Category Archives: flock additions

A stunning disappointment

With only an occasional exception, our breeding rams come from our own flock. We make genetic progress each year by carrying one or more particular traits into the next generation, and then we keep only those lambs who reflect this genetic improvement. The only way to know whether a purchased ram will reflect an improvement […]

Making choices

We have now finally evaluated every one of our new lambs at least once this spring, meaning that each one has been caught, weighed, and looked over for a series of sixteen physical traits and four fleece traits. After so many years of monitoring, one would think that we would no longer see mouths where […]

Quaker and Qayin

In 2004, I purchased a couple of purebred Romney ewes from a flock on the East Coast as foundation animals for our purebred Romney flock. Camille was colored and her friend Celeste was white. Of the two, Camille was the bigger of the two, but Celeste was both more prolific and the one with the […]

Ram management, part 2

The previous post talked a bit about fights for ram hierarchy and that there are different leadership styles for the ram that wins. The laid-back, benevolent leadership style often results in the shepherd not knowing exactly which is the head ram and can mislead the shepherd into allowing behaviors that can cause issues within the […]

Ram management, part 1

Sheep depend on their flock for protection, hiding in plain sight among dozens or even hundreds of other sheep who, to any predator, look nearly identical. Within that blur of sheep, an individual is difficult, if not impossible, to pick out from the rest. Over the many years of observing my relatively small flock, I’ve […]

The final countdown

Tomorrow is a big day at Peeper Hollow Farm. Within a few short hours, we will harvest a full year’s growth of fleece from our 51 ewes: 29 Romeldales (19 adults and 10 lambs) and 22 Romneys (20 adults and 2 lambs). We’ll then haul 51 bundles of wool into the house, each weighing an […]

Surprising peacemakers

Ewes are usually gentle creatures with little interest in fighting unless they’re protecting young lambs or find themselves cornered with no other option. Unlike rams, bringing a new ewe into an existing group is simple. Within a relatively short time after adding the new member into the space, they¬† become a seamless part of the […]

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 […]

The Chicken War

On Friday, October 21, I wrote about our neighborhood fox taking off with nearly half of my chicken flock, leaving one hen injured. All the remaining chickens were quite traumatized and had essentially stopped laying eggs. They were rightfully fearful, since four of the ten original hens had become fox dinner. Every visit to the […]