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Lessons from the Flock-Our Tenth Year Anniversary

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Our First Hoof Trim

This past November marked our tenth year as shepherds. When I think back over our ten years of living with sheep, we have learned much about shepherding, ourselves, and the natural rhythms of the life and death cycle. I vividly remember the first day we brought 3 sheep home in the back of a borrowed pick up truck. It rained the whole way home, and having no cap on the back, my husband sat in the back of the truck with the sheep,  making sure they did not jump over the edge.

As with most things in my life, I learn best with practical, hands-on experience. There is nothing like having three little sheep staring at you to motivate you. Simple chores of giving shots and trimming hooves seemed like monumental tasks 10 years ago.  We had read books and talked with many people, but we had never actually been in the company of sheep. The local university extension service knew us well as we sought out every course offered on animal husbandry. Within a short amount of time, we got our feet under us as new shepherds.

Our First Sheep

Lessons from the Flock

Living with sheep has taught us patience and perseverance in adversity, compassion and calmness, the value of observation and strength in numbers. They have taught us the beauty in life, the miracle of birth, and reverence in death. I never would have imagined all the wisdom and knowledge a little flock of sheep can impart. We have grown accustomed to living with sheep, and the lessons they teach us. We can not imagine life without them.

Our first two lambs-Azalea and Aaron

 I Never Wanted to Shear Sheep tells a story of the rhythm of life and death on a farm.
One Day in the Life of a Shepherd follows a shepherd through the day during lambing season.
How Our Homestead Began tells our story as beginning farmers.
Make Hay While the Sun Shines tells about feeding our sheep.

My favorite sheep/shepherding book:
Living with Sheep by Chuck Wooster

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3 Responses

  1. Undomiel
    |

    Wow – ten years! It seems like it has been so much longer. I vividly remember those first few days…the first shot-giving, the first hoof-trimming, and the first time we moved them to a new pasture…when those sheep saw new grass and took off running, I remember being absolutely terrified for my life. Gosh, how much that’s changed. =)

  2. Terriea Kwong
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    Sheep are pretty and adorable since I addicted in felt making I really love the smell of raw fleece. Wish I could come to touch your sheep one day!

  3. thecrazysheeplady
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    Spot on!

    Merry Christmas 🙂