The Honey Run Flock
Out of all the activities and amenities at The Inn at Honey Run, guests are always especially curious about our sheep. We’ll admit that it’s maybe a bit unconventional for a boutique hotel to keep a flock of sheep, but we can explain: with 56 acres of property in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country, these fluffy friends fit right in. Their barn is a favorite stop on our walking trails, and they appreciate visitors just about any time of day. Here’s the full story on the Honey Run flock. If you have any questions about or photos of our sheep, share them with us on Facebook or Instagram!
How it all began…
Animals have been a part of The Inn at Honey Run since we opened in the 1980s — after all, we’re surrounded by farms. The founding owners kept sheep, goats, and cats on the property. When Jason took over in 2009, he was greeted by one sheep and two goats. Though the goats are no longer with us, that original sheep hasn’t gone anywhere. Aptly named “Baa Baa,” she’s easy to spot as one of the black-faced ewes in the flock. The other black-faced sheep are her lambs.
Jason began to grow the flock in the fall of 2013. Longtime guests Sam and Diane, who had moved into their dream retirement home just on the other side of the hill, helped set the plans in motion. They keep sheep of their own and offered guidance and experience. Sam and Diane’s number one tip? Raise Tunis sheep.
Not just any sheep. Tunis sheep.
We’re glad we took Sam and Diane’s advice — our Tunis sheep are fantastic. They get their name from Tunisia in northern Africa, where the breed originated. That background means they’re more accustomed to heat than others. While other sheep slow down in the midsummer heat, Tunis sheep are as friendly and energetic as ever.
Tunis sheep can be raised for both meat and wool, though we wouldn’t ever think of eating ours. The Honey Run sheep are our friends, not our food, and besides, they have a special role beyond just mingling with visitors.
Who takes care of the flock?
One of our partners, Linda, comes to us from Brown Family Tunis, an Amish Country sheep farm just down the road. Linda has been mentoring the rest of us with lessons on how to properly feed the sheep and take care of them. Jason has been known to venture out to the barn for a midnight feeding of our new lambs, and we all get the chance to enjoy their company from time to time.
Lights, camera, sheep. It’s show time.
When our Tunis sheep aren’t grazing in their pasture at Honey Run or napping in their new barn, they’re showing off on the runway (hayway?) at major livestock competitions across the United States. That’s right — Honey Run sheep are top-notch show sheep. Paulina, now best known as the mother of our new lamb Annie, is enjoying a comfortable retirement to Honey Run after putting Brown Family Tunis on the map as a two-time Reserve National Champion Ewe at the Indiana State Fair and Keystone Livestock Expo.
What about the wool?
The creamy white color of Tunis sheep wool is popular for making rugs and carpets, and it blends well with other animal fabrics like alpaca wool. You’ll notice that our lambs are a darker color: they’re born with a mahogany coat that lightens as they grow up, but their heads and legs keep a dark cinnamon shade.