Category Archives: Gestation

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 […]

Hiding in plain sight

Today is the first potential day of lambing, so although I’m still skirting fleeces, my mind is turning to thoughts of new lambs. A lot of work goes into preparations for the new arrivals, and nothing is as important as the level of nutrition for each and every ewe so that she and her upcoming […]

Showing

First a note about the title of this post. Readers who are well acquainted with our farm know that we don’t show our sheep. We have developed enough of a reputation for our animals and their wool that we do not need the exposure of the show ring. Avoiding the show ring also allows us […]

More ultrasound results

As mentioned in Friday’s blog, we ultrasounded our ewes nearly one week ago, giving us an idea of the lambing season to come. This information not only allows us to feed each of the ewes according to her needs, saving us money on feed in the long run. But it also helps as each ewe […]

Hardly the end of parasites

In a typical year, once the cold weather comes to Iowa with its snow and sub-zero temperatures, we can stop worrying about internal parasites. I’ve written often this year about the problems that last summer’s hot and wet weather created in producing the “perfect storm” for these icky critters. Although we have been selecting for […]

Feeding during gestation

Probably the easiest error to make in the early years of shepherding is to provide the wrong level of nutrition to the gestating ewes. This is typically a “rookie mistake” that occurs once or twice as the shepherd learns the intricacies of gestational requirements. Unfortunately this learning curve can occur at the expense of the […]

Continued grazing and frozen water

Due to family commitments for the Thanksgiving holiday, my next blog will be posted on Wednesday, Nov. 30th, skipping Nov. 23, 25, and 28. Thanks for your understanding! Although the growing season has ended, grazing continues for the ewes at Peeper Hollow Farm. The rams were brought together in their winter paddock several weeks ago, […]

Trying to figure out Ilaina and Maisie

This is the last week of breeding season at Peeper Hollow Farm. Nearly every week through this breeding season, we have changed the crayons that the rams wear to mark the ewes when they are bred; we’ve gone through yellow, orange, red, and green over these past weeks, and are now on blue. Changing crayons […]