Category Archives: hay

The human headgate

Like any other endeavor, shepherding has its own share of equipment, some things that are fairly necessary and others that can often be worked around — and which category any one item falls into is often dependent upon the shepherd. One tool that many shepherds find useful is something called the headgate. This is a […]

Shearing and skirting

We sheared our ewes on Saturday, January 27th, and I’ve been working on skirting and preparing the Winter Shearing fleeces ever since. With fifty-three fleeces to skirt, this will take some time. Skirting, evaluating, and photographing the fleeces is the final step in our year-long production of top-quality wool, and I honestly would have trouble […]

Feeding our ewes

Because we were gone for a total of about three of the past six weeks, we’re on a rather unusual-for-us feeding schedule right now, with late-day feeding. Although our sheep have been used to getting their daily ration in the late afternoon or early evening, our farm-sitters had to feed at the tail end of […]

A new chapter

Regular readers might have noticed that, although I have historically been as predictable as the sunset with my blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’ve recently been a bit forgetful, sometimes posting late and other times missing the post entirely. There’s a  reason for that, which until now I haven’t been ready to share. I […]

The high-nutrition group and feeding grain

Immediately after breeding, we put a number of ewes into a high-nutrition group, without having any idea of how many lambs they carried — or whether they were even bred. I based my decision on what I saw and on the history of each ewe. Those ewes who looked and felt thin were put into […]

Shearing and cold weather

I got a question via email the other day from a younger shepherd who has purchased some of our breeding stock in the past year. I could tell when I delivered the sheep that he is dedicated to his flock, so I wasn’t surprised at his question — he is obviously dedicated to caring for […]

Unforgotten trauma

This is a big week, since we’ll be putting our breeding groups together on Saturday. In anticipation of the work involved, this entire week has been all about getting the sheep and equipment ready. I’ve checked out all of the marking harnesses and crayons, moved the rams into their winter lodgings, cleaned out all of […]

Big day of hay

When the growing season ends, sheep generally eat hay. You can buy “Sheep Chow” in a bag at the farm stores, but honestly, nobody who is serious about keeping sheep as a business would go that route; it is very expensive and not really what sheep were meant to eat. I don’t know many sheep […]

They’re out and free to graze!

It’s been a long spring for both the flock and for me. Rather than turning them out to graze in the early spring and rotating them through our many pastures through this entire growing season as in a typical year, we made the decision months ago to allow only the lambs and their mothers to […]