Category Archives: Coating

Melt and mush, wet and mud

As one would expect, the shepherding world is heavily intertwined with the seasons and the weather. The sheep graze when the weather is warm and grass grows, and they eat hay when the cold temperatures hit and the fields and vegetation go dormant. Breeding season is situated to avoid the heat of the summer and […]

Parasite control and sheep in Iowa’s cold

Regular readers might recall that the summer of 2016 was an unusual one for the bloom of parasites in our region: weather conditions were perfect for the dramatic rise of internal parasite larvae in our pastures which resulted in illness and death in many of our youngest flock members. We initiated a plan to reduce […]

Shearing and cold weather

I got a question via email the other day from a younger shepherd who has purchased some of our breeding stock in the past year. I could tell when I delivered the sheep that he is dedicated to his flock, so I wasn’t surprised at his question — he is obviously dedicated to caring for […]

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 […]

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 […]

An unexpected slip

Keeping sheep is not generally considered to be a very dangerous activity. Of course, as with anything else, I’m aware of the possible dangers and keep my wits about me as I do my daily chores. Rams are in their breeding groups now, and so they’re particularly protective of their girls. When I enter any […]