Reviews of the book From The Feed Trough — Essays and Insights on Livestock Nutrition in a Complex World

I so appreciate this book because it helps me understand nutrition (a pretty complicated topic) on a basic, applicable level, and I love the conversational approach and dry humor sprinkled throughout. It’s a book I keep handy for reference as well as pleasure reading.

Lynn Jaynes, Editor, Progressive Forage Grower, Jerome, Idaho


Excluding genes, parasites, predators and marketing, nine out of 10 flock problems go right back to sheep nutrition, a subject even a lot of veterinarians are fuzzy about. Want to be “one up” on those guys? Read this book and be the most insufferably knowledgeable sheep owner in your local ag group.

It’s certainly not like slogging through those dry university texts you faced in the ag school’s “AniSci” (animal science) curriculum. Oh no, no, no! With this volume you get Woody’s — shall we say — “unique” blend of weird and often hilarious humor, to kind of liven things up a bit.

By the way, order at least two of  ’em. No, not one for your buddy and one for you. Rather, you just never know how long a book with info like this — easily understood, but truly arcane — will remain in print. When your first copy’s worn to pieces,the second one may just last you out.

Nathan Griffith, Editor, sheep! Magazine, Wisconsin
Excerpts from the full review in the November/December 2015 edition
of sheep! Magazine, used by permission;


I find that this book is a unique and excellent learning tool. It is also the best way that I have found to dip into Woody’s many insights. Paging through the book, within a few seconds, I can skim and read about something I didn’t know or didn’t fully understand. A shepherd can spend 2–5 minutes or 30 minutes and come away with a new understanding of some aspect of sheep nutrition. This is a chance to not just learn how to feed your sheep, but to better understand how the sheep digestive tract works and its nuances. You can read good explanations of fermentation, minerals, and taking apart the numbers for TDN, digestible fiber and crude protein. If you are looking for exact recipes to feed ewes during maintenance, early lactation or late lactation or how to feed lambs, then you will need another book. But if you want to understand more about the whys of sheep nutrition, then this book is for you. Collected together, these essays are much more than a sum of each individual essay.

 Jim Morgan, Ph.D., editor, The Katahdin Hairald, Arkansas
quarterly newsletter of Katahdin Hair Sheep International organization


Woody Lane has written and spoken for years to veterinarians and livestock producers on nutrition. He is known and respected for his ability to make a relatively confusing subject clear in a simple and humorous way. It is such an essential subject for those raising livestock and can have such an impact on the heath and production of these wonderful animals that provide us with so much; milk, meat, fiber, leather and many other things. Finally, he has put all this information in a book. (Thank you, Woody) So, if you have any interest in the health of livestock, you won’t be sorry you bought this book.

Marie S. Bulgin, DVM, MBA, dip. ACVM, Sheep Producer
Professor Emerita, University of Idaho


“From the Feed Trough” is an excellent book for any livestock producer or hobbyist to add to their library. Having read many books as educational requirements or seeking answers, this is by far one of the most enjoyable and informative on livestock nutrition. The short but thorough articles make for fast reading, where a busy producer can steal a few minutes to refresh a specific topic or make use of a rainy day reading through a section that may be of concern to their operation. Knowledge is power and in production livestock also affects profitability. Woody presents complex material in a digestible and absorbable format and having had the pleasure of hearing his presentations, he is as entertaining with his writing as he is with his speaking!

Jill Beaton, USDA NRCS, Hilo, Hawaii,
Certified Professional in Rangeland Management (CPRM)
Puuwai Ranch, Paauilo, Hawaii

I congratulate you for presenting science in such an entertaining way. The book is hilarious, and I mean that in a very positive sense. . . . Thanks for your book. I will insist that the three of my sons who are dairy farming read this book.

John Lyne
DairyTech Nutrition
Timboon, Victoria, Australia

There is in this book a treasure of nutritional knowledge that would be especially valuable to someone just beginning his or her life with sheep.

In addition, there is still plenty of material in the book that is relevant for old fogies like me, people who think they know something about what they are feeding their animals and why they are doing it, but who also, every so often, realize that they have forgotten much of wheat they learned.

One you have read an article, you will have either 1) learned something about sheep nutrition, or 2) brushed the dust off the knowledge you thought might be stored somewhere in the recesses of your brain. “From the Feed Trough” is well worth the time you devote to reading it.

Dick Regnery, Whitefish Bay Farm, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
excerpts from his review in the Winter 2017 issue of the Black Sheep Newsletter