NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Starting in sheep  (Read 578 times)

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Starting in sheep
« on: June 01, 2019, 11:20:13 am »
So Iv been trying to buy some land for quite some time with no luck but I have found some to rent , I don’t know much about sheep I did do some lambing at college, and feeding up etc , am looking to fill my freezer with my own meat and know where it’s come from !
The man wants me to make an offer on the rent for the paddock ( how much do I offer?)
Will I be best with 3 or 4 store lambs or a ewe with lambs at foot ? I know I will need a holding number etc , but what else is needed? I think this is as close as I can get to haveing my own small holding
Voss Electric Fence

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 01:56:05 pm »
How big is the paddock? How well fenced is it, is there any shelter etc. They will all have a bearing on how much rent its worth.

I'd start off with a few lambs to fatten up, then maybe see how you get on and maybe replace them with ewes if it goes well. The field may already have a holding number, you'd have to ask the owner. You will need your own flock number, although the lambs would of already been tagged with the details from the holding on which they were born

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2019, 02:06:45 pm »
Thanks for reply, yes it’s all well fenced they is water and electricity in the small field shelter, if I got store lambs will I need to feed them pellets as well or just the grass ? Sorry for all the Questions, I don’t want to make money just have my own meat but don’t want to lose loads ether ha

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2019, 04:32:21 pm »
How big is the field and how many lambs will you be getting? You shouldn't need to feed them creep if there is plenty of grass. I would give them a mineral bucket too, just to make sure their getting everything they need to grow.


I'm pretty sure you'll loose loads of money I'm afraid but nothing beats home produced meat - so you will need to work out what works for you!


If the field is 1.5 - 2 acres, it could be rented out for £50 a month to a horsey person, you can probably keep 8 - 10 lambs on that amount of land, depending on how good the grass is. Its better to understock than overstock. Another thing to consider is what breed/type of sheep, some mature fast and others will take a lot longer, if their not finished before the winter and don't have grass you'll need to feed them. Everything has an impact.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 05:06:03 pm »
Before you think about ewes and lambs, are you able to give them proper care at lambing time?  If the land is a distance from your house, would you be able to stay on the land, or how would you manage?

Definitely a good idea to start with store lambs even if you eventually want to breed your own.  You will learn basic sheep handling and care without anything like as much stress ;).

Your choices are to fatten stores over summer and let the field rest over winter - by far the easiest, and the ground would take more at a time this way. Or buy lambs that will need overwintering and fatten in spring, in which case you would want less heads. But the lambs would be cheaper to buy.

If you can get good Texel-type store lambs they should finish on grass by October.   If they’re not ready by then you’d need to give them a little cake - half a pound of coarse mix a day each, max, to keep the condition on them.  Or let them lose condition over the winter and regain it on the spring grass.

Cheviot types are likely to need longer, into the New Year, but will be bigger when they do fitten.  They’ll manage on grass or hay.  I’m not sure if you’d find anything of that type where you are, and they’re usually sold in big batches.

I’ve no personal experience of Suffolk types, but the tend to be lambed earlier so should fatten before winter, I imagine.  And they make heavier carcasses than Texels.

Swaledale wethers or mule wethers would make fab meat next summer. 
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

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 05:06:13 pm »
Just back from meeting the bloke he’s a nice old chap ,
He says I can use one old stable and about 1/4 of an acre for £2.50 a week per sheep , so just need to do all the maths ha

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2019, 05:07:54 pm »
There’s just a quarter of an acre?  That’s not enough to fatten anything really.
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

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 05:31:45 pm »
He has 3.5 acre but he can get more for horses so he’s offering me a bit be hind a stable he sed I can use it all un till he get some on else on , I thort it was to good to be true , only 5 mins drive from my home

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2019, 05:36:21 pm »
The council have an un fenced 2.5 acre field on the edge of a small council estate ( in a village) it’s up at offers but no water and no fence, and have to pay £300 set up fees etc , but I do know it’s costing them money to have it cut etc  am not giving up until I can fill my own freezer with meat !

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2019, 09:18:55 pm »
You need to think how you’re going to get water there and how to fence the field- electric fencing isn’t cheap and I’d be wary about putting expensive fencers and batteries in a built up area. As for the 1/4 acre no good to anyone at that size  :-\

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 06:34:42 am »
The council have an un fenced 2.5 acre field on the edge of a small council estate ( in a village) it’s up at offers but no water and no fence, and have to pay £300 set up fees etc , but I do know it’s costing them money to have it cut etc  am not giving up until I can fill my own freezer with meat !

I wouldn't be interested in that particular piece of land either. You won't be living on site and if its close to a housing estate you risk loose dogs getting into the field or people stealing the energiser. You could use electric fencing to secure it, but lambs are very clever at getting through it, you'd need several strands and if any of the grass touches it at any point or a branch falls it will short and be ineffective. 


The quarter of an acre isn't worth discussing, you'd maybe keep 2 lambs on that for a month before they scalped it and had to pay for hay and hard feed. Going rate around here for keeping lambs is 50p a week.

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 06:48:09 am »
Ok thanks for your reply’s, I will keep looking, asking around etc

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2019, 11:36:04 am »
£2.50/ sheep /week is exorbitant. I have a couple of 2.5 acre fields, fenced and watered that I'm letting out for sheep at 50p/week. I could get more for horses  and would rent to a sensible horse owner (not just a penniless wannabe that thinks that all you need to keep a horse is a field of grass that grows all year.)  But horses damage fencing and are fussy grazers.
Pity you don't live a bit nearer vfr400boy as I have cut right down on my sheep and have loads of grass at present.  :thinking: [size=78%] [/size]
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2019, 12:10:18 pm »
Thanks landrover , I will keep looking one day I will find something some were , the last horse people he had on left one night and left owing him £300 !
Wish he’d just say give me £## per year for it all then I could have a few lambs and a couple of pigs in the barn ,

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Starting in sheep
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2019, 07:47:27 pm »
Why not point that out to him? If he really is "a nice old chap", then having been already shafted by the previous horse people, it must be obvious that a bird in the hand if better than promises of high rent that don't materialise. Sometimes, it's not just about the money and resultant hassle. It can be worth charging less and know you've got someone that will look after the land and fencing in a responsible manner. Not to mention the odd lamb/pork joint and chops.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

 

Starting out with SHEEP??

Started by chrisgod

Replies: 15
Views: 20468
Last post March 03, 2008, 06:20:11 pm
by woollyval
starting with sheep

Started by Buffy the eggs layer

Replies: 23
Views: 6197
Last post July 25, 2010, 07:29:36 pm
by humphreymctush
starting with sheep

Started by Buffy the eggs layer

Replies: 18
Views: 8541
Last post January 11, 2011, 02:35:15 am
by landroverroy
starting with sheep

Started by jacob and Georgina

Replies: 5
Views: 2157
Last post October 15, 2011, 11:05:44 pm
by SallyintNorth
Starting with sheep

Started by Buffy the eggs layer

Replies: 20
Views: 5433
Last post July 10, 2012, 04:51:20 am
by tizaala

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS