Category Archives: Weather

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 […]

Big day of hay

When the growing season ends, sheep generally eat hay. You can buy “Sheep Chow” in a bag at the farm stores, but honestly, nobody who is serious about keeping sheep as a business would go that route; it is very expensive and not really what sheep were meant to eat. I don’t know many sheep […]

Surprise visitors

Each summer for many years, we’ve hosted adults and children who want to meet our sheep. Children and sheep are a natural combination; children generally love animals, and sheep are gentle and can be fed graham cracker pieces without worrying about nipped fingers. Besides, we find that many of these young kids grow into teenage […]

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 […]

An escape attempt

I wrote last Friday (May 19) about our newest houseguest, Herkie the baby sparrow. When he literally dropped into my life, he was a tiny featherless creature that looked more like an itty-bitty dinosaur than a bird. Rick and I set aside a corner of our dining room as a rehabilitation area, complete with heating […]

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. […]