New Year, New Ewe: Purge Your Herd of Those Tired Old Sheep!

It’s 2015, and you need a fresh outlook on life. But where to start? According to Clabber Farms’ head shepherd Sharna Flapp, begin with reorganizing your herd of sheep!


“Every woman accumulates at least ten to 20 livestock each year, most of them ewes. But how many do you actually need?” Flapp suggests reducing your herd down to the sheep you know you’ll actually use—those with the best wool, the healthiest milk, and the plushest fleece. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a lot of ragged ewe between your fences that won’t last more than a few seasons.


Start out by making three piles of sheep: toss, donate, and kill.



A good rule of thumb, or rule of “hoof,” is to get rid of any sheep you haven’t petted in the last year. “If you’ve gained weight, changed style, or otherwise just lost interest in petting a certain sheep, and it’s been a year since you’ve petted it, save yourself room in your pasture and just ditch it,” says Flapp. “You’ll be glad you did.”


There are plenty of places to donate your old sheep. If you live in a metropolitan area, take your unwanted flock members to any large metal donation bins to dump your used ewe, lambs, or rams; they’ll be given to farmers in need. If you live in a rural area or in a place without donation centers, you can always go the old-fashioned route and slaughter them with a pistol. “There’s all sorts of fun up-cycles for dead ewes,” says Crabb.


Once you’ve reduced your herd to the vital few, you’ll start feeling like a brand new you. Or rather, you can buy a brand new ewe, as you’ll now have room for plenty more among the hay and feed. Invest in an organization system like fences to keep your herd sorted. You’ll want to be able to find certain kinds of sheep quickly and easily in the year to come. Spring/Summer 2015 never looked BAAAHtter!