Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep, 5th Edition

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2019

Member Reviews

I am in the process of researching raising sheep and have browsed through books looking for a one stop - all the information - and here it is! The break down with each topic is all a rookie could ask for and yet the extent of the information surpasses into the next level for someone who wants to expand and continue to learn more. Covering everything from guardian dogs to fencing to feeds and breeds I will hang on to this copy for years to come. A thorough guide for anyone considering sheep as their nect venture. This is a clear cut guide with easy to follow instructions for preparing for your first flock; whether it's just a few or for a larger operation. I love that it lists breeds and regions and all the information a sheperd would need to know right here.
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An excellent introduction to all major aspects of hobby sheep farming in a thorough and accessible format. This is a great place to start learning, as well as a basic reference book, and it offers more resources to turn to for an even more in-depth look at various aspects. 

It covers sheep breeds, fencing requirements, feed and pasture concerns, common pests and diseases in sheep and more. Because of the breadth of the coverage, it is not extremely deep in any given topic but it gives you enough information to get started and tells you where to turn if you want to go further.
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Not enough revision

This is the 5th edition of a book that was first written in 2000. In my opinion there has not been enough deletion of old information. Instead, new information has been grafted onto existing structures rather than undertaking complete revision.

This book attempts to give a thorough good introduction to raising sheep. It will be of greatest help to someone who is thinking about starting with sheep. 

One example is the short essay on Mendel's genetics. Modern attempts to replicate Mendel's work suggest that Mendel probably didn't do the experiments attributed to him, instead gathering his theories from a lifetime of scientific work. 

Another place where revision should have been considered is the list of breeds, which I found to be lengthy and jumbled. It barely mentions some of the breeds of sheep favored by new consumers with family backgrounds in the middle east and are preferred because their meat is lean and not marbled or greasy when cooked.

With the focus on breeds derived from European stocks, there is an assumption that most sheep behave in similar way. European and Asian sheep are quite different from each other, especially considering flocking behavior and grazing patterns. These differences mean a great deal when considering fencing, pasturing, predation dangers, dog choices, and protection animal training.

In some places I think the authors could better have referenced professional organizations and their websites rather than present shallow information – on protection animals, for example.

The discussion of vertical integration and large vs small scale farming is under-informed, as is the discussion of meat nutrition.

It several places it seems to me that the insertion of genetic jargon into the text in place of simpler words would put off some less scientifically-trained readers.

I believe that you will find better information from university sources online, your state's sheep association, and local shepherds if there are any.
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