Category Archives: management

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 […]

Wet wool

Shearing is this coming weekend, and my days are filled with advance preparations: rounding up our volunteers, setting up the clipboards for recording everything we do, planning three meals plus snacks. This and more helps create a successful harvesting of wool from our fifty ewes. I have always kept track of local weather forecasts. And […]

Wool blind

When I first heard the term wool blind, I had both a bit of confusion and a series of interesting images: Shepherds who couldn’t see wool? A small hut covered in wool to use for spying on sheep? As it turns out, it is the sheep who can become wool blind. It tends to occur […]

A cascading river

The vast majority of our ewes (thirty-seven to be exact) are currently housed in our lower paddock that abuts the Storage Barn. This setup allows the ewes access to the lean-to and the back stall in the barn. Both areas include hay feeders, and the lean-to has a series of supplement blocks: cobalt, protein, and […]

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 […]

A sweet time of year

This past weekend began that in-between period that is book-ended on one side by breeding season and at the other by the end of grazing and the eventual start of lambing. The length of this sweet period varies depending on each year’s weather and other factors, but it is most welcome when it arrives. The […]