Books & Publication
This is just a partial list of good sheep books and publications. It helps to read anything you can find at your library. Also develop a friendship with a good sheep producer in your area and ask if he or she will be your mentor. I have a sheep mentor and her advice and input has been invaluable (Thanks Gwen!). Most of the books below are available from Sheep! magazine.
Books on Icelandic Sheep
- The Journal of Agricultural Research in Iceland, Volume 2,1 Colour Inheritance in Icelandic Sheep and Relation between colour, fertility and fertilization by Stefan Adalsteinsson PhD. available from the Journal of Agricultural Research in Iceland, Keldnahalte, 15-112, Reykjavik, Iceland send $10 to cover postage and handling.
- Reproduction, Growth and Nutrition in Sheep, a Dr. Halldor Palsson memorial publication. Edited by Olafur R. Dyrmundsson and Sigurgeir Thorgeirsson. Available from the same source. cost about $60 post paid. Dr. Palsson started the sheep research farm in Iceland and this book is some of his world famous studies on Icelandic Sheep. Excellent!
Books on Raising Sheep
These are my favorites and ones that I refer to continuously. Try getting them inter-library loan to see if you like them before you buy. Also ask other shepherds in your area to loan you their books and back issues of The Shepherd, Sheep!, Black Sheep Newsletter, SpinOff, Countryside and other sheep and fiber magazines. Be sure you return them.... it's so easy to forget. It's good to keep a list of what you have borrowed.
- The Sheep Book by Ron Parker — This book is out of print but maybe you can get it thru your library. Excellent info for the beginning shepherd.
- Raising Sheep the Modern Way, Turning Wool into a Cottage Industry and many others by Paula Simmons.
- Spring Pasture Lambing, Winter Grazing Sheep in a Cold Snowy Climate and Multi-Species Grazing — These tapes by Janet McNally are all excellent and are cutting edge sheep management. All available from the Stockman Grass Farmer 1-800-748-9808 for $9.95 each.
- Selling Grass Finished Beef and Lamb — Tapes by David Schaffer and Alice Dobbs, excellent and same source as above.
- Sheep Production Handbook prepared by the American Sheep Industry Association and available thru Sheep! magazine (see below). Huge, newly updated, the one best resource expensive but well worth the price. Your extension agent may have a copy. A reference book I wouldn't be without!
- Managing Your Ewe and Her Newborn Lambs and Lamb Problems: Detecting Diagnosing Treating by Laura Lawson. These two books by Laura Lawson are the ones that I refer to over and over. They were written by a real shepherd. They are easy to understand and describe sheep management and problems clearly. If you have sheep, you need these two books. I read the chapters on lambing before each spring to refresh my memory.
- Sheep Ailments by Eddie Straiton — A good picture book of problems and diseases with brief descriptions Diseases have English names so some confusion here is the only problem .ie. Sore Mouth is called "Orf".
- The Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers by David C. Henderson. Excellent reference. Again written for a British audience so disease names are different than what we call them.
- The Merck Veterinary Manual — The best book on diseases, conditions, their causes and treatments available from Sheep! Your vet should have a copy for you to look at.
- The Icelandic Fleece: A Fiber for all Reasons by Beth Abbott. Contact her at POB 400 Verona, ON KOH 2WO, Canada. This is an excellent book on the Icelandic fleece. It may be out of print now.
These are some magazines I subscribe to and find helpful. You might share a subscription with a friend or borrow copies from your local sheep mentor or buy someone's back issues.
- The Stockman Grass Farmer — This publication places an emphasis on management intensive grazing and making $ with livestock P.O. Box 9607 Jackson MS 39286-9607 They will send you a per issue.
- Countryside and Small Stock Journal, the best magazine for homesteaders and those that want to bet back to the land. S1156 Hwy 64 Withee, WI 54498
- The Shepherd publishes more serious information on sheep research and sheep related issues. For the serious shepherd. 5696 Johnston Rd, New Washington, Ohio 44854.
- Sheep! — A bit lighter sheep publication with more people oriented stories and lots of show and 4H related reporting. P.O. Box 10, Lake Mills, WI 53551
- Black Sheep Newsletter — A newsletter that came out of the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon. Newsy, friendly and information on colored sheep. 25455 NW Dixie Mtn. Rd., Scappoose Oregon 97056
- SpinOff Magazine — A magazine for handspinners (907) 669-7672. Excellent.