In this comprehensive guide for all breeders and keepers of sheep, Pat Coleby draws on decades of experience in natural animal husbandry to provide essential information for organic and sustainable farmers. A longtime commercial livestock farmer who takes a natural approach to husbandry, Coleby covers breeds of sheep, wool, meat and milk production, feeding requirements, poisonous plants, minerals and vitamins, herbal, homeopathic and natural remedies, and more. Originally published in Australia, this edition has been expanded significantly in the areas of breeding for finer wool and meat, land management, sheep management, and treatment of health problems. Coleby's step-by-step explanations of how to best benefit from a naturalistic, holistic approach make this book an invaluable resource for everyone with sheep.
Although this is written from the point of view of wool sheep owner -my flock are hair / meat sheep - the author suggests using natural products as alternatives to chemical medical treatments & for augmenting deficiencies in diet.
Applying her treatment for mastitis in her good half to a ewe that had quadruplets & no milk, it is apparently working. Instead of the expense of bottle-feeding which is costly & reduces profit margin on the sale of the lambs, they are now nursing on their mom as her udder improves.
Her evaluation of health problems & of possible deficiencies in pasture feeds are helpful. She provides natural solutions to augmenting rations that are inexpensive & that work for maintaining a healthy flock.
In spite of information I've heard for years about sheep and copper toxicity, my flock does just fine on salt or mineral blocks that contain copper. It is supposed to enhance wool production in wool breeds, but since my gals have hair, the benefits of copper here relate to natural de-worming.
For shepherds and shepherdess who want to produce organic meat sheep, this book is a valuable resource.
Pat Coleby's book opened my eyes to the whole picture of farming in harmony with nature. All pieces of the puzzle need to be in balance, from the health of the soil in the pasture, to the health of the ewes and the lambs they produce.
She teaches us that a lack of available vitamins or minerals in the grass reflects in the vigor and productivity of your animals. Deficiency diseases are discussed and mineral suppliments are prescribed to bring the flock back into good health.
I found this book so helpful, that I ordered her other book about "Natural Horse Care".