The Sheep Farming Thread

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by sheddi » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:00 am

I saw this video on Facebook.

Everyone needs an enthusiastic three-year-old :)

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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:44 pm

sheddi wrote:I saw this video on Facebook.

Everyone needs an enthusiastic three-year-old :)

:clownshoes:
Not with our precious Texels. Bless her, she will be some shepherdess.
Update: we have 40 ewes due by Thursday. I wish they would just start lambing, it's like waiting for a storm to hit :gonk:
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The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:32 pm

This week has been so busy, we only have 20 ewes left to lamb, I've lost count of how many lambs we have. We were running out of space. Last night was the crescendo (I think) At one stage I told mr wee drop not to have a "heart attack over a damn sheep, or I'd dig him up and kick him!" :oh:

Another ewe ruptured one **horn of her uterus when her lamb stuck it's hoof through it whilst she was trying to push it through her cervix. The vet had to do a really lengthy Caesarian Section to get each lamb from each uterine horn, then stitch up the surgical incisions as well as the huge tear. At one stage he was considering euthanising her. The whole procedure lasted about 90 minutes, and was nerve wracking, my hands were numb at the end from holding her front legs. But she and her two lambs have survived the 24 hours since, so here is hoping.
My husband stayed with the ewe and her twin lambs till 4am, sitting in the pen with them. They were quite far through, in particular the ewe and the ram lamb that had gotten stuck, rupturing her uterine horn with its hoof due to the pressure out upon it by her contractions. We gave the ewe warm water and poured molasses into her mouth to try to combat her shock, then put a heating light bulb over the three of them :ohdear:
**Image
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:17 pm

I took footage of our pet lambs at feeding time today, also another batch of ewes & lambs being brought in.
We are down to just 9 pregnant ewes left, 3 are overdue. One of those 3 is probably going to lamb in the next 24 hours. All of a sudden it feels like the light is at the end of the lambing tunnel :)

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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:06 pm

3 ewes lambed today, just 7 left to go. One of today's lambs :)
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by sheddi » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:15 pm

wee drop o' bush wrote:I took footage of our pet lambs at feeding time today, also another batch of ewes & lambs being brought in.
Lovely videos wee drop!

Has it been a better year than previously? Or has it been so horrendous that you've not had time to come on here and tell us how bad it is?
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The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:28 pm

Sheddi, it's been difficult because the leg I broke last year has been objecting to the extra workload, the guy we usually have helping us had a hip replacement last autumn, so he couldn't be here. My mother in law also had a hip replacement last autumn, and needs her other hip replaced. My husband broke his ankle 4 weeks after I broke my leg :gonk:
So we are all sore, extra tired and just not as able as previous years to cope. But, it's been a good year lambing wise. We've only had two c-sections, it's almost at the stage where we can put the eldest lambs out full time. We just need a fortnight of dry, warm weather :)
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The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:23 pm

Today we bought this little beauty :clownshoes:
Image
Mr wee drop saw this little black Texel ewe lamb today at a friends, and he bought it :clap:
Her Sire and Dam are both regular white Texels.
The blue colour in a Texel is a recessive trait and is really quite rare, you get them bred like to like as a sub-breed; but they are uncommon too :)
There are still lambs on their mamas, but all the lambs born in January/February are now weaned. All our sheep were shorn recently, we drenched them all against fly-strike on Saturday past.
This now is the quietest time in the sheep farming year :mrgreen:
My leg is so much better and I've even tentatively started to jog a little bit again.
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by sheddi » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:16 pm

wee drop o' bush wrote:Today we bought this little beauty :clownshoes:
Image
She's a good-looking lamb, wee :)
Her Sire and Dam are both regular white Texels.
Genetics can be funny like that :lol:
This now is the quietest time in the sheep farming year :mrgreen:
My leg is so much better and I've even tentatively started to jog a little bit again.
That's all good news too!
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:50 pm

She's basically the Ovine version of a redhead :lol:
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:50 am

Here are our 2016 crop of ram lambs Image
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by delarey » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:31 am

