Category Archives: Weather

Big flocks of birds

We’re at the time of year when many local birds avoid our harsh Iowa winters by flying south for fun in the sun. Those birds that overwinter will flock together and seek places that are a bit more sheltered than their usual nesting spots. Over the years, we have come to have a large flock […]

The end of breeding season 2017

In the early days, I would set a start date and an end date (sometime in early September) for our breeding season. But I’ve found over the years that the start date is much easier to determine than the finish. The eventual end date ends up being a delicate balance between getting every ewe bred […]

More on lower weight ewes

On Monday I wrote about the unusual weight loss as our ewes go into this fall’s breeding groups. Within a few hours of that posting, my vet, Rik, returned my call and we came up with an idea of what might be unfolding and also a plan of attack. I’m so lucky to have found […]

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 […]