Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Livin' the dream!  (Read 4199 times)

Lisa

  • Joined Apr 2009
Livin' the dream!
« on: April 30, 2009, 09:15:55 pm »
Just discovered this site whilst researching 'sheep management'....and have been greatly reassured that there are other like-minded people out there doing the same as what we've dreamed about for years and are finally getting the opportunity to actually do!! 

I'm Lisa, my boyfriend's Tom, and we live in a very small village in South Gloucestershire....

....and we've recently started to rent the 3.5 acre field behind our house. This very evening we've been to visit a lovely local farmer about buying 2 of his ewes that have lambs at foot - 2 boys and 2 girls. We're massively excited about finally populating our field but we're a little nervous, I must admit, having had no experience of looking after sheep before!

We are armed only with 1 book and the support and advice of the farmer who has sold us his sheep. The sheep are to be delivered to us (or collected by me - if I pass my towing test in 2 weeks) in 3 weeks!

Any final words of advice from anyone before we embark on our journey into small-scale sheep-keeping would be enormously well received!!

It's lovely to read all of your introductions and I have a feeling I will be visiting the forum on a daily basis!!

Lisa & Tom

pigsatlesrues

  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 11:21:42 pm »
Welcome to both you and Tom Lisa.  We have Ouessant sheep here in Normandy, and really enjoy them.  What sheep are you getting?  There is a wealth of knowledge on here so you wont go far wrong browsing through the Sheep section. 

Good pasture, a shelter and good fencing will stand you in good stead to start with.  From there on in, your experience will grow with your confidence and knowing your farmer is at hand to help, you will be fine. 

Will you get your own ram for next season?  If so you know what your next chapter will be!!!

You say you have two little males coming, so will you eat them or move them on?  That will be your first big decision to make.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Kate  :pig: :sheep:
Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !

Hilarysmum

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 09:39:12 am »
Welcome, and good luck with your new enterprise. 

Fluffywelshsheep

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Near Stirling, Central Scotland
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 03:34:15 pm »
hiya from the well travelled sheep

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 09:35:35 pm »
Hi and welcome to TAS.

Lisa

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 03:35:43 pm »
Hi Kate and thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

The ewes and lambs we've bought are suffolks. The farmer has said they produce good meat and Tom's mum will be able to spin wool from their fleeces so they are perfect for what we want/need. They were also very placid and friendly - they actually came over to us and the lambs were very quiet when we picked them up. This was important because we want them to be a docile enough breed so we can handle them with enough ease that we can get used to all of the husbandry tasks without too much squirming and wriggling etc!

We have two little boys yes - these won't be named as they will, when ready, be for the freezer. This is something I know is going to be a very difficult journey for both Tom and I as we love our animals - but we do eat meat! So we have felt for a long time it's a process we should be able to handle! But it will be hard not to get attached I think? Any coping strategies?????

We have just sprayed our field with Grazon 90 as there was a real thistle problem! (about 50% of the field given over to massive patches of the stuff) A laborious and back breaking task, spraying, but as the overgrown thistles and nettles start to wilt it becomes more and more apparent that it is worth the effort. Any thoughts on how effective this stuff is? Anyone used it themselves? We want to split the 3 acres into 3 and rotate our teeny weeny flock to ensure the grazing  is good all year round for them so we're very keen to get rid of nasty thistles and nettles before the animals arrive.


I will be continuing to browse this brilliant site - speak soon! I love reading everyone's stories and experiences; it's really helping me feel a little more prepared for what is to come....

Lisa   :)


hexhammeasure

  • Joined Jun 2008
    • golocal food
    • Facebook
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2009, 04:32:50 pm »
Grazon is pretty good for fields that are only grazed but be aware that you should keep animals off for up to 7 days. We prefer pastor as this can be used on fields that are used for hay. If you have a big problem with creeping thistle then thistlex is ideal but it only kills thistles

you could also keep the field 'topped' Ie mowed. as the saying goes -

cut in june cut too soon, cut in july 'tis sure to die


the scots also have a  saying

cut thistles before the rain ... and never need to cut again

Ian

Lisa

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 04:51:57 pm »
Excellent thank you - we may have to try thistlex on the really determined buggers as I'm just not convinced that we will be able to get rid of all of it in one spray - there is so much of it!! We have just finished spraying the grazon this wkd and won't have any animals grazing on there for another 2 weeks. It will be interesting to see how effective the stuff is - did a test patch over a week ago and sure enough both the creeping and spear are wilting so hopefully it will zap most of them!
Looking into perhaps getting a quad - so we can have a topper and a sprayer in the future - might make life a bit easier!
Thanks for your advice! Lisa

MiriMaran

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Livin' the dream!
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 08:49:46 pm »
Welcome - I know nothing about sheep!  Know a little about chickens and have 1 weeks experience of pig keeping!  Luckily there are loads of experienced people on TAS to answer all your questions - very friendly and helpful site.  Oh and addictive too!

 
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