The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Community => Introduce yourself => Topic started by: Clydeview1 on July 16, 2019, 08:23:07 pm

Title: How to gain sheep experience?Hello from Lanarkshire
Post by: Clydeview1 on July 16, 2019, 08:23:07 pm
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on this forum for a long time and I am now desperate to take the plunge into beginning to create some sort of smallholding!

I have a 5 stables and a 5 and a half acre field in North Lanarkshire, I currently have a Clydesdale a Welsh cob and a tiny shitland grazing it but it's proving to be far too much grazing for them. I am currently working on making a chicken coop and run at the moment but for the past couple of years I have been desperate to get some sheep.

I have booked in for the sheep keeping course and I am very much looking forward to it but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how I could get even more hands on experience with sheep before taking the plunge and getting some? I would be more than happy to volunteer on the weekends as I am not scared of long days and getting my hands dirty. I was just wondering if anyone knew if this was an option as I know quite a few farmers in my area but they are of course busy with other things with the time of year so I wouldn't like to get in the way!

Any suggestions would be fab!

Thanks, Paige :)
Title: Re: How to gain sheep experience?Hello from Lanarkshire
Post by: Buttermilk on July 17, 2019, 12:09:59 pm
Look around the shows and talk to breeders.  Look for breeds that you like and find out their good and bad points as nothing is perfect.

Take the plunge and buy 3 or 4 of what you like, worm with a nuke wormer advised by your vet to keep your pasture clean and liver fluke them too for the same reason.  Talk to local farmers and vets about problems in your area.  My local vets run smallholder and sheep meetings a couple of times a year so yours may also do this.  Get your name down on their interested list and they will let you know when the meetings are.

Welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: How to gain sheep experience?Hello from Lanarkshire
Post by: SallyintNorth on July 17, 2019, 01:01:18 pm
If you can take “no” for an answer, ask some of your local farmers.  We used to gladly get folk to come and help us, and learn the while.  If one says yes, he or she might even put a few wethers with you after weaning, or some 2018-born gimmer lambs, for you to get some experience this year. 

First place to ask is somewhere they haven’t sheared yet.  And or ask a sheep shearer if you can go along and help wrap the fleeces.  Help on shearing day, even if it’s just sweeping the shearing boards and sewing up the sheets, is usually happily accepted! 

Then if you spot small bale hay being made on a farm you know has sheep, ask if you could help them stack the bales.  Gets you an “in” ;)

Also check WWOOF Uk for hosts local to you with sheep.