Tag Archives: Ivy


As a longtime shepherd, I have always offered to mentor those just beginning their work with a flock. Especially at this time of year, when there is such a fine line between life and death, it’s not unusual to get a call in the middle of the night asking “Can you come and help us?” […]

Five front legs forward

Ivy tends to deliver on or just after her due date, and since she was due on Saturday, I kept careful vigil all through that day. She had scanned with three or four lambs — trips or quads — and I didn’t want to let her down if she needed me. By evening she seemed […]

More ultrasound results

As mentioned in Friday’s blog, we ultrasounded our ewes nearly one week ago, giving us an idea of the lambing season to come. This information not only allows us to feed each of the ewes according to her needs, saving us money on feed in the long run. But it also helps as each ewe […]

Hardly the end of parasites

In a typical year, once the cold weather comes to Iowa with its snow and sub-zero temperatures, we can stop worrying about internal parasites. I’ve written often this year about the problems that last summer’s hot and wet weather created in producing the “perfect storm” for these icky critters. Although we have been selecting for […]

Lambing statistics

This year’s lambing ended this past Saturday, and as part of the cleanup, I always compile statistics to give us a picture of the results. This year, for a variety of reasons (including cancer in one of our primary rams and two groups assigned to ram lambs who proved too immature to breed), we had […]

Nutrition during gestation: avoiding pregnancy toxemia

Nutrition is critical for any sheep flock, and even more so when the ewes are bred — particularly during the last trimester, when the unborn lambs gain about 70% of their growth. At this time nutrition can become a matter of life or death for both the ewe and the lambs she carries. The next […]