Category Archives: breeding

Our shepherding calendar

A shepherd friend in Minnesota asked whether I’ve made a list of when we do what during the shepherding year. Over the years I have researched and studied all kinds of sheep-related things — the optimum time for breeding in our region, the best way to set up breeding for multiple lambs, the best time […]

The end of breeding season 2017

In the early days, I would set a start date and an end date (sometime in early September) for our breeding season. But I’ve found over the years that the start date is much easier to determine than the finish. The eventual end date ends up being a delicate balance between getting every ewe bred […]

Breeding rams and temperament

One would think that determining the temperament of a ram would be a relatively easy thing, but as regular readers know, most issues surrounding sheep end up being more complicated than they might seem! Ram temperament is one of those things. First, as with people, temperament can change with age and life experience. Unlike with […]

Selection and sheep

An online dictionary defines selection as “carefully choosing something as being the best or most suitable.” When it comes to sheep, there are many factors that go into the process and, in one way or another, some sheep are going to be selected for or against. A shepherd can’t avoid selection; the question is who […]

A distinct red glow

One of the exciting parts of feeding at this time of year is scanning the flock and finding the ewes that have been marked by the ram in the previous 24 hours. Red is the color this week, and I can’t help but imagine the coming lambs when I spy a new red marking on […]

Color changes and rams

Since we are in the midst of breeding season, every weekend typically brings a new crayon color to our marking harnesses. The recommendation is to change color every cycle or 2-3 weeks, but we’ve found over the years that this doesn’t work well for us for several reasons: 1) the crayon is often very nearly […]

One marking, two markings, red markings, blue markings…

So if I am honest, the title perhaps overstates the current marking situation of our breeding season since we have only gone through two different crayon colors at this point: yellow and orange. Yet things are looking up, with more markings in our groups every day. Regular readers might recall that we got a very […]

A May-December romance

I am an observer of life. I enjoy seeing the world in action and understanding how and why things occur as they do. This has been a big help in my work with the sheep, since the only way to keep sheep healthy is to observe symptoms and treat accordingly. Also, my drive to make […]