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A Shepherd's Bookshelf

Over the past several years I have collected many sheep related books. There seems to be those few that I always reach for when I need to find the answer to a question. Just looking at the books you can tell which ones I use most often, the pages are stained with all sorts of things, like well worn cook books.

Raising Sheep the Modern Way by Paula Simmons. This is the 10th edition that was published in 1992. In it, on page 23, is the picture of a white horned Icelandic ewe owned by Stefania Dignum in Ontario, Canada. That ewe somehow managed to so captivate me, that no other breed of sheep would ever do. The book was well read and worn before my sheep arrived here, and is still used to this day, even though the new...

Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep by Paula Simmons and Carol Ekarius has now taken a place on the shelf beside it. The new book has an expanded format and newer information on medications. The part about sheep in the orchard mentions that “you’ll find an occasional sheep with goatlike habits, standing on its hind legs and nibbling the branches and leaves of fruit trees”…warning, ALL Icelandics will do this, they can eat a fruit tree in no time at all. Both books have wonderful pictures of lambing positions and shearing. I Xeroxed the shearing pictures and had them posted in front of me when I first sheared here…I think it helped.


Managing Your Ewe and Her Newborn Lambs by Laura Lawson. I love this book and always have it close by during lambing season. It has saved the life of more than one lamb here. It is easy to use, practical, and very helpful. I highly recommend this book for anyone breeding sheep. Laura has also written a book called...


Lamb Problems


Beginning Shepherd’s Manual which is co-authored by Dr. Gerald Kennedy, Barbara Smith & Mark Aseltine. This book covers the “sheep year” and is written in a clear, easily understood format.
Dr. Kennedy wrote the chapters on sheep health. He has vast experience with his own sheep and is one of the veterinarians in the practice at Pipestone Veterinary Clinic in Minnesota. They not only sell a wide array of Vet/Sheep supplies at but have a wealth of information in their catalogue. I often use the catalogue itself as a reference. They also answer questions at this number if you can’t find an answer in a book, it is a place to call INFORMATION NUMBER: [507] 825-5687
Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (CST)

The Sheep Book: A Handbook for the Modern Shepherd by Ron Parker was updated in 2001 and is a very helpful resource with current and pertinent information, and good lists. I find it helpful and entertaining reading. The forward was by Garrison Keillor, of A Prairie Home Companion fame. The author has raised sheep for many years and offers personal experiences and insight .


Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers By David C. Henderson, DVM is a big fat vet book written in the UK, but is very useful here in North America. It has lots of pictures and is written at a level that the average person can find helpful. Dr. Henderson has years of personal experience with his own sheep and writes from a knowledgeable and compassionate perspective.

There are other books here on the bookshelf that I will share but these are the ones that look well worn and I find I turn to most often.


Other Articles of Interest:
The Icelandic Sheep
Sheep on a Budget: Building a Flock on a Shoestring

Elaine Clark
Frelsi Farm
Limerick, Maine

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