Category Archives: Care

Halter Training Show Lambs

Southdowns have a reputation for being stubborn. Well, we have had terriers for 14 years so I do stubborn! Fortunately, I have been able to use my experience and mistakes in dog training to train my lambs to walk and stand pretty for shows. I use “positive reinforcement.” This means that if the lamb does what I want her to do, she gets a treat. If she does not, no treat. There is no punishment – just the lack of a treat.  It might take more time and patience at first but in the long run, but it’s easier for me and for the animal than struggling in the heat, pushing, pulling, slapping, and basically mutton bustin’. How fast you go at first depends on how tame the lamb is to begin with. I will describe how to train one […]

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Bringing Home Your Adult Sheep

While adult sheep are hardier than lambs, there are still some precautions to take when you bring home an adult ewe, wether, or ram. Since people most commonly bring home ewes, I will be referring to ewes in this article. Sheep are flock animals, and separation from the flock is one of the most stressful things imaginable for a sheep. Anything you can do to make the move less stressful will keep her healthy. Here are some tips based on my experience, the experiences of others, and research papers I have read. Transportation: An adult will fit in a sheep/goat carrier. We can comfortably fit 3 grown ewes in ours, which fills up our pickup bed. Feed: Ewes that are pregnant or lactating should be on a supplemental feed. Ask your breeder what he or she has been feeding, and […]

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Record Keeping

My friend Cindi wrote an article for examiner.com about Kintraks, the software that she recommended to me and I use as well. Yes, it does all that and the price is great! I downloaded evaluation versions of other, more expensive, programs and they were all extremely difficult to use. I am a nerdy type who usually learns programs very quickly, but I felt overwhelmed. Even if you have a handful of sheep, goats, etc. it is well worth it to get Kintraks.

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Fun with Bottle Babies

In 2009 we had a bottle baby, Eve.  We were fortunate in that she was never weak – we got her from a breeder at 2 hours old because she was the smallest triplet. She had a nice long drink from mom, and colostrum from our freezer. She grew into a nice, healthy lamb. We had some scouring with the powdered lamb milk replacer (by the way – always use LAMB milk replacer, not “universal” or calf formulas). I was advised by experienced shepherds to try the following homemade formula: 1 gallon whole cow’s milk from the grocery store, 1 cup whole buttermilk (if you can get it – but at least 1% if you can’t), 1 can evaporated (not condensed) milk. Not only is it much less expensive, we have had about 8 oz. gain per day which is […]

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Taking Home Your New Lamb

Sheep are flock animals, and separation from the flock is one of the most stressful things imaginable for a sheep. Anything you can do to make the move less stressful for him will keep your lamb healthier. Here are some tips based on my experience, the experiences of others, and research papers I have read. Transportation: If you don’t have a sheep/goat carrier, most young Southdown lambs will fit in a large dog kennel (i.e., Lab/German Shepherd size). I suggest using bungee or rubber cords to reinforce it, because lambs can bash their way out of things (including cable ties, so don’t rely on those unless you use a lot of them). If the weather is warm, add shade but don’t cut off air circulation. Tie a tarp or sheet down well because flapping objects make sheep nervous. Feed: Ask […]

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