Tag Archives: breeding

Selection and sheep

An online dictionary defines selection as “carefully choosing something as being the best or most suitable.” When it comes to sheep, there are many factors that go into the process and, in one way or another, some sheep are going to be selected for or against. A shepherd can’t avoid selection; the question is who […]

Color changes and rams

Since we are in the midst of breeding season, every weekend typically brings a new crayon color to our marking harnesses. The recommendation is to change color every cycle or 2-3 weeks, but we’ve found over the years that this doesn’t work well for us for several reasons: 1) the crayon is often very nearly […]

One marking, two markings, red markings, blue markings…

So if I am honest, the title perhaps overstates the current marking situation of our breeding season since we have only gone through two different crayon colors at this point: yellow and orange. Yet things are looking up, with more markings in our groups every day. Regular readers might recall that we got a very […]

An unexpected slip

Keeping sheep is not generally considered to be a very dangerous activity. Of course, as with anything else, I’m aware of the possible dangers and keep my wits about me as I do my daily chores. Rams are in their breeding groups now, and so they’re particularly protective of their girls. When I enter any […]

No markings plus unusual weight loss equals what?

Breeding season began for us this past Saturday. By 5 p.m. each of our ewes had been matched up with the appropriate ram, and each group was given a space where they will stay for the next six to seven weeks. This year we had six people (two teens and four adults) working to get […]

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 […]

Keeping enough rams

Not all farms keep a ram — and even fewer keep multiple rams. With breeding season coming in only a few weeks, however, those of us with rams have shifted our focus from the gals to the guys in our flocks. Here at Peeper Hollow Farm, we tend to keep 10 to 15 rams, which […]