Synopses & Reviews
In this revised edition of The Sheep Book, Ron Parker updates many aspects of sheep stewardship—such as new or newly banned medications, progress in reproductive technology, popular new sheep breeds, and the growing dairy sheep field. Updated nutrition tables, as well as email and web addresses, further enhance the books sensible advice and gentle wit.The Sheep Book is organized according to the natural reproductive cycle of the ewe,leading the reader through a year in sheeps life during which sheep and shepherd form a symbiosis. A good shepherd manages a flock so that its care and environment fits all stages of the annual journey—from breeding through pregnancy, lambing, growing of lambs, marketing of lambs and wool, and the revitalization of the ewe for another cycle.“Sheep are the ideal, useful domesticated animal,” writes Parker. “They are hardy and healthy. Except for an occasional aggressive ram or uppity ewe they are gentle and submissive. They are small enough for a good-sized child or senior citizen to handle. They give both superlative meat and a fiber that has no peer. They are the ideal animal for the homestead, small farm, place in the country, suburban backyard, or any other place where man makes his home and grass will grow.”The Sheep Book is especially valuable for small and moderate-scale sheep raisers and those interested in growing wool for fiber arts. Enhanced and updated for the internet age, this classic book is a valuable companion for anyone who wants to raise sheep that are healthy and productive, and to do so by working in harmony with the natural instincts of sheep and the rhythms of the natural world.
Perhaps if sheep were part of my life, they would impose an order on it and bring out in me the calm patience and good humor so evident in this book.”
Garrison Keillor, from the Foreword
Ron combines intelligent observations with a shrewd and delightful humor, and his practical experience shows through at every turn. Beginner and veteran shepherds alike will appreciate the many how-to-do-it descriptions in these chapters. The reading is always interesting, always clear, and this book would be an asset in any shepherds library.”
Woody Lane, Ph.D., livestock nutritionist
The revised and updated The Sheep Book is what the literary critics would call a must read for beginning shepherds. For that matter the lists of sources for supplies, of web sites, of organizations, of breed associations, and of publications will be worth the price of the book to experienced shepherds. Rons insistence from his first days as a sheep farmer on raising sheep outside on grass with no heavy equipment put him ahead of the low-tech, sustainable ag movement. His scientific background and his outside the box thinking make this a book of substance, significance, and originality without being the least bit pedantic.”
Guy Flora, Editor, The Shepherd
The Sheep Book is widely recognized as a classic. Ron Parker brings together a farmers day-by-day practical experience and a scientists mind in a gracefully written narrative. In this revised edition, he updates many aspects of sheep stewardship—such as new or newly banned medications, progress in reproductive technology, popular new sheep breeds, and the growing dairy sheep field. Updated nutrition tables, as well as email and web addresses, further enhance the sensible advice and gentle wit of The Sheep Book.
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.
About the Author
Ron Parker is an academic geologist who turned to sheep raising in 1976. He is former editor of the Minnesota Shepherd and recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Growers. For more than a decade he has operated an internet mailing list, FiberNet, for fiber enthusiasts.