Author Archives: Dee

No markings plus unusual weight loss equals what?

Breeding season began for us this past Saturday. By 5 p.m., all of our ewes had been matched up with the appropriate rams and each group was given a space where they will stay for the next six to seven weeks. This year, we had six people working to get the groups in place (two […]

Unforgotten trauma

This is a big week, since we’ll be putting our breeding groups together on Saturday. In anticipation of the work involved, this entire week has been all about getting the sheep and equipment ready. I’ve checked out all of the marking harnesses and crayons, moved the rams into their winter lodgings, cleaned out all of […]

Head counts

One of the major responsibilities of any shepherd is the well-being of their flock. When a flock is small — say a half-dozen ewes — this is a relatively easy thing to accomplish. The shepherd calls the flock over with a tasty treat or finds a good vantage point from which to view the sheep […]

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival

I will be playing hooky this weekend by taking two and a half days off from shepherding as I enjoy the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, Wisconsin. This is an annual event that combines pretty much everything that has to do with sheep, wool, and fiber — including herding dog trials, a big […]

Aging sheep

Like every other living creature, sheep age, and I’m often asked how old sheep can get. Although this seems like a simple question, like many seemingly simple things, it isn’t. When I got our first sheep, I asked the Iowa Extension Sheep Specialist how long sheep can live. He answered, “Eight years.” I commented that […]

Mice in the chicken coop

Our chicken coop is a small building with an interior floor about eight feet on each side and about a five foot wide double door at the back that allows me entry and makes cleaning out the bedding easier. The chickens enter and exit through two small doors at the opposite side, allowing me to […]

Keeping enough rams

Not all farms keep a ram — and even fewer keep multiple rams. With breeding season coming in only a few weeks, however, those of us with rams have shifted our focus from the gals to the guys in our flocks. Here at Peeper Hollow Farm, we tend to keep 10 to 15 rams, which […]