The Sheep Book carries the reader along through a year in a sheep's life during which sheep and shepherd form a symbiosis. A knowledgeable shepherd manages a flock in such a way as to provide an appropriate environment for all phases of the annual journey from breeding through pregnancy, lambing, growing of lambs, marketing of lamb and wools, and revitalization of the sheep for another cycle.
The Sheep Book guides the reader to working with the instincts of the sheep — treating them as animals with special talents and ways of behaving that can be engaged and directed. The reader is encouraged to learn from the sheep, for they are the best teachers of a successful shepherd.
Ronald B. Parker
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are a lot of sheep books out there, but for beginner shepherds, I always recommend this clasic book. Many seasoned shepherds still refer to Ron's book for his solid information. First published in 1983, Ron Parker updated "The Sheep Book" in 2001, and it is better than ever.
Ron Parker's first edition of The Sheep Book is one that we have used for years, particularly during lambing season. He has some of the best tips that we've seen. The one caveat that I will offer is that the bottle feeding tips don't work with fast growing lambs. We followed them with our first bottle lambs and didn't get good growth results (although the lambs survived they were runts). More recently we've followed recommendations from a fellow shepherd who raises lots of bottle lambs and have given a lot heftier amount of milk replacer than Ron recommends or the milk replacer bags recommend. Our lambs are now growing like the ones on their own mamas. You do have to be careful how fast you increase the amounts. But overall I've learned a lot from Ron's book and we'd had sheep for a number of years before we got the book. I'm looking forward to the new edition.
In complete defiance of the wisdom of the ages, one of my friends stopped being a lawyer and started being a farmer. Other people had been leaving the farm for generations, to become lawyers. Not he. After a lot of thought, he decided to use horses on his farm, not tractors. Old horses make new horses, but old tractors just wear out, he said. Then he decided to become a sheep farmer, because raising sheep takes less labor than almost any other kind of farming. Plus, old sheep make new sheep. This is the book that taught him how to be a sheep farmer. Ten years later his old sheep are still making new sheep. Plus, he has a lot more stimulating companionship in his new job, he said. Who could ask anything more from a book? Watch for the new edition, due out in June, 2001. Yours can be a success story too.
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