Category Archives: breeding

Of ultrasounds and due dates

For most of our shepherding years, we’ve had our ewes ultrasounded after breeding. When I first heard of ultrasounds for sheep, I thought back to my pregnancy ultrasounds, which were rather expensive. I was fairly certain that we couldn’t afford to do the same for our sheep — and have it done on our farm, […]

Another question — this one about breeding

The other day I answered a question from a young shepherd about shearing in cold weather, and afterwards he had an additional question on an uncommon but not unheard-of situation regarding ultrasounding. Three of his ewes came up open in the scan, so he decided to put them back in with one of his rams […]

Ultrasounds

We ultrasound our ewes each December in order to learn the number of fetuses and their approximate gestational age. The cost of the procedure is far outweighed by the savings in feed costs (since we feed each ewe according to her gestational needs), so ultrasounding provides information regarding the lambing season to come as well […]

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 […]