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Author Topic: Hello from Wiltshire Boreray!  (Read 162 times)

Mamohau

  • Joined Jan 2022
Hello from Wiltshire Boreray!
« on: January 12, 2022, 10:06:43 pm »
Hi.  I'm a relative sheep beginner, starting with my friend's Soay 3 years ago and then last year getting Boreray with 4 of my own and 4 fosters, all registered, and one tame Wiltshire Horn x Shetland who's the lead girl, still a lamb but the others follow her as she never misses an opportunity for food! 

I'm learning slowly but get quite frustrated with the ridiculous amount of conflicting information out there!  It gets quite difficult to assess things like feed and scouring so that's why I thought that I'd join here and see what problems other people have and how they deal with them.

I am learning to spin and work fleece, having made my first peg loom rug last week, and about to crochet something from my first lot of spindle spinning. I have a couple of wheels but they're not running properly yet; more learning.

I also have a small flock of Seramas, and one Belgian d'Anvers hen after her flock were taken by a fox, but she was an egg in an incubator thank heavens.

My dogs are one dedicated rat/rabbiter, and one assistant who is only interested if there's a chase across the field.

There are 5 ferrets at home, 3 hobs and 2 jills, all neutered, pets not workers.  Lots of fun and mischief.

That's a rough bio of my livestock.

Sarah

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Hello from Wiltshire Boreray!
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2022, 02:30:48 pm »
Welcome Sarah, good to have another sheepkeeping  :sheep: :sheep: woolcrafter  :spin: :knit: on here  :thumbsup:

@Fleecewife and I are two of the other sheepkeeping  :sheep: :sheep: woolcrafters  :spin: :knit: on here; FW has already given you a comprehensive answer on feeding your primitives on your other thread.  As she makes clear, one of the reasons you are getting conflicting information is that primitive sheep need completely different management to commercial sheep. 

Ask as many questions as you like, we love to help :)
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

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Hello from Wiltshire Boreray!
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2022, 06:15:05 pm »
Hi again Sarah and welcome to TAS
Now I know the answer to one of my questions - you are in Wiltshire  :D


I really should have answered the other post with 'Relax' at the top, or 'Don't Panic' if you're a Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy type.  As Sally says, primitives are completely different to commercials, and so is their treatment/care, so it follows that while the advice you were given by those who keep commercial sheep is correct in its place, only some of it applies to your sheep.  You clearly are watching and learning about your sheep from hints in what you have written.  Continue to do that and you will be the one who knows most about them.  I found the same with babies - so much advice, but only you know the person within that baby exterior, so you actually can answer all your own questions.  Look critically at any advice you are given, including from me  8)  and see if it applies to the animals you know, then apply or not.
Same with spinning - people can tell you as much as you want, but it's the doing it for yourself that teaches you about your new hobby.  Sally is an excellent example of that - I told her a few basics and she was off, now I'm totally left behind in how much she knows  :spin: :knit: :roflanim: .  As well as various spinning wheels, I am a spindle addict.  When you get to wanting to repair your wheels, we will be here to give you some hints.  Meanwhile, go round everything that moves and put a drop of gun oil there, which will help to free them up before you are ready to start sorting them properly.  Spinning wheels are very simple - a spindle on its side, with a treadle to make it turn  :idea:


I have dogs too, currently one older pointer type rescue bitch, plus a Parson Russell puppy, from great ratting stock but he's a bit of a fearty so although he's aware of rats, it's much easier to kill a paper bag, or rip a toy to shreds.  He'll get there I think, especially if we find a nest for him to dig out.  He will also have to become our sheep dog.  Previous dogs of ours have helped with rounding up and so on, each with their own quirky method.  One was a sheep guardian dog so the sheep just followed her when we called her to us.  The German Shepherd would ask her flock politely if they would mind stepping this way please, and our Jack Russell would adopt a horrible yipping demented bark and the sheep would just go in the opposite direction, so if he was in the right place, the sheep ended up in the pen.  All great fun.  The pup is practicing on our geese so far and as they know where to go anyway it's quite a good teaching method. The sheep know too really.  I have this sneaky feeling that sheep are quicker to pick up on the instructions from shepherd to dog so they're ready and can then decide whether to go with the flow or give the poor dog a run for its money  :innocent:


« Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 06:18:30 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Hello from Wiltshire Boreray!
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2022, 07:04:05 pm »
Hello and welcome.

My advice is listen to Sally and Fleecewife  :)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Hello from Wiltshire Boreray!
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2022, 09:46:47 pm »
I have this sneaky feeling that sheep are quicker to pick up on the instructions from shepherd to dog so they're ready and can then decide whether to go with the flow or give the poor dog a run for its money  :innocent:

When I was training Dot, I put a few wethers in a smallish field and set up a few obstacles - pair of gates, things to go round and through, and so on.  It worked well for a very short time only, then the sheep would see me approach the field with Dot, and would and take themselves around the "course" before we were even through the gate!   :roflanim:   (Rookie mistake by me :dunce:, I learned to vary the route each time I went in  :idea:)

Also, when Dot was out of action after an operation, I discovered I could move our sheep a couple of times before they realised I was singlehanded.  They would sort of "assume the dog", knowing from my actions which move I wanted and not needing to see the dog to know she was there!  Except she wasn't!  lol.  Only worked once or twice though; luckily we don't need to move them about very often.
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

 

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