Category: open-source shepherd

Lambs Arrive

We’ve been preparing for lambs over the last few days. Ever-rounder ewes have warned us that it’s time to plan. These are some of our most ostentatiously pregnant ewes: We started by placing our order from Premier 1 Supplies. We bought fresh new bottles and nipples for the inevitable bottle lambs, smore syringes and needles, and a can of colostrum replacer. We like to … Read More Lambs Arrive

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Lamb Open House – Y/N in 2021?

No matter how much I pet them, my sheep crave attention. I have several who will stop at nothing for shoulder-scritches, up to and including the yearling ewe from my last blog post who now will try to stand on your chest for attention. Needless to say, but we are training her not to do that. We have a little over a month of … Read More Lamb Open House – Y/N in 2021?

Sheep Behaving Badly

I have some entertaining pictures of recent sheep activity. After 45 days in the barn, the ewes express their restlessness with weird stunts. Activity #1 – Fighting BFL 129 Amelia and Border Leicester 1736 go head to head, with our resident ram lamb goading them on. Sheep flocks have a hierarchy, and apparently these girls do not agree about where they stand in the … Read More Sheep Behaving Badly

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Running of the Rams

I felt grateful for a morning full of sunshine this morning. We’re well past our first frost and we know that snow is right around the corner, so it wasn’t surprising to step out to 35F temperatures and a crisp wind. I usually get started by filling the water tank in the bucket of the tractor. We recently replaced our old Ford with a … Read More Running of the Rams

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Bottle Lamb Shenanigans

This is a Covid-19-free post, so read and enjoy! We have a whole passel of bottle lambs in 2020. We have the two remaining ewe lambs from the quadruplet situation. We have a BFL ram lamb who never caught on to nursing his mother. We have a Border ram lamb who was rejected due to having sharp teeth (we fixed the teeth but couldn’t … Read More Bottle Lamb Shenanigans

Considering Sheep?

I often meet folks who are considering getting sheep. Many bashfully tell me that they only want a small flock and some seem to worry that they are wasting my time asking questions. Questions are never a waste of time! Judging from the kinds of questions that I see in sheep groups on Facebook, more people should ask all of their questions first and … Read More Considering Sheep?

Shearing 2020

We had the sheep shorn today. Though it feels early in the year, we know we need to have the sheep shorn before lambs are due. The forecasts calls for continuing mild weather, so we aren’t concerned about cold or wind for now. The ewes were eager to itch all of the itchy places they couldn’t reach beneath their fleece. We watched each of … Read More Shearing 2020

Two Old Women

I’ve been sharing a series of pictures of ewes in the flock to help show people the individuals in the web of stories in the flock.  I am enjoying sharing these images – I want people to know how we see our ewes as singular beings with their own personalities. We have two ewes who are a little extra-special, though. Their names are K … Read More Two Old Women

Review: “Fibershed” by Rebecca Burgess

I just finished reading Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists and Makers for a New Fiber Economy.  Reading this book was like reading a book I wish I had written – I am completely on board with the author’s concerns about our current clothing system and vision for a new one.  I hope this book increases awareness of the value of local fibercraft. … Read More Review: “Fibershed” by Rebecca Burgess

Our Bountiful Wild Harvest

At Cloverworks Farm, we raise lamb as an enterprise plus chicken and ducks for our own use.  We also have some wild foods on the farm – you may recall that a few months ago, we were hastily picking a variety of berries.  Now is the harvest time for our apples, crabapples and rosehips. We are overrun with apples this year.  In all seriousness, … Read More Our Bountiful Wild Harvest

Lamb Enterprise Calculator

I recently read a conversation on the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association listserv on the topic of calculating a profitable lamb production enterprise.  Some producers hadn’t calculated their production costs, while others weren’t sure what market prices looked like. For our lamb enterprise, I calculated our cost of production and then did a bit of research on comparable products.  Comparable products are lamb produced … Read More Lamb Enterprise Calculator

How Haying Works

By request, here’s a basic primer on how haying works! First, some definitions: Hay is grass and grass stems that animals eat.  It’s cut from fields that could also serve as pasture.  Correctly made, hay provides most or all of the nutrients an animal needs to survive the winter.  The best hay is greenish in color.  Whether fresh or in hay, the leaves of … Read More How Haying Works