Category Archives: Parasites

Buried in grass

Because of last year’s heavy parasite season, this year we kept our sheep off of most of our fields until about July 1. Of course, those fields didn’t stop growing simply because there were no animals to graze them. Keeping up with spring growth isn’t easy even in a normal year, and this year I’m […]

They’re out and free to graze!

It’s been a long spring for both the flock and for me. Rather than turning them out to graze in the early spring and rotating them through our many pastures through this entire growing season as in a typical year, we made the decision months ago to allow only the lambs and their mothers to […]

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 […]

More considerations regarding parasites

In the last blog, I outlined some of the options I’ve been considering regarding last year’s heavy parasite load as it now begins to impact this year. Because of our recent mild winter, I know the parasite loads in our fields will be heavy, and need to decide on a plan of attack moving forward. […]

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 […]