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Keeping sheep
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tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:04 am    Post subject: Keeping sheep  Reply with quote    

No idea on livestock at all but there's a decent halal abbatoir 16 miles away and Rich the tractor keeps cattle so I'll have someone to talk to if I need to so how easy is it?

I need the easiest option available, is it possible to buy young weaned lambs and grow them on yourself?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: Keeping sheep Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
I need the easiest option available, is it possible to buy young weaned lambs and grow them on yourself?


Sounds like the easiest opton- no breeding, or shearing (if killed up to 14 months)

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Keeping sheep Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
tahir wrote:
I need the easiest option available, is it possible to buy young weaned lambs and grow them on yourself?


Sounds like the easiest opton- no breeding, or shearing (if killed up to 14 months)


So what's the time of year to start then?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There'll be weaned lambs to be had from now until July time ish

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
There'll be weaned lambs to be had from now until July time ish


Hmm, I'll talk to Rich then

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've got a 3 acre field that I might use for 'em, how many could graze it, and would Novemberish be a good time to take 'em to the abbatoir?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

And what about breed? Will they all be fairly easy with no breeding/shearing?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34285
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nice one .
bahhh .
electric fence (you know i think electric fence is good but it is )
sheep muck is ace in the veg compost but not if they drop it off themselves
food is a good bribe to make sheep go places but they are quite willful at times , not too often , it depends on the breed and are they still boys .
they taste good

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What are shearlings? I've seen ads for shearlings of Texel and Lleyn so far.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

And will they need feeds? I don't really want to get into buying feeds in...

Beckyess



Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 1076
Location: Worcestershire
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

try Sheep for Beginners Good Luck!
Becky

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nice. I'd love to go on a course but no time at the mo. I'm lucky in that the lady next door's son (the tractor man) keeps some cattle and all his equipment on her land, so he's there at least twice a day. I'll be able to call on him for help if necessary, just wondered in a general way how easy it was going to be really.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you're just rearing weaned store lambs to fatten for a few months of the year and don't want to buy in feed, you should be OK with a density of three to the acre on good grass - so your three acres gives you nine sheep.
Depending on the breed, it's unlikely that they'll need shearing.
It's a fairly low-maintenance project, and there's no reason why it shouldn't work well. The alternative would be to rent out your three acres to someone with sheep in exchange for a lamb or two. A piece of land like that is invaluable to someone who needs to rest a some of their own pasture for a while, and the result would be that you get the grass down and some meat with absolutely zero input, as the sheep owner has to sort out fencing and security (which ain't cheap. A three-strand reel-based electric fencing kit, with posts and energiser would set you back at least 250 new). It doesn't get any easier than that!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gervase wrote:
The alternative would be to rent out your three acres to someone with sheep in exchange for a lamb or two. A piece of land like that is invaluable to someone who needs to rest a some of their own pasture for a while, and the result would be that you get the grass down and some meat with absolutely zero input


Now that Mr G sounds ideal, I'll ask around..

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 06 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Do you need to dip lambs at all, especially if kept to 14 months? What about looking after their feet and trimming up their bottoms? Are any breeds much easier to look after and less likely to suffer problems than others?

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