A complete step-by-step manual on how to care for a flock of sheep is being released by Haynes this September – something the celebrity contestants of ITV show Flockstars might have found useful as they struggled to herd sheep in the series.
Interest in small-scale sheep keeping is on the up, as more and more urban-dwellers leave the rat race and go in search of ‘the good life’. TV programmes like BBC’s Lambing Live with Kate Humble have helped convince smallholders of the appeal of sheep - and the TV presenter provides a foreword to the Haynes Sheep Manual.
This quick-reference and easy-to-read guide is perfect for anyone thinking of keeping sheep for the first time – and for more experienced shepherds, too. It takes the reader through the rules and regulations involved, has a comprehensive guide to choosing the first sheep for the flock, and covers all other essential areas such as feeding and nutrition, health and husbandry, breeding and lambing, right through to marketing produce.
Written by farmer and agricultural journalist Liz Shankland – the author of the successful Haynes Pig Manual and Haynes Smallholding Manual - the Sheep Manual is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of livestock titles produced by Haynes. Liz lives 850ft up a mountain in Wales and keeps sheep, pigs, and poultry. She teaches courses for smallholders at Kate Humble’s rural skills school in Monmouthshire, Humble by Nature, as well as lecturing in agriculture to college students.
Talking about the Sheep Manual, author Liz Shankland commented: “When I started keeping sheep, the only books available were either far too technical and aimed at large-scale commercial farmers, or they were too superficial and lacked the detailed information I required. This book is designed to fill that gap in the market, providing all the information a sheep keeper will need, but in an easy-to-read way and with plenty of photographs to illustrate those things that are often difficult to explain with words alone. “Sheep are often the first choice for smallholders because they are such versatile and productive animals. They not only provide wool and meat, but a whole host of other useful products, such as sheepskins for rugs, lanolin for making soap, and, of course, milk – something which people with an intolerance to cows’ milk find particularly attractive.
“This book will take the most inexperienced shepherd through the process of getting ready for sheep, through to choosing a suitable breed, buying the right animals, keeping them fit and healthy and then taking the next step into breeding. It’s the book I wish I’d had when I started off!”
Comment and interviews
The Sheep Manual’s author, Liz Shankland, is available for interview, in both English and Welsh.
About the author
Liz Shankland is a sheep, pig, and poultry farmer who lives 800ft up a mountain in Wales. She has kept a variety of sheep breeds, including Herdwick, Welsh Mountain, Lleyn, and Suffolk and sells their produce at farmers’ markets. She has a prize-winning herd of pedigree Tamworth pigs and competes extensively across the UK. A journalist and broadcaster, she is the author of the Haynes Pig Manual and the Haynes Smallholding Manual. She teaches courses for smallholders at Kate Humble’s rural skills school, Humble by Nature, and lectures in agriculture to college students.
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