NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Free access to stable  (Read 130 times)

Twotwo

  • Joined Aug 2015
Free access to stable
« on: March 13, 2019, 08:54:01 am »
I will ( hopefully) have 10 ewes and 13 lambs. We have plenty of grass but it is very wet, so I thought of letting them run up on to concrete yard and wander in and out of 1-2 horse stables with straw in, they will also have access to the grass.... but they will get wet in any rain so am concerned re pneumonia etc. What do you think ?
Voss Electric Fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Free access to stable
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 10:41:30 am »

Yes it’s a good idea to provide some shelter - but hedgerows or walls, a biggish clump of rushes, a few overhanging trees, are all good shelter for sheep.  The ewes still have their fleeces, and the lambs have their mummies!  If you just have bare fences, you can make shelters with the oblong straw or hay bales, or with an arc of corrugated tin (like a pig arc but with no bottom or ends, move it around frequently), or even with panels of tin strapped to the fences.  Great shelter for lambs are old tyres, they get inside and curl up snug as anything, and you can move the tyres around unless they’re enormous. 

If you want to use the stables, I’d say they’ll need three stables with that number, if you have them.  Each ewe will try to keep a space between her family and the next, so ten families between two stables is still rather crowded.  How much space depends on the ewes and the breed - hill sheep need a lot more space between them than something like a Downs breed.  If the stables are 12’ square, three would just about do for ten families.  If you don’t have enough stables, watch out for anyone getting bullied and maybe provide other shelter - straw bales or whatever - nearby. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Free access to stable
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 10:46:28 am »
That sounds ideal. A 12' square (9 sq yds) stable can easily provide shelter for 5 ewes + offspring. It would obviously be too small if the sheep were shut in there and not just using it as a shelter.  Presumably the door will be left open at all times, so there'll be plenty of fresh air.The risk of pneumonia arises if the sheep were shut inside a closed building with inadequate air flow, ie poor ventilation.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 10:51:24 am by landroverroy »
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Twotwo

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Free access to stable
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 11:22:54 am »
Thanks for replies It’s more a case of muddy conditions rather than shelter, I have in the past made up shelter from hurdles and fence panels but gets very muddy under foot ????????????????????????

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Free access to stable
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 12:02:50 pm »
Thanks for replies It’s more a case of muddy conditions rather than shelter, I have in the past made up shelter from hurdles and fence panels but gets very muddy under foot ????????????????????????

Well, yes, the concrete will be a boon if it’s muddy - although the entrance will get very muddy, of course, if they’re coming and going.

I should add that the sort of sheep I mostly work with are hefted moorland Swaledales and or primitive types and crosses thereof, farmed pretty extensively.  So they don’t take well to being in small spaces with other families, and you can get bullying or worse.  As they say, “Your Mileage May Vary”  ;) :D
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Free access to stable
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 02:50:54 pm »
I have Zwartbles 10 ewes and 17 lambs.  They have access to two 14' square stables, a concrete apron and a grass field.  There is a large bale of haylage on the concrete, in a ring feeder and a lamb creep both with 24 hour access.  The ewes get fed once a day in troughs also on the concrete.  Both stables have wood shavings as bedding.

The lambs like to sleep in a huddle inside while mums go off to graze.  The field really could do with changing as the best of the grass has been eaten and they will be out 24/7 in a different field once the ewes have eaten up the remainder of nuts in store.  The lambs are 5-8 weeks old now.

 

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