Showcase Project 'Alpine Lamb' on the Hauser Kaibling
EU-Leader Project "Enns Valley-Lamb"
The driving of more than 900 sheep up to the Hauser Kaibling, the Sheep and Goat Farming Association together with the Hauser Kaibling Ski Lift Association have set a new course regarding landscape maintenance:
- Systematic grazing on the Alpine pastures and ski-run areas
- Scientific support by the LFZ Raumberg-Gumpenstein
- Benefits for tourism
- Professional marketing
Sheep farming in Austria and naturally also in the district of Liezen, has had a long tradition. Due to a reduction of agricultural businesses because of constantly increasing costs and a shortage of labour, also the Alpine pastures have been farmed decreasingly. This sooner or later will contribute to the fact that the Alpine pastures become overgrown: dwarf-shrubs and shrubbery, as well as trees grow. The climate warming also contributes in its way - the forest line unstoppably moves upwards.
To counter this development, the Styrian Sheep Farming Association together with various partners, such as Haus im Ennstal, the Hauser Kaibling Ski Lifts, the LFZ Raumberg-Gumpenstein (agricultural school), as well as the regional agriculture authority in Stainach, created the Alpine Lamb Project on the Hauser Kaibling in the year 2008.
Between the beginning of and mid May, the sheep are driven up to the Hauser Kaibling, where they spend their summer. For the shepherd or sheperdess - it is their task to look after the about 800 sheep and lambs for the entire season - preparations start at the beginning of May. The sheep are registered, weighed, wormed, and they undergo a routine health check. The body weight of all the sheep together is about 40.000 kg. During the 120 days of grazing on the Alpine pastures of the Hauser Kaibling, the flock eats more than 1 million kg of grass, Alpine herbs, and leaves from the shrubbery. "The flock significantly contributes to the maintenance of our cultured landscape", sais Arthur Moser, managing director of the Hauser Kaibling Gondola Lift.
"Health resort" Hauser Kaibling
Aside from the fact that the sheep are very comfortable up on the Alpine pastures (it is like a health resort for them!), the variety of the feed offers the best conditions for the production of high quality Alpine lambs which are subsequently marketed via the Ennstal valley Sheep Farming Centre.
Ecological „ski run maintenance“
Not only the Alpine pastures are for grazing, but also all the ski run areas of the Hauser Kaibling. This way, the sheep provide for a very ecological 'ski run maintenance" - the use of heavy vehicles and equipment can be reduced significantly. On the part of the LFZ Raumberg-Gumpenstein, this flock is scientifically supported and accompanied when it is about questions regarding the effects of grazing on the plant population as well as the animal product (weight gain, meet quality).
Sheperdess at Hauser Kaibling
The 24-year-old Evelyn Zarfl will look after about 800 sheep and lambs during the entire summer season. She already looks forward to the 9th Styrian Alpine Lamb Festival. Photo: Martin Huber
9th Styrian Alpine Lamb Festival
The project is topped off with the unique annual Styrian Alpine Lamb Festival on the last Sunday in July (31st of July 2016). Von Martin Huber
In the summer of 2016, the 9th edition of this festival will take place, at the base station of Hauser Kaibling. This summer highlight has a varied programme for the whole family in store. The visitors will await culinary treats from the Ennstal valley lamb. The entrance is free of charge!
The varied program has the perfect offer for every single visitor. With the slogan "Experience the sheep" guests will be spoiled with culinary delights from the unique and high-quality "Ennstal Lamb". Guests and locals will enjoy a extensive and funny family festival with various attractions.
- 09.30 am: Ecumenical sermon
- 10.00 am: Official opening with the "Marktmusikkapelle Haus im Ennstal"
- 12.00 am: Various delicacy around the lamb will be presented
- from 01.00 pm: Musical entertainment with "Wetterloch Blos", marquee, culinary art, raffle, ...
- Special children activities will await our youngest visitors: pony rides, bouncing castle, face painting, handicrafts
In summer, the Hauser Kaibling is a real hiker’s paradise as shows the Schafsinn-round trail with its particular signposting and sheep-box at the Hauser Kaibling tower area. Along the trail, there is a lot of information about the EU-leader-project Enns valley lamb. Also, you have a marvellous view over the entire Enns valley and you will meet a flock of sheep with about 800 sheep and lambs and their shepherdess. This sustainable project is not only the basis for the happy Enns valley sheep in summer, but also an impulse for ecological, regional, and valuable products and healthy foods.
Highlights "Styrian Alpine Lamb Festival 2016":
- Children’s activities (pony rides, bouncing castle, face painting, handicrafts)
Exhibitors: presentation of various sheep products
Culinary highlights: enjoy delicacies around the lamb and regional specialties of our "Ennstaler" farmers
Presentation of various styrian wines
Raffle with valuable non-cash prizes eg Ski amadé season pass 2016/17
"Shepherd watching" – experience the shepherdess and her flock
... and much more!