Category Archives: Gestation

Ultrasounds

We ultrasound our ewes each December in order to learn the number of fetuses and their approximate gestational age. The cost of the procedure is far outweighed by the savings in feed costs (since we feed each ewe according to her gestational needs), so ultrasounding provides information regarding the lambing season to come as well […]

The fallout from a crazy weekend

My life has been incredibly busy of late — which explains the recent absence of blog postings. I suddenly sat up in bed late last night, realizing that although I thought I had been almost keeping up with my to-do list, I had totally forgotten to post blogs on Monday and Wednesday. Rick and I […]

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 […]

More on lower weight ewes

On Monday I wrote about the unusual weight loss as our ewes go into this fall’s breeding groups. Within a few hours of that posting, my vet, Rik, returned my call and we came up with an idea of what might be unfolding and also a plan of attack. I’m so lucky to have found […]

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 […]

Low birth weight lambs

In the shepherding world, not all lambs are created equal. When we first started our flock, our newborn lambs weighed an average of about eight pounds, with as many above that weight as below. As I began my shepherding journey, collecting data as we went, I soon realized that those lambs who weighed less than […]