The Good Living Guide to Keeping Sheep and Other Fiber Animals: Housing, Feeding, Shearing, Spinning, Dyeing, and More

Janet Garman (Author)


A comprehensive and inspiring full-color guide to small-scale fiber farming and wool crafting--from selecting and raising sheep and alpacas to shearing, sorting, combing and spinning.

Fiber crafts--such as knitting, weaving, and crocheting--continue to surge in popularity, with sites like Ravelry (a social media community for the wool obsessed) gaining more than six million members. Artists are seeking quality raw materials in greater numbers. The cottage industry of supplying not only raw fleece, but handcrafted yarns, is strong.

Janet Garman has a small fiber flock (including Pygora fiber goats) and shares her expertise, as well as interviews, tips, and advice from fiber farmers and craftspeople across the country.

She offers the basics of properly raising sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and rabbits, with tips on selecting animals, feeding, housing, breeding, and healthcare. From there, instructions are provided for shearing, sorting, skirting, washing, picking, carding, combing, and spinning the wool. Enthusiasts will also find recipes and instructions for natural, plant-based dyes and advice for selling your finished yarn.

The proper care of fiber animals leads to a superior yarn product. Lapses in good care can show up in the fleece. As the demand for quality yarn and fiber grows, more people are becoming concerned with the animals' treatment and care. Give your animals a good home and a happy life and enjoy superior fleece and yarn products for your own homestead or to sell.

Product Details

$14.99  $13.79
Good Books
Publish Date
February 19, 2019
6.1 X 0.8 X 8.6 inches | 1.19 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Janet Garman is a farmer and freelance writer in Maryland. A career in writing began after the nest emptied. All the years of studying farm management and raising many species of livestock along with a full house of children led her to begin sharing her experience in a farm theme blog and website, Janet's background includes a degree in large animal farm management and animal science from University of Maryland and decades of farm and homesteading experience. Her other books are 50 DIY Projects for Your Chickens, Chickens from Scratch, Raising Your Own Chickens from Hatch to Egg Laying and Beyond, Habitat Housing for Rabbits, and Margarita and the Beautiful Gifts. She lives in Crownsville, Maryland.


"This is such an amazing resource and can be enjoyably read from cover to cover. As someone with some livestock experience who is preparing to branch out to fiber animals, I found answers to most of my questions. I highly recommend this book!" --Jess Lane, The 104 Homestead,
"If you are considering a fiber flock, this would be a great addition to your library! Covers a wide variety of topics from purchasing your sheep all the way to marketing your wool." --Sandra Morris, Mitten State Sheep & Wool
"A must read for any homesteader or fledgling fiber animal enthusiast. In my earliest homesteading days, I bought a fiber flock with best of intentions and not-so-perfect outcomes. If I had a copy of The Good Living Guide to Keeping Sheep and Other Fiber Animals back then I surely would have saved myself from stress and heartache, as well as avoided the embarrassment of poorly invested homesteading dollars. This practical guide has everything that you need to keep a happy, healthy, and productive fiber flock!" --Devon Young, blogger at and author of The Backyard Herbal Apothecary
"As a long-time fiber enthusiast, I am so pleased with The Good Living Guide to Keeping Sheep and Other Fiber Animals! For a textile nerd, there's just nothing finer than raising your own fleeces, and this book can easily empower you to begin with just a few, well-chosen animals. There is a lot of inspiration and experience in these pages, along with plenty of tips and tricks to make fiber animals a reality for any homesteader. Just think of running your hands through the fibers you grew on your own land!" --Tessa Zundel, author of The Do It Yourself Homestead
"This comprehensive guide to raising a backyard flock of fiber animals guides the fiber artist to true self-reliance. It covers everything the artist-shepherd needs to raise her own medium including growing the fiber animals, preparing the fiber, natural dyeing, basic fiber arts techniques, and marketing the finished products. This can-do guide points the way to successful fiber farming." --Christine Dalziel, author of The Beeswax Workshop