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Author Topic: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?  (Read 400 times)

Tallgrass

  • Joined May 2019
Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« on: May 18, 2019, 09:03:09 am »
New to posting, but have been reading old posts on this forum for years.

So we have a small holding near Exeter, of around 12 acres and we also rent when needed another 10 acres from the neighbour. At the moment we have just horses grazing the paddocks down, and I'm a bit fed up being the neglected horsey husband.

Anyways to the point of this post, I'm thinking about buying a small flock of sheep to keep the paddocks tidy. I've had sheep in the past which were black Welsh ewes and to be honest they're a bit of pain in the arse trying to keep them in one field even with built up hedges and stock fencing.

Sorry but this is just my opinion but I don't really want another hill type breed so I would like for some advice on a rare breed lowland type. My goal would be to setup a registered pedigree flock which I could later show.

Any advice would be great I'm open to all suggestions, I'm going to be doing a 2 day machine shearing course end of the month so even long wool breeds are on the table.
Voss Electric Fence

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 09:11:43 am »
I would start with a few commercial breed/type and see how you get on.

When I first started with sheep I got pure bred and had a similar idea of showing and selling top quality rams and ewes. I soon discovered that there are people who have bred and shown for years/generations and have very good reputations and they can get top price for their sheep but its incredibly hard to break into that 'circle' when they are who your competing against. Also, rare breed are usually rare for a reason, they are not to everyone's taste so again, very hard for a newcomer to get top price.

Unless making money isn't your top priority of course, in which case go for it :)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 12:05:05 pm »
Always keen to help enable someone to get into sheep :). And especially rare sheep :).  And super especially if they might be interested in producing fleece for us crafters   :excited: :spin: :knit:

My first thought was Norfolk Horn. The precursor to the Suffolk, and actually recreated from almost extinct by reverse engineering Suffolk x Southdown. 

And how I would love to have a supplier of this fabulous fleece close by  :excited: :spin: ;). Lol. It’s one of my favourite breeds, and is also a fave of Deborah Robson, co-author of the Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook.

Another rare breed with nice fleece for spinning, and a downland type, is Oxford Down.  Spinners go mad for the coloured ones especially, but I’m not sure the breed Soc is so keen ;)

Another rare breed that might be of interest is the Border Leicester.  I’ll buy a tup lamb off you for crossing if you go that route ;).

Portland might be a bit too independent-minded for you, but I believe they’re easy to look after, and the fleece is very popular.

An idea from left field..  At North Ash Farm, vet and farmer Mike has been breeding Exmoorino for many years.  Extraordinary fleece.  1st cross Exmoor Horn x his merino/bowmont is to my mind just about the perfect fleece for spinning.  2nd cross (1/4 Exmoor Horn) is super fine and super soft.  Just a thought.



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

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2019, 10:45:57 pm »
Oh, Sally, now I'm wanting an Exmerino fleece and I already have far too many in the loft and a Romney on order.


 :roflanim: :spin: :spin: :spin:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 02:04:02 am »
Oh, Sally, now I'm wanting an Exmerino fleece and I already have far too many in the loft and a Romney on order.


 :roflanim: :spin: :spin: :spin:

Lol, we can’t help ourselves, can we?  They will do mail order of whole fleeces, I think.  And I am keeping a list on Ravelry of people who want a bit to try, and will buy and divvy up a couple of fleeces in the summer.  (Doing this at cost, because I’m an idiot.  Lol).
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

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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    • Facebook
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 05:25:24 pm »
Devon closeswol
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
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Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
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Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 05:27:23 pm »
Devon closewool is your local one.     I've got llanwenogs ....  Good choice too
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 09:14:10 pm »
Devon closeswol

I should have thought of that!  Good one Linda. 
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

Tallgrass

  • Joined May 2019
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2019, 07:11:24 pm »
Thank you all for your great suggestions, you've given me a lot to think about. I'll post an update once I have decided, some of you will be happy to hear thou that it's looking like nice fleece producing breed. ;)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hello, farmers son looking for sheep advice?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2019, 10:30:11 am »
 
Thank you all for your great suggestions, you've given me a lot to think about. I'll post an update once I have decided, some of you will be happy to hear thou that it's looking like nice fleece producing breed. ;)

 :excited: :spin:  ;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

 

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