Category Archives: Culling

Auction day

Today officially ended the 2017 lambing year for Peeper Hollow Farm. Although auction day is a necessary part of what I do, it’s a usually somewhat depressing day. There are livestock auctions all over the Midwest, and our choice of the Kalona Sales Barn in the early years of our farm was based on many […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Wool blind

When I first heard the term wool blind, I had both a bit of confusion and a series of interesting images: Shepherds who couldn’t see wool? A small hut covered in wool to use for spying on sheep? As it turns out, it is the sheep who can become wool blind. It tends to occur […]