Category Archives: breeding

The approach of breeding season

It is hard to believe, but breeding season is less than five weeks away, beginning for us this year on Saturday, September 16th. Everyone goes about setting up their breeding groups in a different way. Some shepherds will keep only one ram, and every ewe they own will go in with that one guy. They […]

Ewe pedicures

Shepherding is filled with tasks that few non-shepherds would recognize, and one of the biggest of these is the trimming of hooves. Hoof trimming isn’t required for sheep in the wild because of a perfect balance of environment and genetics: they have been selected by nature such that their normal hoof growth is easily worn […]

Hardly the end of parasites

In a typical year, once the cold weather comes to Iowa with its snow and sub-zero temperatures, we can stop worrying about internal parasites. I’ve written often this year about the problems that last summer’s hot and wet weather created in producing the “perfect storm” for these icky critters. Although we have been selecting for […]

A sweet time of year

This past weekend began that in-between period that is book-ended on one side by breeding season and at the other by the end of grazing and the eventual start of lambing. The length of this sweet period varies depending on each year’s weather and other factors, but it is most welcome when it arrives. The […]