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Babydoll Sheep Care & Nutrition
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What books & Magazines are informative?

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Olde English Babydoll Sheep - 1930's
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My beautiful neice Evie & Sister Tracy helping out
 
The Sheep Book by Ron Parker- out of print but maybe you can get it thru your library. Excellent info for the beginning shepherd.

     Raising Sheep the Modern Way and Turning Wool into a Cottage Industry and many others by Paula Simmons.

     Spring Pasture Lambing, Winter Grazing Sheep in a Cold Snowy Climate, and Multi Species Grazing. tapes by Janet McNally. All excellent and are cutting edge sheep management. All available from the Stockman Grass Farmer 1-800-748-9808 for $9.95 each.

     Selling Grass Finished Beef and Lamb, tapes by David Schaffer and Alice Dobbs, excellent and same source as above.

     Sheep Production Handbook, prepared by the American Sheep Industry Association and available thru Sheep! magazine (see below) Huge, newly updated, the one best resource expensive but well worth the price. Your extension agent may have a copy. A reference book I wouldn't be without!

     Managing you ewe and Her Newborn Lambs and Lamb Problems: Detecting Diagnosing Treating, both by Laura Lawson. Both excellent and written by an experienced shepherd. Written in easy to understand terms with good info on causes and prevention. Available from Sheep! magazine.

     Sheep Ailments by Eddie Straiton- a good picture book of problems and diseases with brief descriptions Diseases have English names so some confusion here is the only problem .ie. Sore Mouth is called "Orf".

     The Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers, by David C. Henderson. Excellent reference. Again written for a British audience so disease names are different than what we call them.

     The Merck Veterinary Manual, The best book on diseases, conditions, their causes and treatments available from Sheep! Your vet should have a copy for you to look at.
 
What magazines are helpful for beginning shepherds?
     Magazines- You might share a subscription with a friend or borrow copies from your local sheep mentor or buy someone's back issues.

     The Stockman Grass Farmer, emphasis on management intensive grazing and making $ with livestock P.O. Box 9607 Jackson MS 39286-9607 They will send you a per issue.

     Countryside and Small Stock Journal, the best magazine for homesteaders and those that want to bet back to the land. S1156 Hwy 64 Withee, WI 54498

     The Shepherd publishes more serious information on sheep research and sheep related issues. For the serious shepherd. 5696 Johnston Rd, New Washington, Ohio 44854.

     Sheep! -a bit lighter sheep publication with more people oriented stories and lots of show and 4H related reporting. P.O. Box 10, Lake Mills, WI 53551

     Black Sheep Newsletter - a newsletter that came out of the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon. Newsy, friendly and information on colored sheep. 25455 NW Dixie Mtn. Rd., Scappoose Oregon 97056

     SpinOff Magazine, for handspinners (907) 669-7672 excellent. This is just a partial list of good sheep books. It helps to read anything you can find at your library. Also develop a friendship with a good sheep producer in your area and ask if he or she will be your mentor. I have a sheep mentor and her advice and input has been invaluable. Thanks Gwen! Most of the above books available from Sheep! magazine.

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American Olde English Babydoll Sheep - Chicago

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Our grandson Trenton feeding Austin

Sheep Raising -A Family Experience

Raising sheep is often a family affair that can result in a good experience for everyone. Many families divide the responsibilities involved among its members. Even youngsters can learn to care for animals and keep records.
 
 

These are several characteristics necessary to successful in the sheep business:

1. You must like sheep.

2. Invest wisely and select sheep that have the genetic potential to make a profit. Learn how to judge the quality of different breeds, and develop contacts to learn about trustworthy sheep raisers in your area.

3. Take time to look at possible markets for lamb and wool in a commercial operation or potential buyers for your purebred breeding stock. You need to know the market and demand for stock before investing in a specific breed. Some have unique characteristics but there is little demand for them.

4. Take time to learn preventive measures to control sheep health problems such as internal parasites (worms), enterotoxemia (overeating disease), tetanus, soremouth, overeating, lambing paralysis, footrot, and kidney stones. By managing these health problems, you will save money in the long run.

5. The kind of pasture management you plan to employ also makes a difference in profit. Do your pastures need improving? Do you have adequate fencing?

6. Your present buildings should be adequate to house the number of sheep you plan to lamb out at delivery time.

7. There may be a predator problem in your area which needs to be controlled by guard dogs, electric fence, traps or other means.
 
Do sheep require a lot of water?
     Sheep require about 1 gal/day usually, 1 and 1/2 gal/day when lactating and about 1/2 gal/day in winter. Fresh clean water is very important to good production. In winter clean snow can provide all their water needs. You can also water in buckets in winter, making sure to empty the buckets after the ewes have had their fill. Frost free waterers are great too. Some people use a tank heater to keep water unfrozen for their animals.
 
Can I graze these sheep with other animals?
     Yes. Sheep can be grazed with any other animal. Sometimes horses and cows will chase sheep. It is good if there is an area that the sheep can go for protection. A single electric fence wire strung high works well. the sheep can go under but it will stop the larger animals. Having mixed species grazing also utilizes more kinds of forage and helps to control parasites.

 
What else do I need to know about sheep?
     Cardinal rule: Any changes in their diet should be made slowly or could bloat them or give them scours. Feed them a belly full of hay before introducing them to a new lush pasture or use timed grazing by allowing them to graze only 1/2 hour once or twice a day, gradually lengthening the time and frequency of the grazing period. You can also do this with temporary electric fencing.
 
How many sheep can be kept per acre? 
     This is a question we get asked frequently. With good pasture, 5-6 sheep can be kept to one horse, cow or similiar sized animal. This can vary however, due to quality of pasture and weather conditions. We rotate our pastures and give each area a "rest" and chance to regrow.
 
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Windwood Acres Olde English Babydoll Sheep