Books that Should be on Every Shepherd's Bookshelf

As all of us know, there are more sheep books and manuals than we can shake a crook staff at. When you are first starting out with sheep, a simple Amazon or Google search will flood you with a wealth of information.


Where do you start?


What book is decent and easy to learn from?


What will help you out in the middle of the night when the vet won't answer their phone and your favorite ewe has decided to turn herself inside out while lambing?


There isn't a shepherd out there that hasn't been elbow deep in an emergency with one hand and trying to research their way out of the problem with the other on their smartphone. I know I have done it more times than I care to admit.


That is why I thought for those of you out there researching for information on how to be the best sheep owner they can be, a list of books that you can easily reference would be handy. This isn't the only references out there and this is only my opinion of what I found useful. Never stop searching and reading. Information is always evolving and new techniques are always coming to the forefront.




How to Build Animal Housing

by Carol Ekarius

published 2004 by Story Publishing

Before you even bring your sheep home, you have to build them a home. This book helps you design and build barns, sheds, and feeders to make your life easier and your animals happier




Showing Sheep

by Laura Lawson

published 1994 by LDF Publications

Even if your sheep never sees the inside of a show ring, this easy to read book will help you figure out what good conformation is and how to condition score your sheep.


The Sheep Raiser's Manual

by William K. Kruesi

published 1985 by Williamson Publishing Co.

To the point, this book discusses pasture management, parasites, ewe and ram selection, lambing, genetic improvement, and farm management



Guide to Working with Farm Animals

by Temple Grandin

published 2017 by Story Publishing

This invaluable book helps you learn how to work with your animals instead of against them.




A Manual of Lambing Techniques

by Agnes C. Winter & Cicely W. Hill

Published 1998 by The Farming Press

Lambing season is both exciting, challenging, and devastating. This book helps you through the challenges of the season with over 90 scenario illustrations



Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep

By Paula Simmons & Carol Ekarius

Published 2019 by Storey Publishing

There is a reason this book is now in it's fifth edition. It is considered the bible of the sheep owner. it covers everything from reproduction to sheep housing to livestock guardians



Cattle and Sheep Medicine

By Philip R. Scott

Published 2010 by CRC Press

A combination of cattle and sheep problems, this book helps you learn how to assess real life problems as they occur in your flock. 222 pictures and illustrations of clinical cases



Lambing Problems

By Laura Lawson

Published 1992 by LDF Publishing


I dragged my feet for many years about buying this book due to the price. I wish I had purchased it prior to my first lambing season decades ago because it has helped me save so many lambs. With the author's unique system of diagnostic check sheets, symptom flow charts, and treatments, this book helps you detect, diagnose and treat 152 problems with sheep such as respiratory, scours, feet, prolapse, and digestive problems.



Managing Your Ewe

By Laura Lawson

Published 1994 by LDF Publishing

With the author's unique system of diagnostic check sheets, symptom flow charts and treatments, you can determine a ewes problem, treat her, and understand how and why the problem occurred. From breeding to weaning management of ewes and lambs including nutrition, housing, equipment, and supplies.

Managing Breeds for a Secure Future

by Dr Philip Sponenberg, Alison Martin, and Jeannette Beranger

Published 2017 by 5M Publishing

A great read on selection and breeding of desired genetics in your farm animals



The Sheep Book

by Ron Parker

Published 2001 by Ohio University Press

With a mix of theoretical, technical, and practical tips, this book is a great beginner's guide to sheep



Alternative Treatments for Ruminant Animals

by Paul Dettloff DVM

Published 2004 by Acres USA


This book provides alternative ways to medically treat your animals safely and effectively

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