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Author Topic: Stocking rates  (Read 620 times)

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Stocking rates
« on: May 18, 2024, 10:02:50 pm »
Moved all my ewes and lambs into our bigger field. 9 acres plenty grass and shade for 12 sheep and 15 lambs born Feb/March.

My issue is I’d like it grazing hard this year and I wondered about stocking rates. There’s no paddocks (yet)moving them through it so they graze where they want.

Ideally I’d fence paddock in but it’s massive and steep and expensive. But did think about splitting it roughly into 5acre and 4 acres as this would help with rotational grazing?

So for now, or maybe for next year, I wondered about running lambs on it until say August and then selling them?

Any thoughts or funding issues for splitting a field with fencing?

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2024, 10:13:29 pm »
9 acres with 12 ewes and 15 lambs is quite under stocked really. I’d shut them up in it tight if you want it grazed hard, so paddock grazing and daily moves. For example we are currently grazing hard a 2 acre field, split into 2 paddocks, with 35 ewes and 40 lambs. The grass had got away from us as we couldn’t graze it until now due to ground conditions. They’ve done a week in the first acre paddock and aim to move them after 9 or 10 days. Then do another week-10 days in the second acre paddock. Then rest for a month or so.


You’ll need electric fencing, there’s no real way around it. We’ve got miles of the stuff  :roflanim:  and a good fence unit, we’re currently using a 5 joule energiser with a big deep Earth stake.

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2024, 10:50:39 pm »
I’d love electric fencing but just no clue where to start and added theft factor to consider for us.

They’ve all done well off a 4 acre field but I am leaning more towards creating paddocks for this reason as last year we had nearly half the field with long lush grass and it just felt massively wasted. Even though come winter they still had plenty with bale access on top.

Had a good walk round it and they’ve made a dent in it but there’s still plenty lush grass to be had and it’s growing. I need to buy more sheep, fatten them and sell for Autumn.


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2024, 01:48:17 am »
With those numbers on that acreage, you can probably take a hay crop as well?  Yes it'll be less grass than if it weren't grazed, but I bet it'll be enough to be worth mowing. 
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2024, 07:41:08 am »
I’d love electric fencing but just no clue where to start and added theft factor to consider for us.

They’ve all done well off a 4 acre field but I am leaning more towards creating paddocks for this reason as last year we had nearly half the field with long lush grass and it just felt massively wasted. Even though come winter they still had plenty with bale access on top.

Had a good walk round it and they’ve made a dent in it but there’s still plenty lush grass to be had and it’s growing. I need to buy more sheep, fatten them and sell for Autumn.


Like sally says you could shut half of it off and cut for hay, but shut it off very soon to give it time to grow. Buying sheep is another option but you’re buying them at the most expensive time and probably selling when the price is easier, plus risking disease and biosecurity bringing in new stock. 


Electric fence wise, 2 strands of poly wire round the boundaries and 3 strands through the middle of fields, but it can be costly, esp if you buy a lot at once. We’ve just added to our collection over time.

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2024, 08:27:51 am »
Too steep for hay in the main and I’ve additional grass elsewhere that we cut and it’s a whole other post.

This is what they graze mostly as up until this year we only had this field that was livestock proof.

I’ve a few contacts and might be able to get some for not silly prices.

I keep getting differing views on keeping wethers.

Op 1:great lawnmowers…sell them when you’re done.
Op2: make the flock fussy, pain to manage.

Currently got 3 and would get more as not looking to increase my ewe numbers massively. Do people keep minimal numbers and Mart the rest?



shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2024, 01:26:38 pm »
As twizzel says now is the most expensive time to buy sheep and the autumn is the cheapest ,  don't know how much work you are willing to put in / can put in  or if you even have the tools but you could buy the sheep stock fence  and a few posts  ready to make a full fence in the future and use it now to make smaller areas for your sheep  , just unroll your net / nets  and pop a post in every 10 yds /mts  and staple not fully driven home ,  bingo- smaller grazing areas and the material for a permanent fence at some point
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 06:23:37 pm by shep53 »

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2024, 01:35:39 pm »
I'm not a fan of electric netting for horned sheep. Stock fencing is bad enough for some of mine

Not sure what breed you have

SavageU

  • Joined May 2023
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2024, 09:20:50 pm »
No horned. Just 2 mules with tiny stubs if anything.

If we were more remote, I’d be more tempted to do electric fencing. But we put up horse steps and had to blinking nail them down.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Stocking rates
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2024, 09:46:52 pm »
Other than electric fencing, the only other thing you could do is stock fence the field perimeter and then internal paddocks… but that would be incredibly costly. Personally I’d get some stakes and poly wire, and a decent fencer and give it a go.

 

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