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Lawnmowing animals
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Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 18 11:27 pm    Post subject: Lawnmowing animals  Reply with quote    

The guinea pigs did a great job of keeping our little back garden lawn trimmed in the old house but the new house has 3.2 acres to deal with, I don't think, resident buzzards aside, they're quite up to the job and I don't fancy hundreds of guinea pigs

Arthur would really like goats, probably because the goats we've encountered are full of mischief, kindred spirits! maybe also because several have enjoyed nibbling his little sister's wheelchair

Alpacas and sheep seem like a good option but seem to come with lots of paperwork, or does it look more complicated than it is?

I think we'll almost certainly get a few piglets to churn up what is eventually going to be the wildflower meadow, probably not till next year though as we won't be in the new place until the end of April and I don't want to add any extra stress of new livestock to be dealing with. Especially not as rescuing some kittens are top priority and getting the chooks back, and maybe a few extras

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14955
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No paperwork for Alpacas. They are exotic pets.

Sheep have paperwork. And you have to Do Things. Icky things. Dunno if you’d be able to get them sheared (this is my concern. Lady J really wants some, and I’ve said yes, provisionally. Idiot!)

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8689
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

and this... is how it began. Be careful, it's a slippery slope!

it started with how nice to have a bit of land...

then how are we going to keep the grass down..

got some sheep - then chickens, pigs, ducks and turkeys... learnt how to butcher, grew lots of veg, planted an orchard, started selling eggs at the door,learnt to spin, felt, dye, grew woad, learnt how to dye with natural materials started selling yarn and knitted and felted things at local gallery and online........

it all starts with 'how are we going to keep the grass down..'

We chose sheep - partly because we like eating lamb and mutton. Alpacas are very expensive - £600 for a wether, but the fibre is nice, goats - well I love the idea of keeping goats, particularly for milk, but it is a big commitment and they escape and upset your neighbours. Plus I'm not sure goats graze so much as browse.

The paperwork isn't difficult. Sheep husbandry is learnable - might be worth finding your local smallholders association, ours ran courses where you could get hands on experience, and make friends with local farmers and smallholders, people will lend a hand. and you can pay someone to shear the sheep.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nicky Colour it green wrote:


it all starts with 'how are we going to keep the grass down..'


Hahaha

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6117
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Surely it has to be a sit on mower.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sgt.colon wrote:
Surely it has to be a sit on mower.


Have you been talking to Happytechie and Arthur?

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8689
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
No paperwork for Alpacas. They are exotic pets.

Sheep have paperwork. And you have to Do Things. Icky things. Dunno if you’d be able to get them sheared (this is my concern. Lady J really wants some, and I’ve said yes, provisionally. Idiot!)


don't you have to get alpacas sheared? I found a shearer for the sheep through local ads in the paper. I do fancy having alpacas.. but I assume they nibble trees and being taller than sheep, the fences around my trees in the orchard are not tall enough..... I want the fibre though......

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14955
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You do, but it’s a lot easier to get a small number of alpacas sheared than a few sheep. They also need very little other care and attention.

They do nibble trees and hedges, but they aren’t that tall. Mine are 5 foot, which is exactly as tall as me, so they make the orchard passable (at least, that’s the idea. I haven’t noticed they are especially keen on the trees. The love raspberry canes, though) They also eat brambles and bindweed. I’ve always liked them, but discovering they like bindweed means I’m besotted with them!

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5254
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Alpaca also taste alright.

frewen



Joined: 08 Sep 2005
Posts: 11404

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

But then you are back to the grass problem again

(kicks Slim under the table)

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5254
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well it's not like Nicky Colour it green is letting the mutton in to sleep by the fire!

Lawnmowers are good, but when they have the ability to self-replicate it can be useful to have a turnover plan in place.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Slim wrote:
Alpaca also taste alright.


i'm also not paying £600 for an animal I'm going to eat!

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41887
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fee wrote:
Slim wrote:
Alpaca also taste alright.


i'm also not paying £600 for an animal I'm going to eat!


How much do they weigh? It might not be that much/lb.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No idea! Womble?

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8689
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 18 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fee wrote:
Slim wrote:
Alpaca also taste alright.


i'm also not paying £600 for an animal I'm going to eat!


well that's the thing.. if you have a sheep that is problematic.. it becomes mutton. but with alpacas at 600 quid a go.. you have to live with your choice. We did do a few years of lambing, but actually found it worked quite well to buy an older ewe with lambs at foot every few years. Once the lambs were completely independent, she became mutton, let the lambs grow up .. then they join the freezer, and you get a new crowd. - so you can have slowly rolling stock of animals that have grown on your grass.

alternatively you can have pets.


whatever you choose be clear with all concerned if they are pets or not....

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