Category Archives: genetics

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 […]

Aging sheep

Like every other living creature, sheep age, and I’m often asked how old sheep can get. Although this seems like a simple question, like many seemingly simple things, it isn’t. When I got our first sheep, I asked the Iowa Extension Sheep Specialist how long sheep can live. He answered, “Eight years.” I commented that […]

Mice in the chicken coop

Our chicken coop is a small building with an interior floor about eight feet on each side and about a five foot wide double door at the back that allows me entry and makes cleaning out the bedding easier. The chickens enter and exit through two small doors at the opposite side, allowing me to […]

Keeping enough rams

Not all farms keep a ram — and even fewer keep multiple rams. With breeding season coming in only a few weeks, however, those of us with rams have shifted our focus from the gals to the guys in our flocks. Here at Peeper Hollow Farm, we tend to keep 10 to 15 rams, which […]

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 […]