Category Archives: management

A feeling of satisfaction

Because of Iowa’s climate and the limited acreage that we have for our flock, our sheep must eat harvested forage in the form of hay for about six months of every year. During that time of year, I haul hundreds of pounds of hay each day, moving it from our hay storage areas to the […]

An internal parasite eradication plan

I knew when we brought in our sheep from pasture last year that I’d have to develop a plan to deal with internal parasites this spring. I didn’t know at that time exactly what we’d be facing, but after the “perfect storm” for parasites last summer, I knew that dealing with its aftermath in 2017 […]

Decisions regarding parasites

Regular readers will recall that last year was what I called “the perfect storm for parasites” when our mild winter in 2015/2016 turned into a warm and wet spring and summer in 2016, allowing the internal parasites that all sheep normally carry to bloom in our fields, infecting our sheep at never-seen-before levels. Our ewes […]

When they don’t get up

I am out among the sheep every day, doling out their feed and checking on the flock. This welfare check looks for health issues that aren’t readily apparent. As prey animals, sheep have a very strong instinct to hide their pain or illness, knowing that any displayed weakness could bring them to the attention of […]

Ram management, part 2

The previous post talked a bit about fights for ram hierarchy and that there are different leadership styles for the ram that wins. The laid-back, benevolent leadership style often results in the shepherd not knowing exactly which is the head ram and can mislead the shepherd into allowing behaviors that can cause issues within the […]

Ram management, part 1

Sheep depend on their flock for protection, hiding in plain sight among dozens or even hundreds of other sheep who, to any predator, look nearly identical. Within that blur of sheep, an individual is difficult, if not impossible, to pick out from the rest. Over the many years of observing my relatively small flock, I’ve […]