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A Shepherd’s Cabinet

When I think about the first time we brought sheep to our farm, I have to laugh. We had no fence and only a small three sided shelter for them. We bought some used portable flexible netting to contain them until we could put up a more permanent fence. All we owned in terms of “sheep supplies”, were a pair of hedge clippers that we used to trim their hooves and Storey’s Guide to Owning Sheep. It is probably a blessing that our ram did not breed our ewes that first year.

Over the years, we have added to our sheep supplies and I now have an entire cabinet full of supplies as well as an entire shelf in my refrigerator, and a lambing/kidding kit ready by the back door.

It seems that every season, I add one more jar, tube, medicine, or herb to my collection and every season my order to the livestock catalog company gets bigger. I quickly learned that when an animal appears sick, time is of the essence. In many situations, I need to begin treatments as soon as possible and taking a 40 minute drive to the feed store for supplies only prolongs treatments.

I am also extremely blessed to be a part of an invaluable Romney yahoo email group. The group has members from all over the US as well as a few overseas who range from “newbies” to 25+ year veteran shepherds. Their knowledge and skill astound me. Any time I have a question or concern, within just a couple hours of posting on the email group, members begin responding. Last year, when my ewe Ina became ill 2 weeks prior to lambing, I put out a request for immediate help via phone. Within an hour, my phone began ringing and I continued to receive phone calls for the next two days. I am convinced the wise counsel of my colleagues saved my ewe.

Today, I received an order I put in to restock my sheep cabinet. My order included:
syringes and needles in varying sizes
Safeguard in liquid as well as paste (for parasite overloads)
Ivermectin (for parasite control)
Dectomax (for preventing meningeal worm in the llamas)
Probios to rebuild “friendly bacteria”
Pro-Penn G Antibiotic to fight infections (most people like to use a stronger antibiotic but this has always been sufficient for me and when I need something stronger, I get it from our vet.)
Herbal Parasite Treatment (Molly’s Herbals)
The Goat Keeper’s Veterinary Book by Peter Dunn

For the Lambing Kit-
Goat and Sheep Nutri Drench for the weak lamb or kid or recovering ewe
Calcium Gluconate for “Milk Fever”
Lamb and Kid Colostrum and milk replacer for the rejected lambs or weak lambs
Ketocheck to detect ketone bodies in hopes to head off Pregnancy Toxemia

Tomorrow I will make a trip down to my neighbor who makes apple cider vinegar and will restock my supply of cider. Then I will feel that my Shepherd’s Cabinet has been sufficiently replenished.

Items already in my cabinet and refrigerator may include:
Various Homeopathic Remedies
Bach Rescue Remedy
Selenium and Vit. E
Vitamin B Complex
Prolapse Retainer
Hand Shears
PVC Splint
Lamb Sling
Double Crush Emasculator
bottles and nipples
Propylene Glycol