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Living with Sheep

Living with Sheep
Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Flock
by Chuck Wooster
Lyons Press, 2007

Here's a welcome beginner's guide to raising sheep -- a friendly, unpretentious and down-home guide to breeds, feeds, fences and fleeces. 

Unlike other texts that deal with specific aspects of ovines, this one goes for the big picture: what sheep are like, why you should want to raise them, where they live, what they eat, and what accommodations you'll have to make to husband them effectively.

"Buying lambs in the spring, raising them on grass for the summer, and slaughtering them in the fall is by far the best place to start if you're getting into shepherding for the first time," author Chuck Wooster advises. But to really get to know sheep, or to be "fully fleeced" as he puts it, requires a full-time, year-round commitment.




The eleven chapters of this book, ranging from choosing a flock to butchering for meat, are directed primarily to owners of a year-round breeding flock. But since the details of sheep husbandry are pretty much the same, part-timers will find pertinent advice for their situations as well.

"Regardless of which approach you decide to take, my strongest piece of advice is to buy your sheep from a friend or neighbor whom you know and trust. Reading books is great -- especially, and hopefully, this book. But book learning will only get you so far, and there is no substitute for having an experienced eye look things over from time to time and help you sort out the worrisome from the normal," he explains.

The book's appendixes include a chronology for a typical shepherd's year, a ewe gestation table, a directory of tools and resources, and lists of breed associations and cooperative extension offices.

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Living With Sheep

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