Category Archives: Nutrition

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 […]

Aging sheep

Like every other living creature, sheep age, and I’m often asked how old sheep can get. Although this seems like a simple question, like many seemingly simple things, it isn’t. When I got our first sheep, I asked the Iowa Extension Sheep Specialist how long sheep can live. He answered, “Eight years.” I commented that […]

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 […]

A coming drought?

There have been rumblings for several months that we could very well expect a drought in this region this year. I’ve heard it from old-time farmers and from meteorologists, from hay producers and amateur forecasters. When we had such a very mild winter followed by a very wet spring, I recognized this pattern as the […]

Lamb and parasite update

Our lambs were weaned over Memorial Day weekend, and it was our plan to collect pre-deworming fecal samples, then deworm them at weaning, and eventually collect post-deworming fecal samples about a week or so later, finally moving them out onto clean pasture miles from here this past weekend. In the end, it all happened except […]

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 […]

Sharing – or not

The lambs are either well past or rapidly approaching their one month birthdays. At this age, they are well into familiarity with solid feed in addition to their mothers’ milk; high quality alfalfa and a custom grain blend are always available in their creep area where the ewes cannot enter. Although the digestion of the […]

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 […]

Quaker and Qayin

In 2004, I purchased a couple of purebred Romney ewes from a flock on the East Coast as foundation animals for our purebred Romney flock. Camille was colored and her friend Celeste was white. Of the two, Camille was the bigger of the two, but Celeste was both more prolific and the one with the […]