Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: LOTS of questions!  (Read 6838 times)

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
LOTS of questions!
« on: July 06, 2014, 10:45:25 am »
okay so i have a lot of questions about starting to keep sheep! i am considering dropping the idea of getting 3 store lambs and instead upgrading to a couple of ewes that have only had one season with one lamb at foot each. i would need to wean these lambs, i will be running them in a single enclosure of electric fencing. could i wean the lambs off in the one fence enclosure or would i need two? could i just put up a single strip of stock fencing to split the electric fencing enclosure in half then wait until the lambs are properly independent and the ewes have dried up and then let them graze together  in one bigger enclosure? i then grow the lambs up for breeding as i would be buying female lambs at foot, when i then borrow a tup and put it to the ewes in the autumn would i then need to separate the lambs away from the tup?

if you made any sense of all that then well done!
Cheers Ed
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 10:48:35 am by Young Ed »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2014, 02:37:19 pm »
I think the reason everyone was recommending starting with store lambs was so that you would have some experience of managing sheep before getting into issues like tupping, lambing and weaning.  Called walking before running!  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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2014, 03:18:12 pm »
I think the reason everyone was recommending starting with store lambs was so that you would have some experience of managing sheep before getting into issues like tupping, lambing and weaning.  Called walking before running!  lol
i see your and every ones point on this one. but i have been recommended i get right on with breeding immediately by 3 local farmers that know me personally and reckon i would be capable of this. i have been working for the last 6 months or so on various sheep farms and thus have gained a lot of hands on practical experience and feel confident in going straight into tupping, lambing and weaning etc 

also i am lucky enough to have the support of these 3 farmers should i have any problems/questions which i will!
Cheers Ed
P.S: Please don't take this message personally or offensively, it is simply meant to explain my personal situation.

Azzdodd

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 03:23:24 pm »
Buy ewe's with castrated ram lambs at foot no need to wean them let the ewes do it naturally then bring the tup in no need to seperate ewe & lambs send the lambs away to eat then keep any ewe lambs you have next year....what I would do personally

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2014, 04:12:53 pm »
How big is your proposed enclosure Ed?  What breed are you proposing getting?  You need to watch for electric mesh as sheep can and do get stuck in it, and you can't use it for horned stock at all.

I understand why you want to keep the lambs at foot for breeding in the future, and by using ewes which have previously lambed you should have few problems.

For weaning, you really don't need to separate the lambs off.  The dams will wean them off themselves and their milk will dry up naturally by 4 to 5 months.  This still gives them time to have a couple of months to get into condition for tupping, and is far less stressful for ewes and lambs both.  If you really want to wean them early, then you will get different advice.  Some say to move them as far apart as possible so they can't see and hear eachother.  As in reality you can hear a bawling ewe about a mile away, I use the other method where I put the lambs in the next paddock.  That way they are near their mums and can even walk along beside them to graze, but just can't get to the udder.  I wouldn't use electric mesh though as the lambs will try to push through and will certainly get caught up and can easily strangle in the stuff.

Yes, if you are going to breed your lambs at 2 yrs you will need to keep them away from the tup this tupping season.  Could you borrow a tup for a month at the vital time from one of your local sheepy friends?  That way you don't have to keep him around, and worry about him being on his own.
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2014, 04:38:46 pm »
The other option for tupping, which would be easier for you with just two ewes to tup and some ewe lambs that you don't want tupped, would be to take your ewes to run with one of your local friendly farmer's ewes and tup.  Then you don't have a tup near your ewe lambs and don't have to worry about whether your internal fencing is adequate! 
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

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2014, 04:56:41 pm »
Good advice from everyone.
We don't wean our lambs off either, they do it naturally.
Less stress too.
But when you bring the tup in, you'll have to move your ewe lambs.
Plus, even though they are weaned, they will want to go back to their mums.
I'm not sure if an electric fence between them would be enough to stop the lambs or ewes getting back to each other, or a tup trying to get to ewe lambs.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2014, 05:09:18 pm »
If taking ewes to the tup I'd ask about the health status of the host flock:  Johnes, Jaagsiekte, Maedi Visna, footrot, CODD, Toxoplasmosis, scab, lice .....  You don't want them brining more than foetuses back with them.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2014, 05:12:56 pm »
If taking ewes to the tup I'd ask about the health status of the host flock:  Johnes, Jaagsiekte, Maedi Visna, footrot, CODD, Toxoplasmosis, scab, lice .....  You don't want them brining more than foetuses back with them.

Very true.  Easiest would be to take them back to the flock you bought them from ;)
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

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2014, 08:30:00 pm »
thanks all, some great answers!  ;D :thumbsup:

i will buy 2 ewes with ewe lambs at foot this year
ewe lambs might be pure lleyn like mothers or might be lleyn/shetland depending on price difference
will wean naturally
will take any for breeding back to original flock for tupping
current enclosure is 100mX100m but will expand next year
i am not using electric netting but rather electric polywire
will buy ewes with ewe lambs at foot this year as above and then keep any future ewe lambs from breeding until i have about 6 or so and fatten the boys for slaughter

if i have missed anything then just give me a shout
Cheers Ed

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2014, 09:40:16 pm »
Ed, It sounds like you have your head screwed on right :thumbsup: .   When I started I took my 4 ewes back to the flock where they came from - it's a good way to start without any of the worries with a ram.  Good luck with your flock.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2014, 09:10:47 am »
I did the same when we had three ewes - took them back to the breeder to be tupped.

Sounds like a plan! Good luck with it  :thumbsup:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2014, 09:42:01 am »
Just one thing - if the original breeder is MV accredited, they might not want them back for tupping, or at least that's what I was told. However, I reckon you could buy a few ewe lambs this year to get a bit of experience this summer, and then add some ewes in lamb in the winter? We're hoping to do something similar ourselves this year.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2014, 06:45:34 pm »
what does MV accredited' mean exactly? sorry to sound like a noob.... but i am one :(
Cheers Ed

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: LOTS of questions!
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2014, 07:26:42 pm »
MV is Maedi visna a viral disease of lungs and nervous system. Mv accredited sheep and goats I believe are certified clear of it which can make them worth more. Those with mv accreditation would be unlikely to risk it by having stock coming in. Many are likely to run a closed flock system. I think this is right

 

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