Sunset Rock Farm was established in 2012 on what had been part of the Manchester Farm. Our original 2 goats (Kiera and Nala) were obtained to co-graze with our horses. We soon discovered how delicious goat milk is and how much fun it is to make cheese and goat milk soap! Our herd quickly grew and we now have slightly over 30 adult females.
Our ladies live in a state-of-the-art barn that was completed in 2015. Correctly siting the new barn was critical to capture the sun's energy with our solar PV panels. We have automatic heated livestock waterers, which reduces our water waste by approximately 40-50 gallons a day and ensures that our does have clean, warm water to drink, even on the coldest of nights. The milking does have 24/7 access to the outside and have a sunny, south-facing porch area to loaf in. Weather permitting, we like to take the herd out to graze on our 50+ acres of mixed woodlands.
We are not organic (we follow our vet's prudent advice) but we utilize all-natural and herbal supplements to keep our herd healthy. Our Maremma Sheepdogs, George and Sunny, protect our livestock from predators. We use an integrated pest management system on our farm which includes free-ranging ducks and chickens, fly eliminators (parasitic wasps), and barn cats.
Whenever possible, we buy our feed and supplies from local companies. We feed Poulin Grain from White's Dairy Supply in Hartland, VT. Our hay is locally sourced from Brookside Farm in Wilder, VT and Eastman Enterprises in Quechee, VT. We use pine shaving bedding from Durgin and Crowell Lumber Mill in Springfield, NH.
We try to eliminate waste in every way that we can. Whey left over from cheesemaking is used by the Stewart Farm in Enfield, NH as supplemental feed for their pigs. Composted manure is used in our garden and by Gnarlwood Farm in Lempster, NH. Leftover holiday trees from Nichols Tree Farm in Lyme, NH provide a nice mid-winter treat for the goats to eat.