Sheep Books for Blackbelly Shepherds
Books You Might Want on Your Bookshelf
Why do I have Omnivore's Dilemmaby Michael Pollan, a book that has nothing to do with sheep, at the very top of my recommended list? This book will help you understand why you are growing superior meat in a manner that respects the life and death of your sheep for a consumer who no longer knows how to select food that is healthy. It's not about meat, it's really about corn. Pollan traces the route of corn as it is farmed by industrial agriculture into almost every foodstuff we eat. He explores Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm as an alternative to industralized, processed food production method. He exposes the myth that "organic" food is healthier. Vegetarians should read this book; shepherds should read this book. It will change the way you look at food.
Managing Your Ewe and Her Newborn Lambs by Laura Lawson. In my opinion, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK you can have in your library. Rarely will you have problems during lambing, but when you do, this is the book you need to have on hand to help you rotate a poorly presented lamb in the uterus; know how to bottle feed a lamb; know how to attempt to reunite a lamb that has been rejected by its mother.
Lamb Problems : Detecting, Diagnosing, Treating by Laura Lawson. A more detailed book about lamb problems. With blackbelly sheep, you won't have many lambing problems but this book is handy to have on the shelf when you need a quick answer that might save a little life.
Mad Sheep by Linda Faillace. In 2001, the USDA swooped down on two farmers in Vermont and killed all their sheep without proof of any disease in the animals. Linda Faillace This is a scary foreshadowing of the USDA's plans for NAIS. This is not an easy book to read, and you will be angered by the U.S. Government's trampling of our basic civil rights. But if you raise sheep, the Government already has you in its sights by virtue of the mandatory National Scrapie Eradication Program.
Living with Sheep: Everything You Need to Know to Raise Your Own Flock by Chuck Wooster. The chapter on fencing is worth the whole book, as well as tons of other great advice. The guy lives in Vermont, so any New Englanders can relate.
Lamb Lover's Cookbook: Recipes that make cooking lamb a fun and delicious adventure! If you raise sheep, you will want to grow some for your own table. This is the ONLY cookbook available in the U.S. that is dedicated to cooking lamb. Lamb Lover’s Cookbook contains over 100 mouth-watering ethnic dishes, casseroles, soups and stews, BBQs, crock-pot and pressure cooker recipes, Weight-Watcher recipes, and recipes for every cut of lamb you can imagine. There also are recipes for making sausage (even one that doesn’t require any special equipment or casings), marinades, and rubs.
Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep: Breeds, Care, Facilities by Paula Simmons, Carol Ekarius. Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep is an invaluable resource for everyone who raises sheep. It contains the most comprehensive and current information available on breeds, including minor ones; feeding and housing; breeding and lambing; pasture management; disease and health care; and herding dogs.
A Conservation Breeding Handbook by D. Phillip Sponenberg and Carolyn Christman. Explains the importance of livestock and poultry breeds and describes how individual breeders can be stewards of these genetic resources. Describes in detail the Conservation Breeding Plan that Barbados Blackbelly breeders must embrace to prevent the breed from becoming extinct in the U.S.
Managing Breeds for a Secure Future by Phil Sponenberg and Donald Bixby. Addresses the many challenges of maintaining genetic diversity within species and breeds of domesticated livestock and poultry. It examines conservation issues and provides practical approaches for developing successful strategies for securing both standardized breeds and landraces.
Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering This book provides detailed photographs of every step of the process involved with slaughtering and butchering your own animals.
Merck Veterinary Manual Merck Publications. Contains information on nearly every disease you are likely to encounter in animals, including physical examination and procedures. For each disease entity, Merck describes its causes, clinical findings and diagnosis (symptoms & other facts leading to a diagnosis, treatment (meds or management suggestions), and sometimes a prognosis (outcome prediction) and control (measures needed to prevent future cases). Includes drug information and dosages and a poisonous plant chart.
Veterinary Book for Sheep Farmers by David C. Henderson. This manual is for sheep farmers but has also been prepared with the needs of agricultural and veterinary students in mind.
Where There Is No Vet by Bill Forse. Many blackbelly shepherds struggle to keep their sheep healthy in the absense of good veterinary resources. This book explains in simple words and drawings what can be done to prevent, recognize, and treat manycommon sicknesses in sheep, goats, and other livestock animals. It is written to help third-world livestock owners care for their animals without skilled veterinary services, and is a great resource for those of us in North America facing the same situation.
Sheep Raiser's Manual by William K. Kruesi. This book has good information on genetic selection and improvement; pasture renovation and management; and management aspects of sheep production (such as how to make a profit raising sheep).
Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. Natural and organic cures and farming methods.
Beginning Shepherd's Manual by Barbara Smith. Introduces shepherding to novice producers such as 4-H members, hobbyists, and farmers. The book is written by an experienced sheep producer, with chapters by a ruminant nutritionist and a veterinarian.
Small-Scale Sheep Keeping by Jeremy Hunt
The Contrary Farmer Gene Logsdon offers an alternative to the decline of the family farm by explaining how to successfully engage in what he calls "cottage farming" part-time for enjoyment as well as profit. This book gives readers the tools and information they need to grow their own food in a sustainable and Earth-friendly fashion, but it also tells some great, hilarious stories and includes some truly beautiful and evocative writing. This is not a dry, "how-to" book; it's a really great read even if you haven't a clue about (or any interest in) farming.
Hair sheep of Western Africa and the Americas: A genetic resource for the tropics; contains many scientific articles about Barbados Blackbelly sheep.
Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin. Dr. Grandin, an animal behavior expert specializing in the design of humane slaughter systems, is autistic, and she contends that animals resemble autistic people in that they think visually rather than linguistically and perceive the world as a jumble of mesmerizing details rather than a coherent whole. This book will help you understand how your sheep, your dog, and lots of animals think and what you can do to help bridge the communication gap between you and them.
The Sheep Book by Ron Parker. Everything you need to know about raising sheep. Ron has generously put his entire book online as a PDF file (see http://joshua-parker.net/ronparker/tsb.html), but if you want a hard copy, get it here.