Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Which way to go?  (Read 6824 times)

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Which way to go?
« on: August 15, 2023, 11:47:25 am »
Hi all,

Recently inherited a 10 acre smallholding, and have the opportunity to utilize another 20 on top. The initial plan was for me to keep my two horses (maybe add some more!) On the 10, with some sheep to help manage grass/reduce parasite burdens etc. I have got my sheep, and love the fact they are rare breed. Been doing a lot of thinking, especially as the opportunity for more space is there, is it worth breeding for meat/sale of store lambs with a rare breed? We are also considering cattle (used to handling dairy cows and have experience with beef cattle) again rare breed. Is it worth the hassle? A lot of information I've found/been told is unless you are doing it massively, or can sell the meat direct, no it isn't. Or that there is no call for selling the rare breeds in market for meat as they don't have the high yields. Or do I just enjoy my little pet flock, and my horses, and keep it simple. Part of me feels like I'm wasting an opportunity, and I'm also overwhelmed with options. I'm so confused! Any insights and advice would be gratefully received  :)

Backinwellies

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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2023, 12:38:58 pm »
Selling beef direct is easy .....  we are always over subscribed for our beef boxes each year.   Lamb in Wales is much harder stangely.
No point in selling through market....
I have had  Shetland cattle for 8 + years ..... LOVE them. Very laid back , produce fab calves easily (I now put to A Angus as dont need any more girls and easier to get them AI'd to commercial. (Can get shetland straws just takes a bit more organisation).

The thing with cattle is to remember to rear to beef you have a 2-3 year cycle so at at one time you have 3 generations ... and you need enough grazing for them all. Having said that mine get far too fat on good grazing .... rough is better and thye out winter well.

If you wish to visit my little herd and discuss Shetland cattle (or Llanwenog sheep for that matter) then let me know I'm in Talley SA19  .
I am looking for the right  new home for my 3 Shetland cows (in no real hurry) ....  My OH'd health is making us question the future. 
Linda
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.

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CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2023, 01:00:46 pm »
Shetland cows were what I was thinking of getting, small and hardy. Time to set up isn't an issue really, as we are both still in full time work and plan to wind that down in the next year or so. Also i have been told I'm not allowed masses, so grazing isn't an issue! I was toying with the idea of getting something in the next 6 months or so to keep on top of the grass, we have spent a lot of effort clearing it as it hasn't been touched for 15 years, and the hedgerow we hacked back to the boundary  is starting to fight back on the ungrazed bits. (gaining approx 5ft all around the edge of the land!) Thank you for the offer of coming to meet your herd, I may take you up on that when I have 5 minutes... work, house renovation and land management are wiping me out at the moment!

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2023, 01:34:20 pm »
Also, if you don't mind me asking, where do you send yours to be slaughtered? I'm trying to go into a plan with my eyes wide open, and am asking as many people as I can who do this sort of thing, but they are few and far between in my circle if I'm honest

Backinwellies

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Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2023, 03:46:35 pm »
Wow we might be onto some thing here ...... I love my Shetlands and really not wanting to part with them but health issues may force sale and Id rather find the right home than be forced into quick sale.

We send ours to Tregaron  or  The Gower (both lovely small abattoirs)..... I dont know where you are exactly so cant help with local to you. 

I'm message you my mobile number in case you want a visit.
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

CloverBee

  • Joined Aug 2023
  • Pembrokeshire
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2023, 04:39:16 pm »
Thank you so much for that 😊 I'm north pembs, SA64. There's one in Haverfordwest that's still going I think, but hear a lot of conflicting things from the people I have asked and am none the wiser! I'm sorry to hear you are having a tough time. It's a hard fact of life when things happen that make you reconsider your lifestyle, I've had my fair share of that lately with bereavements and unfavorable diagnosis. You have to do what's right for you at the end of the day though. Hopefully a headspin on my part has worked out in a way we could help each other out. Would love to meet up with you and have you impart some wisdom, hopefully things will calm down and I'll get a chance. I'm really grateful for your kindness

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2023, 08:24:50 am »
Shetland cattle are always a good way to go  :thumbsup:

Shropshirelass

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • South Shropshire
  • A country lass who loves it all!
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2023, 11:57:36 pm »
Selling lamb & pork by us direct to customer has never been a problem with rare breeds. But with our rare breed sheep we’re only running 20-25 ewes at present with a view to doing more so at lambing we’re hoping for around or just under 50 lambs, now I’m hoping that around half of those will go for breeding stock to other breeders. The rest for meat, what you have to work out is your timescales & input vs output costs - sheep are a lot quicker & native breeds can get away with being 100% grass fed.

Cattle you’re waiting 9 months of pregnancy then 18-32 months for slaughtering & fattening age & in the meantime hoping it doesn’t come down with tb & you’ll only get 1 possibly 2  calves if you’re lucky. Sheep you’ll have had 3 crops of lambs off a single ewe in that time period with possibly upto 6-12 lambs depending on what they have.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2023, 07:58:00 am »
But cattle are just so much lovelier. I can't say I miss our sheep at all.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2023, 02:04:28 pm »
 :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:
But cattle are just so much lovelier. I can't say I miss our sheep at all.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Shropshirelass

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • South Shropshire
  • A country lass who loves it all!
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2023, 09:02:37 pm »
See I prefer sheep, I like cattle but their a pain with paperwork & you have to have bigger equipment & facilities & it takes a longer return.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2023, 07:56:05 am »
See I prefer sheep, I like cattle but their a pain with paperwork & you have to have bigger equipment & facilities & it takes a longer return.
If I was in a TB area, I might feel the same. I don't find the paperwork at all onerous though. ScotEID is simple to use and if you ahve a problem, the staff are brillient.
Nae shearing, nae fly strike, nae fluke deaths.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Which way to go?
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2023, 09:12:57 am »
If you go down the rare breed cattle route I would work out your market for the finished product before you get them. Direct selling would be best, selling them in a live market you would likely be hammered price wise as most of the time rare breeds are not commercial.

 

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