm in 1992, and the sheep's sole purpose at that time was to assist in the training of my Border Collies for sheepdog trials.  I purchased Barbados sheep (a hair sheep breed) for the dog training work, as hair sheep have more endurance and heat tolerance than do the wool breeds of sheep.  However, I soon discovered that I really enjoyed having sheep, and that I wanted to have sheep for more than just dog training.  In 1993, Trial & Error Acres became the home to a small flock of Border Leicester sheep, raised primarily for their luxurious fleeces.  During the next few years, the sheep population grew to include Border Leicesters, Border Cheviots, and Barbados, producing quality purebreds of each breed.

    My first exposure to Bluefaced Leicester sheep was in 1992 at the Virginia farm of Frank Baylis.  Frank was one of the only BFL breeders in the US at that time, and his Bayshore bloodlines can be found in the pedigrees of many of our BFLs.  When I first saw Frank’s Bluefaced Leicesters, I was totally impressed by their regal appearance.  These beautiful sheep had clearly captured my attention, but unfortunately, I was not able to purchase a breeding pair from Frank at that time (they were a bit out of my price range).  After my introduction to this unique breed at the Baylis farm, I hoped that one day I would be able to produce Bluefaced Leicesters.  However, I purchased Border Leicester sheep instead, and started a Border Leicester breeding program.  In 1999, I purchased two Bluefaced Leicester rams from Brenda Lelli's Beechtree Farm to cross on my Border Leicester ewes.  In 2000, I was able to purchase several BFL ewes and additional BFL rams.  Gradually, more Bluefaced Leicesters were added to the flock, and the Border Leicesters were sold.  In the past few years, I have embarked on a breeding program to produce quality purebred Bluefaced Leicesters, and currently, Trial & Error Acres is the home to a large flock of purebred BFLs.  I will continue to improve the quality of my purebred flock by purchasing top quality rams and utilizing semen imported from the United Kingdom.  My goal is to always strive to produce better Bluefaced Leicesters and not simply to produce more Bluefaced Leicesters. 

     The goal at Trial & Error Acres is to produce sheep which are top quality representatives of their breed.  Additionally, flock health has always been a concern, and I strive to maintain a flock as free of disease as possible.  The flock at Trial & Error Acres has achieved Certified Scrapie Free status in the Scrapie Flock Certification Program (SFCP) and has been tested annually for Ovine Progressive Pneumonia (OPP).  Fortunately, the flock's health problems have been few, and the OPP tests have always been negative.

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This site was last updated 01/17/10