NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: First time smallholder about to buy some sheep  (Read 758 times)

Nelson International

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: First time smallholder about to buy some sheep
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2019, 11:28:04 am »
I would also strongly advise that you do this to begin with.  Buy a few store lambs of the sort of sheep you fancy (ie, ones which will fatten in their second summer - doesn’t have to be the exact breed or cross you have chosen) and keep them over winter.  You may find that the ground gets so muddy, the sheep are miserable and or have to be brought in over winter, and you would be better choosing sheep where most of the lambs will be away by November ;).

I think this is a really good idea - this way you get to build some experience without being committed to a breed/specific sheep and can make a more serious plunge in due course. We're in our third year, and I wish we'd done it. The only down sides I can think of are that you don't get to lamb for an extra year (plusses and minuses to that) and depending on your personality, you might be more likely to bond with your first sheep and having some ewes you know are in for the long haul might offset that a bit. .

As for breeds, Welsh Mountain and Black Welsh Mountain are both on the smaller side, and should be easy to find. The other breed you see on the hills in the Beacons a lot are the Brecon Cheviots - they're a really good looking sheep, but bigger. We have south welsh mountains, and I think you become accustomed to what you farm - I think anything smaller looks tiny, and anything bigger looks hard to handle.

Finally, we're not a million miles south of you and had decent luck looking for our first sheep via facebook groups/word of mouth/SellMyLivestock, rather than looking to go to auction (which is an experience worth checking out, but going in at the deep end a bit).
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