Category Archives: Gestation

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 […]

Parasites

I have mentioned many times recently that our sheep have been fighting quite a load of parasites because of this year’s weather. I am sure that people who don’t have experience with sheep are thinking something like, “Why don’t you just kill them off?” Well, to understand why this is the case, you need to […]

The beginning of lambing

For those of you a bit confused by the title, no, it’s not the beginning of lambing here at Peeper Hollow Farm! Not yet, anyway. But our breeding groups have been together for more than four weeks, now — well past the halfway point of our six-week breeding season — so we can now see […]

Calculating hay

A farm’s hay quota must be calculated long before the feed is needed. In the early years — with only three sheep — we didn’t use much hay, so locating enough and getting it into our barn was not a big issue . We could just make arrangements in fall. Now with one hundred sheep […]