Recognizing a Difficult Lambing

Nature brings most lambs from the womb into this world with ease, filling lambing pens with new life. Ewes care for their young, bonding with them, loving them, and nourishing them. On occasion though, what should be straight forward and simple becomes entangled, even backwards at times, with lambs choosing new ways to enter the world. There are a few … Read More

Ask the Shepherd: The Proper Way to Skirt a Fleece

Curls…lustrous gray Gotland curls…that’s what spinners and felters are so eager to get hold of. Though I raise my own Gotland sheep, I too have ventured beyond my own flock in search of these silver ringlets. “One can never have enough,” I tell my husband when he asks why a box of raw fleece arrives in the mail. raw wool … Read More

Three Common Eating Habits Between Children & Sheep

Recently, someone sent me an email asking a question about grazing: Is it true that when sheep graze a field, they bite down to the nub of the forage and leave nothing left of the grazed plants, and that this was part of the reason for the range wars  between cattlemen and shepherds between 1870-1920: the cattle had nothing to eat … Read More

Ask the Shepherd – Is Your Grain Well Protected?

When we were on Gotland island, one shepherd we visited with, kept saying, “Gotlands are smart sheep.” He told story after story of the many different ways his flock of Gotlands have shown him just how smart they are. In most of his stories, the sheep, and their intelligent inquisitive nature, usually got them in trouble with the shepherd as … Read More

Ask the Shepherd-Scrapie Disease and Testing for Susceptibility

Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. There is no cure and there is no treatment for scrapie, though scientists around the world are searching hard for one. Scrapie is classified as a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Both scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; a.k.a. “Mad Cow” disease) are TSEs, as is … Read More

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