Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Confidence boost required!  (Read 3430 times)


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Hampshire
Confidence boost required!
« on: September 11, 2014, 10:59:33 am »
The 2 ewes that I bought recently (as mowers for the paddock and not for breeding) arrive on Saturday (TexelxRyelands, born this Spring) and I have suddenly become very anxious about the whole thing. I didn't initially plan to have sheep, they were an 'accidental' purchase if I'm honest but I am an experienced animal person with enough grazing etc. Have put up appropriate fencing (its like Alcatraz here now!) been 'sheep shopping' and got all the appropriate kit that I have been gleening from you all on this Forum (hurdles, mix to train them to come to a bucket, dagging shears, foot trimmers, mineral lick etc. etc.....) My horse vet is on board (he also keeps sheep) and has been really helpful but SO many people just keep telling me that sheep either die or get out that I am feeling a bit wobbly about it. I need a bit of cyber hand holding! I have horses, donkeys  coming soon,  chickens, cats, dogs, grew up on a dairy and beef farm but just never had sheep. If I had a lion coming this weekend, I wouldn't be this worried! Did anyone else feel this apprehensive at first? Sorry to sound pathetic! It's not a bit like me at all........I have asked that they be wormed and Crovected and feet trimmed if necessary before they come and the lady is doing this for me.
Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 11:25:47 am »
That thing people keep saying - that all sheep want to do is die on you - is absolute c3@p.  You've got a pair of sturdy ewe lambs, of breeds which will be easy to manage, and you are most unlikely to have any problems with them.
On TAS you will be reading a disproportionate number of posts about sheep problems, because people only mention things when there's a problem.  Endless posts saying 'my sheep are all fine' would soon be pretty tedious  :roflanim:

So relax into your usual self confidence, knowing you know about animals and have TAS and your vet on hand in the extremely unlikely even of a problem.   Spend a while every day, just standing and watching your new charges, so you pick up on what is absolutely normal behaviour for them.  If at some point they deviate from that, then that's the time to ask, but not to panic.

As for getting out - why would they?  They've got everything a sheep could desire, loads of food and space, sun on their backs  :sunshine: and your fencing sounds good.

Just enjoy them  :sheep: :sheep:
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 11:27:21 am by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 11:27:57 am »
Yes - wot Fleecewife said!

I wouldn't have thought Texel x Ryelands were the escaping sort if they have enough to eat.  They will be fine  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.


  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 11:30:19 am »
i started this autumn i have currently 14 shetlands, the fences are good they have plenty to eat, they have worked out where the sheltered spot is and the best places to sunbathe!!! they are happy sheep...

as for me i still have so much to learn that's why i ask questions on here as so many people can offer helpful advise usually quite quickly as well!!!


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 11:39:46 am »
They'll be fine.  Texels are lazy if there's food enough, and Ryelands even more so, I hear. 

The only thing to be aware of is that it's the tupping season.  You may not want to breed them but their hormones will tell them different!  So there may be some exploring of the boundaries every 17 days from soon to somewhen in December... ;)   If you've good fences, and no tups nearby, don't worry.


And pics whenever you are ready...  :eyelashes:
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 Apr 2014
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 11:51:37 am »
My experience is that they are pretty easy to look after compared to other animals, as long as you have the right sheep for what you want to do.

Certainly less hassle than a horse.


  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 11:58:19 am »
I can only agree with FW and everyone else here - happy sheep don't try to escape.
I've got Soays and they are supposedly escape artists but mine have never tried to escape (they do have their own tup :eyelashes: ) As Bloomer says, once they make themselves at home in their new pasture, work out their favourite spots for different times of the day and get to know you as a benevolent supplier of treats, they are as much a homebody as any other animal.
Happy sheep are also unstressed sheep and will be less likely to get ill, and as said above, if you get to know your sheep you should be able to spot any problems early on and take appropriate - but calm - action.
Sit back and enjoy!  :thumbsup:
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)


  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Cornwall
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 12:48:53 pm »
Absolutely agree with FW.  I haven't had my 4 for a very long time but so far its been great.  They cause me less trouble/expense than my dogs and are such a pleasure to have around.  I have actually had the opposite problem with escaping - I sent them off to fresh new grass in a lovely big field and they spent most of the week waiting at the gate, trying to come home and as soon as they came back they all slept by the back door.  Don't forget often the people who say sheep like to die have a very large flocks to look after and so the number they lose is actually a very small percentage.  I think what they really mean is sheep can (not always) give very little indication from viewing a large field when they are sick.  You will see your sheep a lot more and know them a lot better.

Hope you really enjoy them, they sound a good sturdy breed, so far they are the best animal I have ever owned.  :wave:

and I love the idea of you having a lion arriving  :roflanim:


  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Methlick, Aberdeenshire
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 12:58:44 pm »
My sheep are a lot less trouble than my terrier (or my teenage daughters  :rant: :rant:  for that matter!) :roflanim:


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 01:09:20 pm »
I can't speak for the Texel part but if they are anything like the Ryelands it would be too much hassle for them to escape, unless you leave the gate open of course. My Ryelands think that jumping 6 inches is a Hugh amount so jumping a fence would never cross their minds.

As Fleecewife has said, spend some time just looking at them and listening to them too. You will soon see and hear their normal behaviours.

Enjoy your sheep. I am sure you will love them.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Hampshire
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 04:05:48 pm »
Thank you all very much for your replies and encouragement. I am amused and very reassured to know that I have bought lazy, can't be bothered to escape sort of sheep! I have masses of grazing that I can provide access to to keep them interested, and there will be no shortage of care and attention for them so hopefully they should be happy sheep. I am really grateful to you all. Saturday 10am, I will become a 'shepherd' with 'L' plates! If I can manage to put a pic on here I will do that SallyintNorth.
What a nice lot of people there are on here. So glad I found this Forum. Thanks again for the support.
Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive


  • Joined May 2012
  • Yelling Cambridgeshire
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 05:19:58 pm »
My rule of thumb for fencing is if it holds my dogs it Wil hold my sheep they r border collies who do agility! Also I find if they get ill they will more likely die than live but very rare one gets ill! Good luck n enjoy!


  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2014, 12:07:34 am »
 :wave: OIBAS.  Good luck on Saturday, you will probably spend all day watching them ;D :hugsheep: .  What part of Hampshire are you - there is a good sheep society in your county.


  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2014, 07:42:35 am »
Our 11 ponies provide us with higher vets' bills than over 1000 sheep every year.


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Hampshire
Re: Confidence boost required!
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2014, 08:35:03 am »
Thankyou all again. Bramblecot, is that the Small Shepherds Club that covers Surrey/Sussex/Hampshire? Another Forum Member very kindly gave me the details of that. I am on the very fringes of where they meet really but have the details to join (just haven't got round to it yet as I have been so busy with other things). Or maybe there is another one as well? I am in the Basingstoke area.
Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive


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