Author Archives: Dee

Cranky Aunt Odelia

Just as with people, sheep mothers come in various flavors. Some, like Myth, are very regimented, insisting that even their newborn lambs nurse according to a schedule. Others, like our previous flock matriarch Zoe, are willing to feed any lambs — often finding a lost lamb and nudging it towards her own teats. Most fall […]

Milk fever, Tums, and sick sheep

I got a call the other day from a good friend and fellow shepherdess who had a ewe who recently delivered a large lamb and, soon after, became weak and disoriented, just lying in the straw and showing little interest in her lamb. My friend had recognized the symptoms as those of “milk fever,” more […]

The human headgate

Like any other endeavor, shepherding has its own share of equipment, some things that are fairly necessary and others that can often be worked around — and which category any one item falls into is often dependent upon the shepherd. One tool that many shepherds find useful is something called the headgate. This is a […]

A rough start to lambing

As in everyone’s life, we shepherds have experiences that don’t go the way we hope. Maybe a lamb gets pneumonia and dies, or a ewe has a particularly difficult labor. Attentive shepherds will look back over what happened, trying to glean what went wrong and how we could have achieved a better outcome. We know […]

Shearing and skirting

We sheared our ewes on Saturday, January 27th, and I’ve been working on skirting and preparing the Winter Shearing fleeces ever since. With fifty-three fleeces to skirt, this will take some time. Skirting, evaluating, and photographing the fleeces is the final step in our year-long production of top-quality wool, and I honestly would have trouble […]