Category Archives: hay

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, […]

More losses

This has been a very rough year for our sheep, particularly our lambs. Internal parasites have been terrible due to a number of factors. We had a relatively mild winter, which allowed most of the parasite eggs shed last summer to hatch out this spring (compared to the 15% that usually make it through after […]

Hand surgery

This is admittedly a slow time in the shepherding year, but there is never a good time for hand surgery. I’ve noticed over the past few years that more and more often, my hands have been going numb; they check out just when it seems I need them the most. The problem has been much […]

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 […]

A hay decision

Making hay is a pretty exact science. If the hay is cut too early, the yield from that field is less than what it could have been, reducing the output for the work invested. If the hay is cut too late, the palatability and nutritional content fade quickly, reducing its quality for animal feed. Timing […]