Category Archives: Shearing

A shearing date

For nearly 15 years, our shearing date has been the Saturday of the last full weekend of January — that would be January 27th this year. Our shearing date has been carefully selected based on the seasons and the production stage of the flock — late enough in gestation to increase the birth weights of […]

Shearing and cold weather

I got a question via email the other day from a younger shepherd who has purchased some of our breeding stock in the past year. I could tell when I delivered the sheep that he is dedicated to his flock, so I wasn’t surprised at his question — he is obviously dedicated to caring for […]

Our shepherding calendar

A shepherd friend in Minnesota asked whether I’ve made a list of when we do what during the shepherding year. Over the years I have researched and studied all kinds of sheep-related things — the optimum time for breeding in our region, the best way to set up breeding for multiple lambs, the best time […]

A stunning disappointment

With only an occasional exception, our breeding rams come from our own flock. We make genetic progress each year by carrying one or more particular traits into the next generation, and then we keep only those lambs who reflect this genetic improvement. The only way to know whether a purchased ram will reflect an improvement […]

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 […]

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 […]

The final countdown

Tomorrow is a big day at Peeper Hollow Farm. Within a few short hours, we will harvest a full year’s growth of fleece from our 51 ewes: 29 Romeldales (19 adults and 10 lambs) and 22 Romneys (20 adults and 2 lambs). We’ll then haul 51 bundles of wool into the house, each weighing an […]