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Author Topic: Are Sheep Easy for a newbie?  (Read 1186 times)


  • Joined Jul 2019
Are Sheep Easy for a newbie?
« on: August 04, 2019, 06:34:29 pm »
Complete newbie Iíve had a few goats for the month, chickens 2 weeks and piglets arrive this week. I wanted to get a few lambs, mainly just to fatten for the freezer and to help with grazing I only have 4 acres so it wouldnít be many. Iíve spoken to a couple of farmers who say that sheep are a lot of work for a beginner and wondering what is everyoneís view? Any thoughts? Is there certain breeds that anyone would suggest? Thanks


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Are Sheep Easy for a newbie?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2019, 07:20:30 pm »
As long as you donít take your eye off them they are fine. Sheep hide illness quite well so generally only tend to look poorly when they really are. If you just stick with buying a few store lambs that have been vaccinated for clostridial diseases (with heptavac or ovivac) then you should be able to learn the ropes as you go. Donít buy in lamb breeding ewes as your first venture into sheep as breeding throws a whole new set of problems you can encounter.

The native down breeds are pretty chilled out, Polled Dorset, Hampshire down, Dorset down. Donít buy anything that ought to live on a hill in wales as itíll likely be pretty skittish  :roflanim:  if you can buy from a fellow smallholder thatís even better, check out preloved.

Also , make sure you register with a farm/large animal vet as with goats sheep and pigs you will probably need their services before long. Good luck!


  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Are Sheep Easy for a newbie?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2019, 10:29:04 pm »
Can vouch for the skitty hill sheep. We got some Badger Faces as weíre in a valley and have fairly steep fields. They came from a commercial setup and are pretty nuts. The guy we got them from calls this ďhealthyĒ!! But they do suit the hill.
In contrast I also picked up some Hill Radnors from a fellow smallholder. Really sweet, chilled out girls. The human touch makes a huge difference!
I would say for an easier time definitely look to buy from a smaller outfit where the sheep have been well-handled and preferably are bucket trained as this will make life a lot easier when you need to move them around etc.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Are Sheep Easy for a newbie?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2019, 10:57:19 pm »
Sounds like youíre thinking of just a few weaned lambs to fatten for your own freezer?  Great way to start to get to know about sheep.  Buy from a friendly local farmer or smallholder who wonít mind you asking questions and can help you with the first few treatments, advise on handling and so on.
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


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Are Sheep Easy for a newbie?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2019, 07:05:43 am »
I would wait until the spring and start off with some bottle fed lambs. Sheep are very flighty and unless you know what to expect they can be difficult. You need your sheep to be tame enough that you can round them up and catch one when your alone - as no-one is ever around when you need them  ;)

You might be able to tame some lambs by making an enclosure and getting them used to being fed in there, so you can rattle a bucket and they come running. Makes catching them so much easier.

Sheep type.. Many people make the mistake of assuming smaller is easier to handle - they aren't! I would go for a commercial type, because thats what I breed. Mine are Lleyn crosses, which I find fairly quiet sheep. If their going for the freezer I fnd ram lambs bolder and easier to bucket train.

Good luck with them :)


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