America’s Greatest Problem – Early Weaning

Young lambs at the side of their mother.

I’ve never seriously considered early weaning with my flock of sheep; it just seems too unnatural to suit me. Gestation length in sheep is roughly five months, which should theoretically provide the shepherd with twice yearly lambing. But, since sheep are seasonal breeders, about the best any can accomplish is three lamb crops in two years using very specific management practices. Such programs are associated with accelerated lambing; again an unnatural thing for the sheep. It usually involves the acceleration of everything from growing ewe lambs into sexual maturity to heavy grain feeding to maximize lactation in the mother, and grain feeding for growth of the young lamb. Some accelerated lambing practices include hormone and other chemical treatments as well.

These lambs are too young to wean.

These lambs are too young to wean.

Of course this article is not really about how Americans should dismiss the idea of the early weaning of lambs in a sheep flock. No, I am referring to the accelerated way people have lead their lives, and weaned their children in the past half-century or so; it is sooo unnatural. Disagree with me? Fine, if you are not a Christian, BUT if you are a Christian, then get your Bible out, take some down time, if you know any speed other than accelerate, and then study the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy.

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