Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: educated guesstimate required  (Read 6129 times)

bloomer

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  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
educated guesstimate required
« on: April 20, 2014, 10:02:46 pm »
how many sheep could i keep on 2.5 acres, assume split roughly into 3 paddocks to allow for reasonable grazing central scotland lowlands


(i have found a possible rental, and am doing sums)




shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 10:07:05 pm »
10-12 if providing hay in winter, based on the fact we kept 5 natives on an roughish 1 acre paddock all yr round with hay and cake in winter.

langfauld easycare

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 10:39:06 pm »
depend on breed and ground and grass ley but i would guesstimate on 10 . best to have a couple less than have to buy in expensive feed

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 10:50:18 pm »
Depends if you want to breed....

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 11:52:30 pm »
The worst thing you can do Bloomer is to overstock.  You might be able to squeeze quite a few sheep onto that acreage, but the pasture will soon get sheep-sick, worm concentrations will rise rapidly and they will only have grass in late spring and early summer. It's a real recipe for scrawny sheep.

Are you intending to buy in lambs and rear them to slaughter age?  Or buy ewes and breed from them?   What breed are you intending to keep - you can keep a few more of the small primitives on the same acreage as slightly fewer big breeds.  Are you intending to make hay on part of the land to feed your animals through the winter - you need to shut up the hay field from late April until haymaking which up here is July or into August.

What's the soil and grass like?  If it's acid and full of rush then you will manage to keep far fewer sheep on it than were you to have lush Cheshire grass.

Sometimes 6 ewes per acre is quoted, but up here that would be impossible without a massive input of bought hay and concentrates.  Sometimes one ewe per acre is quoted, or even one per 10 acres of very poor hill land.

So the answer is - it depends  ::)   Perhaps the best way to answer your own question is to try 3 per acre and see how they get on over the course of a whole year, then reassess after that time and adjust your numbers up or down accordingly.

Sorry - that doesn't help you calculate if it's worth renting the land, does it?

Incidentally, you could double up with hens at no effect on your sheep stocking rate.
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bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 08:40:49 am »
just lost a long post grrr


thanks all i have thoughts, going for a better look tomorrow and i'll report back when i have a plan...




Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 08:56:51 am »
Bloomer, that's the amount of land that I have. It's in 2 paddocks (people before us kept horses) and a small bit. We have the paddocks split in half by electric fencing to make 4 fields for the sheep and rotate them. We had 5 ewes and they lambed 4 lambs last year. To be honest I felt that was more than enough sheep for the amount of land, especially when it got very wet.
My 2 ram lambs were sold so then I bought a ram lamb for lambing this year. That is another problem as he has to be kept separate from the girls for most of the time so rotating gets more complicated. I wouldn't recommend doing it like that.


I now have another 3 ram lambs just born. Later in the year all rams will be going leaving me with my 5 original ewes and 2 or 3 of their daughters. That will be plenty.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

MarvinH

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • England
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 09:41:48 am »
I wouldn't have more than 6 on it..
Sheep

Backinwellies

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Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2014, 11:05:39 am »
Agree with max 6 .... assuming breeding. 
Linda

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Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 11:21:04 am »
6 :) x

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 12:30:53 pm »
6 is my best guess as well


probably shetlands or equivalent as no permanent shelter allowed, but would use a faster finishing tup on them so the lambs were away at the end of the season...


bizarrely on paper the chicken part of the plan seems to be the more likely to turn a profit/break even the sheep are for learning and filling the freezer etc...


hopefully it looks as good tomorrow as it does on paper, i could be tempted to take it!!!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 12:55:36 pm »
Use a Cheviot tup and sell the lambs as stores in August / September.  Good Cheviot stores (which are tiny!) sell for 60+ ph at Longtown every year ;)

In fact, play your cards right and you may be able to sell them to us ;)  ( :idea:  Shetland x Cheviot fleeces before they go off fat at top prices in late winter / early spring  :excited: :spin: :knit:)
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

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2014, 01:02:10 pm »
I make it 7 ewes + twins in the summer, assuming a smallish hill breed, so less if its a bigger breed - maybe 5 or 6.
But only 3 or maybe 4 ewes in the winter.
(Assuming unfertilised)

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2014, 12:12:08 am »
We have four ewes and normally four store lambs on our two paddocks (2 acres in total). The grass isn't great but we are slowly improving it and it's way better than it was when the first sheep arrived!

There's barely any grass in the winter if it's really wet like it has been and so we feed supplemental hay and a little cake. This year we've had the four ewes and their six lambs. We'll be sending four of the lambs off to slaughter and I'm thinking about keeping two of the ewe lambs. We are also hoping to get a couple of native ponies fairly soon so I don't think we can support more than that.

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: educated guesstimate required
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 05:19:24 am »
"Opinion" just take the land forget the sums and enjoy it, have 6 sheep very good quality and breed, fill your freezer, you could fence a small area for 2 fattening pigs June - Sept/Oct, then rotovate that area and plant a winter crop for the sheep, the more hay you get off this year the better, it's expensive running out.
extra chickens and pig poo is great fertiliser which in turn will improve the hay quality

Formulae/sums x smallholding = compost heap  :roflanim:

Do it for the love  :fc:

 

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