Been a while...
Got these in a week or so ago. They are Dorper mixes.
All the ewes threw twins or triplets in March - with no intervention. They are some tough sheep. They also look yummy.
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:35 am

delarey wrote:Been a while...
Got these in a week or so ago. They are Dorper mixes.
All the ewes threw twins or triplets in March - with no intervention. They are some tough sheep. They also look yummy.
Image
they look like they are thriving :)
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by delarey » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:37 am

Thanks! They've already put on a bit of weight since getting here. Their pasture where I got them from was less than ideal. You can't see it in the picture and they've already done a bit of damage, but that pasture is full of barley. They drank about 30 gallons of water on the first day here, so I suspect their watering situation wasn't quite right at the previous place either.
I went back and read of your lambing season. Wow is all I can say. That's a massive operation and it looks like y'all handled it like troopers!

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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:48 pm

Thank you, you know how it is, a lot of hard work. But it's worth it, I'm glad your sheep are being well looked after now. I hate to see livestock in poor conditions :(
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by delarey » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:15 am

Lost a little dorper ram yesterday. I was at work and wife went to check on them. Saw one was missing and the hot wire was snapped. Followed the fence and found him stuck in the block fence. He managed to get his head through one of the blocks and then back inside the camp through the next block. I have no idea why he'd stick his head through! There's nothing on the other side of the fence but dirt.
Anyways, had to destroy the fence to get him out...and ugh....the maggots and smell after a day in this heat! Anyways. Now there was 5 :(

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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:51 pm

delarey wrote:Lost a little dorper ram yesterday. I was at work and wife went to check on them. Saw one was missing and the hot wire was snapped. Followed the fence and found him stuck in the block fence. He managed to get his head through one of the blocks and then back inside the camp through the next block. I have no idea why he'd stick his head through! There's nothing on the other side of the fence but dirt.
Anyways, had to destroy the fence to get him out...and ugh....the maggots and smell after a day in this heat! Anyways. Now there was 5 :(

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:gonk:
That's sheep for you, sorry to read that.
Our premier sale entries were a mixed bag price wise. We got 1,450gn for our best ram lamb and only 300gn for the smallest, but the cutest.
We are not quite sure what direction we want our flock to go in, more commercial sheep and less pedigree might be a nice change as the Texel bubble has a slow puncture.
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The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:11 am

The little black ewe lamb pictured above is at our farm now. She is lovely, obviously she's been petted a bit as she's quiet, the other ewe lambs are TERRIFIED of her though. Yep, terrified :oh:
Sheep must be much more visual than I ever gave them credit for because wee Blackie sounds, smells and behaves like a sheep; yet whenever she tries to go near them, the other ewe lambs huddle into a ball as if she was a predator. Poor thing is bleating for them, but they run away when she approaches, so we are going to mix her with the mature ewes who are going out with the Rouge ram soon. The ram at least will pay her some attention :lol:
I'm hoping that the older ewes won't be as spooked by her appearance, her only difference is that she's a dark colour. Our sheep are not used to this.
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by Anianna » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:59 pm

I noticed that our chickens would often separate into similarly-colored groups, as well. I thought it was pretty odd.

You mentioned in chat she has a friend now. Glad to hear it!
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by delarey » Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:18 am

Anianna wrote:I noticed that our chickens would often separate into similarly-colored groups, as well. I thought it was pretty odd.

You mentioned in chat she has a friend now. Glad to hear it!
Sheep are funny creatures. I call them 4 legged turkeys. They taste good, but they are dumb as a bag of hammers!

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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:55 am

Wee,

As you may have read on some other threads, my family and I are moving to The Emerald Isles in a couple of years.

No, not ~your~ Emerald Isles, the OTHER Emerald Isles. No, really, that is the nickname for The Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska.

Anyway, we bought a small piece of land and I have already secured grazing rights for up to 15 'small ruminates' on my 'neighbors' land, Koniag Native Corporation. (Read that as Koniag Native American / Alaskan Tribal Government - Corporation Entity which owns the Tribal land as a business instead of a Nation with a suzerain fealty to the US. Just one of the many strange occurrences in a long and often sad history of US / Native relations. The Alaskan Natives got a much better deal from the US than most Native groups.) Anyway, back to the story. We had planned on bringing Kiko goats with us up there for milk and meat. But then I keep thinking 'am I not exploring all of my options?'

