Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Here!

Well, according to that ticker up there at the top of the blog - IT'S HERE!  Lambing season officially begins, and after watching that ticker move ever so slowly over the past month, it honestly feels as if there should be some kind of bells and whistles or maybe even fireworks!  Barn and field checks are now more frequent, and the first things that are noticed are the bulging bellies and swelling udders.  Yes, lambing time is here.  Don't be too disappointed if the lambs do not begin hitting the ground immediately.  Sometimes it takes our girls a few days to get into the swing of things.

Following our post mentioning the addition of raw apple cider vinegar to the watering trough, Dori had some questions which we will attempt to answer here.  We usually add a 32 oz bottle to the 50 gallon watering trough which we fill to about the 3/4 mark or about an ounce or so to a 5 gallon bucket.  We try to use unpasturized, unfiltered vinegar such as this, but sometimes have a hard time finding it.  We use it to promote general health, to combat heat stress, and we also use it as a drench to combat diarreah.  We rarely use it during the winter unless someone looks like they need a little 'pick-me-up'.
There are many different resources that promote the use of vinegar:
Laurie Ball-Gisch wrote an excellent article on heat stress for 'sheep!' magazine.  She also shares her 'vinegar miracle' on her wonderful website, Lavender Fleece, and has a lot of information about her experiences with vinegar including a study done in New Zealand.   Pectin and enzymes are among the things mentioned as the reason that raw ACV seems to help many different conditions. 
More information can be found in "Natural Sheep Care" by Pat Coleby.  I think it is also mentioned in "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable" by Juliete de Bairacli Levi but I cannot put my hands on either of the two copies we have, at the moment.
(Please remember, that this something that works for us, but may not work in your particular situation.)


  1. I take Braggs Raw Vinegar daily and never knew you could give it to sheep! Interesting.
    How exciting that so much life is getting ready to come to your farm. I hope you post pictures as you know in my heart I am there helping to care for them.
    Have a wonderful Thursday.

  2. That's fascinating. I'll have to tell my Brother in law... Our lambing is well on the way - it began almost 2 weeks ago, and there will probably be 'stragglers' for another couple of weeks. The lambs are so gorgeous (you can see photos on my blog post from yesterday, if you want to see our Scottish Blackface lambs). Love your photos and posts, as always

  3. We are always excited to see lamb pictures, and love to look at different breeds. We just learned about Zwartbles on Flickr earlier this week. We'll be scooting over to see those Scottish Blackface lambs later today!

  4. keeping fingers crossed for a healthy and easy lambing season for you!

  5. Really good information! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Dearest Peeps and Sheeps Farm, I want to say thank you VERY much for the informative text with links.To be a shepherd means to learn a lot, and the hardest time is, when a sheep must loose its live. I lost already two rams, Donnerl and Amadeus, nobody could help. I had an autopsy for Donnerl and the result was: bloody organs, maybe from poison. In winter my sheep are better, even 20 degrees under zero they bear without problems in their open stable. I have a lovely very big and fat and sweet black, castrated ram, Don Bosco, and he suffers in the summer-heat. He sits all day and makes noise with his teeth, when it is too hot. Maybe I can give him some relief with "vinegar-miracle".

  7. Dori, we agree, it is heartbreaking to lose one of the flock; sure hope this helps Don Bosco.