Storey's Barn Guide to Sheep

Storey's Barn Guide to Sheep 
Storey Publishing, 2006 

Aging Sheep
The age of a sheep is generallly determined by the teeth in its lower jaw (sheep have no teeth in their upper jaw). Lambs have four pairs of incisors that eventually fall out -- like the "baby teeth" in humans -- and make way for permanent incisors. Each pair of permanent teeth is roughly equal to one year of age, so a yearling willl have one pair, a two-year-old will have four permanent teeth, a three-year-old will have six permanent teetch, and by four years a sheep will have a complete set. "The grinding action of chewing wears sheep's teeth," Storey's Barn Guide explains. "As the incisors wear down, the amount of tooth below the gum line is gradually pushed out to help compensate for the wear. By seven or eight years of age, most elderly sheep are "gummers," having lost all of their front teeth.

What Are the Four Stomachs of Sheep?
Next time you are playing Jeopardy! and the category is Livestock Digestive Systems, be prepared for this answer: Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum, Abomasum. Yes, those are the four stomachs in the complex digestive system of sheep. Storey's Barn Guide offers separate charts for the feeding requirements of growing and breeding sheep, an illustrated guide to plants poisonous to the ruminant, and an outline to the principles of pasture rotation.

Marketing Possibilities

Storey's Barn Guide to Sheep provides some advice and considerations, both pro and con, for several sheep marketing possibilities, including:
    Freezer Lamb: "Carries a premium price opportunity. Requires initial advertising to develop a market. Requires people skills to develop and maintain good customer relations."
    Classified Ad. "Draws customer to you, so no transportation of animals. Requires alternative plan if there are no buyers."
    Breeding Stock. "Presents increase profit potential. Requires increase expertise in selection and breeding of top genetics. Requires increased promotional costs and skills."
    Sale Barn. "Presents lower profit potential. Eases dispersal of goods if location and transportation are convenient. Increases stress on animals."
    Farmer's Market Online offers several avenues for marketing sheep and sheep products, including Booth spaces for lamb and wool, livestock listings for selling animals, and Buy Direct Directory listings.

Back to the Book Stall

Storey's Barn Guide to Sheep
Storey's Barn Guide to Sheep

Designed to hang on an inside wall of a barn like a calendar, this original reference provides hands-free instruction and advice on almost every aspect of raising sheep,from breeding and lambing to shearing and marketing.

Like a condensed and illustrated textbook, the guide briefly covers a wide range of topics like trimming hooves and giving injections, toxic plants and feed requirements, abnormal births and raising orphans, hand-carding and evaluating wool. For more detailed information, refer to the guide's companion volume, Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep or Living with Sheep.

Uniquely useful features in the guide include a rotating lambing calendar and lambing schedule chart, a step-by-step illustrated instructionals on shearing and lambing and inserting stomach tubes, and schematics for building a warming box.

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