They say that chickens are the gateway drug to homesteading, or maybe it's just my husband, Naveed, who says it. Anyway, one thing led to another and now we are a fully grown farm with a passion for everything from gardening to honeybees to our wonderfully wooly sheep!
It started off, of course, with a few chickens. Those chickens soon turned into more than 60 as we kept wanting to try out new breeds, from Easter eggers to Silkies to the elegant Asils that reminded us of our home country. How could we resist?!
Having set up a garden, we naturally progressed, as one does, to honeybees. Anyone who has ever tried starting an apiary will tell you it takes a few years of losses (bees and in the bank) to get honeybees right. And it took us several, but we remained at it, and by year 4 we finally had enough to start selling...mostly to family members.
Sheep was my own personal interest, as I had an ever-growing desire to move away from synthetic fiber. After visiting a few farms and countless hours researching different breeds, it was the unpredictability of fate that led us to Hope Yankey and to the Coopworth breed. Gorgeous and shiny white locks that dye beautifully and a breed that gives back an ample supply of meat with a delicate, mild flavor, this was the breed that we were looking for.
We are thankful each day to be blessed with the beauty of nature that surrounds us. Every creature, big and small, and even the land itself has much to teach us. We strive to follow the principles of permaculture, in both gardening and raising animals, taking care of the land so that the creatures that live on it are taken care of as well.
Our mission at Malik Family Farm is to preserve the standards of the breed just as Jonathan May and Hope and Bev Yankey did before us. Strict adherence to the New Zealand CSSNZ Coopworth breed criteria has been maintained for all 40+ years. The Maymont / Wild ’n’ Woolly Coopworth sheep were bred for lambing percentages >200%; easy and unassisted lambing; excellent mothering; strong-willed, get-up-and-go lambs; hardiness and worm/dag resistance; easily handled, docile temperaments; and exceptionally white, lustrous, 6-10” long-stapled, 8-20+ lbs. heavily-fleeced, 35-39 micron, well-defined, soft and even crimped wool. We purchased our first Coopworth ewes and lambs from Hope and Bev Yankey in 2018 and have since purchased or leased rams from them. We now own and manage all highly selected ewes and rams maintained by Wild ’n’ Woolly (now Wilding Woolly Farm) for excellence in breed character and performance. These sheep retain the stocky, deeply bodied, black-tipped noses, and black hooves of the foundation New Zealand Coopworth Sheep of the 1960’s and 1970’s.