Category Archives: Lambing


As a longtime shepherd, I have always offered to mentor those just beginning their work with a flock. Especially at this time of year, when there is such a fine line between life and death, it’s not unusual to get a call in the middle of the night asking “Can you come and help us?” […]

Five front legs forward

Ivy tends to deliver on or just after her due date, and since she was due on Saturday, I kept careful vigil all through that day. She had scanned with three or four lambs — trips or quads — and I didn’t want to let her down if she needed me. By evening she seemed […]

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 […]

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 […]