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Category Archives: Care

Nice sheep… someone else is in charge here.

When people in Pakistan post or comment on pictures of sheep on Facebook, they often say, “Mashallah.” It’s a way of saying, “Nice sheep, but only through God is this possible.” Shepherds know that someone else is in charge, because sometimes you can do everything right and have a poor outcome, or have a great result despite not knowing what the Hell you are doing (just look at my first 3 or 4 years of shepherding). Last night, the lamb shown below, climbing on Mom, was stuck in the middle between the little one on the ground, completely breech, and a large triplet with it’s head turned backwards. Repositioning the breech and pulling the second lamb detached the placenta and released a lot of fluid, so the one way in the back had no chance. Poor Pixie was horribly stressed but […]

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We feed Chaffhaye

For years, we have fed Chaffhaye to our pregnant ewes. We find it easier to deal with than alfalfa, and there is zero waste. With alfalfa bales, a lot falls on the ground, and they tend to leave the stems. Feeding alfalfa helps the ewe get enough calcium for her own system as well as for the babies’ milk. This year, I also started feeding Chaffhaye to the lambs in the creep feed. Despite having thunderstorms, record rainfall and cold, damp weather during their entire first 2-3 months of life, we had NO scours past the first 10 days of life, NO pneumonia, NO bloat, and no weaning problems. Usually, when we wean, at least one gets sick and we have to abort weaning for the little guy til we can get him well. I have never had such a […]

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North Texas State Fair is around the corner!

And it’s now less than 3 weeks away… Read here for more info about the fair! I hope to see you there! Please help us share the word that the open breeding sheep show is back. What are we doing now? Well, Friday I shaved the heads of Niecey, Pixie, Flopsy and Malia and now they look like Cheviots.   I was taught to shave their heads three weeks before the fair so that their wool grows out nice and pretty. The day before the fair, I then slick-shear their faces, excluding the area from their topknot forward, and from the inside corner of the eye down to the smile.  This enhances the breed character. Some people shave the whole head, ears and all, but I feel that this makes them look like space aliens. The other thing we are […]

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What happens when most of your ewes get bred in one week?

Pandemonium. This year I tracked every time Mr. Seven marked the ewes on my Excel spreadsheet.  The idea is to put paint on his chest, and it leaves a mark on the ewe’s rump when they get busy.  The shepherd notes the date and waits for the lamb to arrive 150 days later. I was told that once a ram has bred all the ewes, he sits around acting bored because the ewes won’t let him near them. So I was very disappointed when I saw him mark them once, twice, three times. I resolved to accept whatever I got because it was too late to change rams. Then I noticed ewes bagging up much too early to have late-March or April due dates. I started backing up delivery dates to previous markings. Then last week, the babies started coming. And […]

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Showtime! What do I bring to a sheep show?

This list applies to open or breeding sheep shows as that is my area of experience. For youth / market lamb shows: Don’t bring or use any supplements or medications without asking your teacher — no matter how innocuous — as there are strict rules and even drug testing. Paperwork Pedigrees (if applicable) Receipts for your entry Business cards for your sheep business if you have them Feed and Water Drench gun Electrolytes (get your lamb accustomed to these well before the show) Feed from home (if we are not staying the night I don’t even bring grain and when I do feed grain it’s sparingly, depending on how high strung the animal is.  Grain can cause an upset stomach during times of stress) Water from home Hay from home For your stall Shavings or straw (check what the rules […]

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