Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field  (Read 7712 times)

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:58:12 am »
We have had someone else's sheep on our field for about six months - 19 Zwartbles and 5 Jacobs (lambs when they came) and they've all been fine out with our three (pet) Ouessants and donkeys etc.

They took the 19 Zwartbles away a while ago to put with a ram but have recently brought them back as where they were was waterlogged but fortunately our field is okay and we're quite happy to have them.

My question is - what should they be doing/providing for their sheep? They haven't provided a lick or any feed or hay and I want to check if that's right. We are very much hobbyists so treat our assorted livestock differently to smallholders/farmers I know, but if these sheep need anything then I want to make sure they have it. On the other hand, I don't want to be telling them to provide stuff if it's not necessary so would really appreciate input.

Thank you
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 11:21:16 am »
What condition score are the sheep?

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 11:59:21 am »
Harmony - I don't know, they're not tame enough for me to handle. I'm used to my very tame pet sheep so this is a different kettle of fish, so to speak!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 12:30:29 pm »

If you are renting the field to someone else I would leave them to do their sheep their own way... around here lots of sheep don't have hay/haylage in their fields yet, but often see a lick bucket. Mine have both, but hay is not ad-lib as they would just waste it...


Have you got a proper contract drawn up?

sheeponthebrain

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Turriff
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 12:42:12 pm »
There are so many variables acerage/gestation stage/grass quality and quantity/condition score/age/lambing percentage.
the simple answer is ask the owner? personally some of my ewes have ad lib hay and bucket.  some don't as they still have grass, and feeding them more would only cause lambing problems.
hope this helps

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 02:08:01 pm »
I would go with sheeponthebrain's answer that you should talk to the owner. And I would take the line of " I am interested in learning more about sheep and just wondered if Zwartables were good doers as you don't seem to need to supplement them in the winter...etc..."


And actually if you haven't got concerns other than you think they need something because it is winter rather than they look like they need it then do as Anke says and leave alone.


Here there are breeding ewes (hill sheep) with nothing yet in the way of supplements.


People do take the view that feeding can cause lambing problems and interestingly a recent webinar suggested differently.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 02:24:01 pm »
How much grass do you have left? If they have enough grass and are in good condition it might be that their owner doesn't think they need anything. If you have little grass they should have hay or haylage, and depending on when their due to lamb they could have ewe nuts. Whether to provide a mineral block or feed block is down to personal preference.

I think rather than risk offending the person who has sheep on your land you should ask them if they need any minerals or additional feed. Id they say no and you think their wrong, make an excuse and ask him to remove the sheep.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 03:32:31 pm »
What contract do you have? .... this sounds a bit casual?  Others have fallen foul of the I'll just dump my sheep with you when I feel like it .... 
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
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laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 05:30:43 pm »
Thanks very much for all the input.
We donít have anything in writing, in hindsight not clever, and I really just want to make sure the sheep are being well cared for.
I think what Iíll do is ask them to come over at the weekend and as suggested explain that weíre keen to learn more about sheep husbandry and hopefully have a friendly conversation about it.
Appreciate the advice.
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 06:11:35 pm »
How big is the field and how long the grass?  The general rule is 5 sheep to the acre, but that assumes a lot of things including very good grass and a mild Winter.  The sheep should be checked every day.  If they are doing this  then the arrangement is what's referred to hereabouts as "grass keep" or "tack".   This generally lasts from 1st April to 30th October, leaving the land to recover over the Winter.  If you are in charge of their general care then their welfare becomes your responsibility.  Bear in mind that consideration should also be given to their health status, including intestinal worms status, and how it may affect your Ouessants.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 07:03:35 pm »
around here lots of sheep don't have hay/haylage in their fields yet, but often see a lick bucket.

There are a couple of fields on my way to work where the sheep don't seem to have either hay or a licky bucket. They're the same fields that have had dead sheep in them several times over the past couple of weeks too!

IME Zwartbles do need feeding in order to thrive, or at least they do on our grass. Ours are currently a bit thinner than I'd like for the time of year, so they have ad lib hay plus a mineral lick and a small feeding of nuts once a day in an attempt to keep them at a stable weight.

As for what you should do since they're not your sheep, that's really a matter of judgement, and I reckon you're in a better place to make that decision than anybody on TAS!  :thumbsup:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 09:12:59 pm »
  • We are at 1000 ft above sea level and our sheep don't have licks or hay, unless its a severe frost or lying snow - they have grass.  You can't generalise, it depends on what natural forage is available.
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 07:27:26 am »
The conditions in Buckinghamshire (home of OP) are likely to be quite different from Central Scotland but as Old Shep says you can't generalise.


Last week I left Cumbria in freezing conditions, snow on the ground and miserable conditions for any animal let alone young ones. Four hours later in South Wales in was dry and 9 degrees and there was grass on the fields.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 07:32:55 am »
The conditions in Buckinghamshire (home of OP) are likely to be quite different from Central Scotland but as Old Shep says you can't generalise.


Last week I left Cumbria in freezing conditions, snow on the ground and miserable conditions for any animal let alone young ones. Four hours later in South Wales in was dry and 9 degrees and there was grass on the fields.

No you definitely cant generalise ..... here in S Wales  we have no grass ... (apart from the field I've kept for lambing) ....  and it has been so wet that any grass we did have would hardly be worth eating (field was awash again yesterday.
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

Me

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Wild West
Re: Advice re someone else's sheep currently on our field
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2018, 08:53:49 am »
Talk to the owner. If they are ok they are ok. X sheep to the acre, x grass length, it is all meaningless if the sheep are suffering - and equally if they are not. They are just guesses, guides, indicators.

Mine have nothing but moss, reeds and the wind atm, some are ewe lambs, some are 8 yo brokers. A roadside look or internet opinion would say they do not have enough. They are all happy as you like and if anything over fat as they are not due until April.

 

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