Fleece would be a VERY nice thing to have in constant supply there. But I still need milk and meat. I'm sure it can be done, but I have never really heard of someone milking a sheep- and there's probably a good reason for it. Your thoughts?
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by Ad'lan » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:20 am

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:Wee,

As you may have read on some other threads, my family and I are moving to The Emerald Isles in a couple of years.

No, not ~your~ Emerald Isles, the OTHER Emerald Isles. No, really, that is the nickname for The Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska.

Anyway, we bought a small piece of land and I have already secured grazing rights for up to 15 'small ruminates' on my 'neighbors' land, Koniag Native Corporation. (Read that as Koniag Native American / Alaskan Tribal Government - Corporation Entity which owns the Tribal land as a business instead of a Nation with a suzerain fealty to the US. Just one of the many strange occurrences in a long and often sad history of US / Native relations. The Alaskan Natives got a much better deal from the US than most Native groups.) Anyway, back to the story. We had planned on bringing Kiko goats with us up there for milk and meat. But then I keep thinking 'am I not exploring all of my options?'

Fleece would be a VERY nice thing to have in constant supply there. But I still need milk and meat. I'm sure it can be done, but I have never really heard of someone milking a sheep- and there's probably a good reason for it. Your thoughts?
Actually, sheep milk is fairly popular for making cheese. I don't know what your yields are like, and if there are any cold adapted varieties, most sheeps cheese I know of comes from Mediterranean countries.

However, if it's fleece you want, have you considered an alpaca guard animal for your goats? Might not deter a grizzly, but might help.
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Re: The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:49 am

Ad'lan wrote:
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:Wee,

As you may have read on some other threads, my family and I are moving to The Emerald Isles in a couple of years.

No, not ~your~ Emerald Isles, the OTHER Emerald Isles. No, really, that is the nickname for The Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska.

Anyway, we bought a small piece of land and I have already secured grazing rights for up to 15 'small ruminates' on my 'neighbors' land, Koniag Native Corporation. (Read that as Koniag Native American / Alaskan Tribal Government - Corporation Entity which owns the Tribal land as a business instead of a Nation with a suzerain fealty to the US. Just one of the many strange occurrences in a long and often sad history of US / Native relations. The Alaskan Natives got a much better deal from the US than most Native groups.) Anyway, back to the story. We had planned on bringing Kiko goats with us up there for milk and meat. But then I keep thinking 'am I not exploring all of my options?'

Fleece would be a VERY nice thing to have in constant supply there. But I still need milk and meat. I'm sure it can be done, but I have never really heard of someone milking a sheep- and there's probably a good reason for it. Your thoughts?
Actually, sheep milk is fairly popular for making cheese. I don't know what your yields are like, and if there are any cold adapted varieties, most sheeps cheese I know of comes from Mediterranean countries.

However, if it's fleece you want, have you considered an alpaca guard animal for your goats? Might not deter a grizzly, but might help.
Thanks Ad'lan, an alpaca may not be the best option. I think I would have to classify as a pet, but a llama (which I also had not thought of) might be a better fit as it can also be a beast if burden.

The resources will be limited, I'm only going to be able to use 2/3 acres for pasture. Every~body~ there will need to give a return on space and fodder invested. Hence the question about sheep. Now the llama I could use to help me haul things in from the boat up the cliff- and possibly pull a plow/harrow?
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The Sheep Farming Thread

Post by wee drop o' bush » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:58 pm

Damn Morphine, I thought you had acquired a desire for mild, soggy weather. Best of luck.
Sheep milk & cheese is nice. No reason why you couldn't have a small flock of sheep to provide these. Just make sure it's a hardy breed suited to the local climate :)
Ad'lans spot on about Mediterranean sheep breeds being dairy breeds, the Rouge we have are a French breed originally (and still) used to make camembert cheese. Rouge however are not suited to cold weather, the exceptionally cold winters of 2009 & 2010 were too much for them. Our Texels were mostly fine, but the rouge pitched their lambs left, right and center :(
The average milk yield will vary from breed to breed though, there bound to be suitable ones for you.
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