NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: minimum area for 2pet sheep  (Read 1778 times)

DartmoorLiz

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Devon
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2018, 10:35:43 am »
If you want an easy and not too expensive life with a nice lawn that you can camp on, pick-nick on and play football on then get a lawnmower.


If you want an interesting life and can afford the vet, feed, bedding and disposal with a lawn covered with droppings, mud, nettles, tools etc and you are around every day to rescue sheep from whatever scrape they get themselves into (bramble is carnivorous https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuzLXxbGc4c) then join us sheep keepers.  I agree with a previous post that 3 is probably a minimum as they are very much flock animals and if one dies a lonely sheep is unlikely to be content. 


You are marginal on grazing but many cattle live in all winter and you'll find the balance of mud/grazing for your land.  I don't think many would say that hard standing was suitable.  They need a bed so they are not standing on wet or muck; if straw is scarce then shavings or some sort of absorbent material under foot.  I know slats are sometimes used where the muck and wet fall through but they are not soft to lie on so many frown on their use.  I know nothing of ouessants and if I was in your position I would find your nearest/most friendly sheep farmer and take a handful of their bottle lambs in the spring then if you need advice or medicine they are on hand to help.
Never ever give up.
Voss Electric Fence

charlie-ia

  • Joined Aug 2018
  • Ireland
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2018, 11:11:14 am »
That sounds quite sensible. Whatever I decide, I won't be rushing into things. Thanks everyone

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2018, 09:23:22 pm »
We like short grass for camping, picnics, and outdoor cooking. And all of these activities are much more enjoyable with sheep around.
We also have much more time for these activities since we got our sheep, as they are far less work than the mowing was and are no more costly than filling and maintaining a mower.

charlie-ia

  • Joined Aug 2018
  • Ireland
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2018, 08:10:11 am »
I've had two stinky peterol mowers die in 2years. And the grass grows when I'm busiest :'(

Hoped I might have better luck with sheep


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2018, 08:46:16 am »
I've had two stinky peterol mowers die in 2years. And the grass grows when I'm busiest :'(

Hoped I might have better luck with sheep

Errrmmm...  they’ll be pretty much the same. Lol.  Stinky, die frequently and often unexpectedly.  Need things when you are at your busiest.  (And this bit is worse.  If the grass is growing and you can’t cut it, you have a harder job when you can get to it.  If the sheep need something you’ll have to do it, however busy you are, or they may well die.)

But they’re very cute :hugsheep:   And you can’t eat lawnmowers ;)
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

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2018, 10:04:51 pm »
Sheep are awesome. Go for it!. 1000m2 should be enough for a few primitives for most of the year if you manage the grass well (I would suggest getting a couple of *self-shedding* Castlemilk Moorits which are docile, only need rooing and are beautiful- or probably even a bit better a couple of Soays which are smaller but a bit more 'jumpy').


A few things I would do to give you the best chance of success to add to the other advice-


1) before getting them allow everything to get really overgrown (primitives will take down really tall and overgrown areas).


2) sort out gaps etc in fences


3) Strike some fast-growing willows in a sheep proof area- maybe a new hedge? (so you can cut as browse which will help supplement your feed in summer and winter).


4) Buy a good hay feeder and get a supply of really top quality hay to feed ad-lib. Get the 4ft version of this https://iae.co.uk/product-agriculture/sheep-hayrack-on-wheels/


5) Buy lots of hurdles so you have full control of where the sheep graze. You should graze an area really hard and supplement with ad-lib hay, mineral lick and energy lick http://www.molevalleyfarmers.com/mvf/store/products/mvf-mole-lyx-sheep-salt-elite-20kg-pack-of-2;jsessionid=1B9A42079D174593209D1A470872D7D1. Once that area is done then move them to a new area and move the hay rack and lick with them.


6) See if you can find 'respite care' for them if your land really won't take them over the winter (my friend does similar to what you are proposing and I have occasionally housed his sheep over the worst of the winter months).

7) Keep a daily eye on them to see that they are thriving- and if unsure get a trusted farmer or vet to advise you (or get advice off here).


During summer this will prob work OK. As you hit winter it may be that you need to confine the sheep to a hard, dry area (and with shelter with a covering of straw) until your grass starts growing again. Don't ever allow them to get muddy feet. In a small area you would also be advised to remove droppings. Feeding will never be a problem- just feed them ad-lib hay from your feeder (and a handful of beet shreds- which are a by-product of the UK sugar beet industry so environmentally much better than soya products, some clippings from your willow or even offer a few fodder beets).


Best of luck!






 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 10:11:35 pm by Fieldfare »

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2018, 08:19:34 am »
Sheep are awesome. Go for it!. 1000m2 should be enough for a few primitives for most of the year if you manage the grass well (I would suggest getting a couple of *self-shedding* Castlemilk Moorits which are docile, only need rooing and are beautiful- or probably even a bit better a couple of Soays which are smaller but a bit more 'jumpy').


A few things I would do to give you the best chance of success to add to the other advice-


1) before getting them allow everything to get really overgrown (primitives will take down really tall and overgrown areas).


2) sort out gaps etc in fences


3) Strike some fast-growing willows in a sheep proof area- maybe a new hedge? (so you can cut as browse which will help supplement your feed in summer and winter).


4) Buy a good hay feeder and get a supply of really top quality hay to feed ad-lib. Get the 4ft version of this https://iae.co.uk/product-agriculture/sheep-hayrack-on-wheels/


5) Buy lots of hurdles so you have full control of where the sheep graze. You should graze an area really hard and supplement with ad-lib hay, mineral lick and energy lick http://www.molevalleyfarmers.com/mvf/store/products/mvf-mole-lyx-sheep-salt-elite-20kg-pack-of-2;jsessionid=1B9A42079D174593209D1A470872D7D1. Once that area is done then move them to a new area and move the hay rack and lick with them.


6) See if you can find 'respite care' for them if your land really won't take them over the winter (my friend does similar to what you are proposing and I have occasionally housed his sheep over the worst of the winter months).

7) Keep a daily eye on them to see that they are thriving- and if unsure get a trusted farmer or vet to advise you (or get advice off here).


During summer this will prob work OK. As you hit winter it may be that you need to confine the sheep to a hard, dry area (and with shelter with a covering of straw) until your grass starts growing again. Don't ever allow them to get muddy feet. In a small area you would also be advised to remove droppings. Feeding will never be a problem- just feed them ad-lib hay from your feeder (and a handful of beet shreds- which are a by-product of the UK sugar beet industry so environmentally much better than soya products, some clippings from your willow or even offer a few fodder beets).


Best of luck!



An excellent positive post which I hope will make you realise a mower is easier!!!
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

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2018, 08:54:48 am »
We had 1500m2 of good grass for our two, which they ate completely bare by November. Then the money we had previously spent on fuel for the lawnmower was spent on hay. The time we had saved on cutting was spent feeding and watering them.


You really need 2000m2 I think, although it all depends on the breed and maybe you could halve that. Then you perhaps need another 2000m2 for hay, rotating them every year, so two enclosures. Then dry storage for the hay and equipment to cut and move it.


Guess your approach depends on your concern for the environment- we're going with the sheep.

charlie-ia

  • Joined Aug 2018
  • Ireland
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2018, 07:18:30 pm »
Can't believe how helpful people are here, thankyou all
 :hug:
Fieldfare, thanks for typing all that!
1 mower broke last year, so all is very overgrown
Doesn't long grass cause footscald?

2 I would have to build sheep fence anyway.

3 one reason I'm short of room is because I have planted willow. Much willow, for baskets and windbreak.
*** Is too much willow harmful?***

 6 I have a neighbour with a holiday cottage, I think they would let me graze there. ( not me, the sheep)

8? I have a large,walled concrete yard that could be used to build winter housing, and underused barn for hay etc storage

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2018, 08:24:31 pm »

Doesn't long grass cause footscald?


Everything causes scald.  Long grass, short grass, dry grass, wet grass, spiky grass, soft grass - you name it, whatever ground you’ve got, it causes scald.  They get scald, geddit?  ::)


*** Is too much willow harmful?***


Errrrm.... weeeelllll, could be.   :thinking:   Like many things, it can be deleterious if they eat too much of it, so the key is to be sure they have plenty of other stuff to eat so don’t overdo it on the willow.
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

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2018, 10:59:10 pm »
Hi Charlie-ia, just a bit more info. I realise that I keep my 2 rams in an unimproved paddock of approx. 1000m2 almost all year round (they leave it in Nov/Dec). The amount of grass I still have despite the dry summer is still really good (about 4"). See photos. The amount of grass that you will get depends on many factors of course (sunlight, type of grass, soil, weather etc. etc.). Anyway, if you manage yours well (strip-grazing it using temporary hurdles would work well and supplementing when necessary) then I'm sure you have enough land (and if you have 2 ewes they will eat less than strapping rams!). Defo. go and see a well-run city farm and speak to the livestock manager- they will be doing what you want to do.


In terms of scald, I have never seen it in Castlemilk Moorits (a primitive breed) and I have been strip-grazing 27 of my ewes and lambs into some 2-year uncut pasture for the past months (overgrown with grass and tons of thistles) with not a sign of scald. It's actually really lovely to see them chomping through it- the most relaxing lawnmowing you'll ever do! My really strong advice would be to go for Castlemilks or Soays- as closer to 'wild-type' they don't have the health concerns of many of the woolly 'improved' breeds and if kept well then you will rarely need a vet.

charlie-ia

  • Joined Aug 2018
  • Ireland
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2018, 03:33:09 pm »
Thanks again everyone for your welcome, and your helpful advice.
After careful consideration (and a lot of learning).....

our Shetland pony arrives tomorrow!

Best wishes and happy Christmas to you all

Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #42 on: December 24, 2018, 10:13:14 am »
Can you keep one shetland pony on it's own?
Don’t Monkey With Another Monkey’s Monkey

charlie-ia

  • Joined Aug 2018
  • Ireland
Re: minimum area for 2pet sheep
« Reply #43 on: December 24, 2018, 10:35:21 am »
We are surrounded by the neighbours horses, they can kiss through the fence, but they can't kick him. And I have plenty of back up if I need to know anything.
I would have been out on my own with sheep I think.

 

how many sheep minimum

Started by funkyfish

Replies: 2
Views: 968
Last post December 12, 2013, 01:35:44 pm
by Anke
Minimum amount of land for sheep

Started by Eastling

Replies: 10
Views: 7600
Last post March 29, 2011, 06:51:10 pm
by sjw
Wanted - Pet sheep - Perth area

Started by Chrissie

Replies: 3
Views: 1052
Last post March 16, 2013, 04:30:57 pm
by Rosemary
Sheep management in area with wolves!

Started by macgro7

Replies: 16
Views: 1662
Last post January 09, 2018, 07:52:41 am
by Tim W
Sheep Shearing Cumbria and Hexham area

Started by cumbriandan

Replies: 2
Views: 835
Last post July 13, 2015, 07:54:55 pm
by cumbriandan

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Assist Animal Care Services 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