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Author Topic: field size  (Read 3456 times)

Jamie12

  • Joined Nov 2013
field size
« on: November 20, 2013, 10:54:29 am »
In theory the plan is yo purchase some suffolks, two at first. Hopefully in lamb. Now I'm totally new to sheep and have three options. We rent two adjacent smallish paddocks, on a steep hill, plenty of natural shelter but am debating if these are two small?. I ran three welsh mountain ponies on these paddocks with no problem (but were fed and lib hay and hard feed). Second option is a choice of flat fields 6 miles from home, ranging from 10 acres to 25 with not a lot of shelter, man made or other wise and I'd definitely need to build something for lambing. Other option is for them to run with my friends sheep at her farm, lamb there etc, but if we fall out I'm buggared basically!. Option one is walking distance from home and may poss be able to transfer into my bigger rented paddock to lamb, where we have a field shelter. Opinions anyone?

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: field size
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 11:09:18 am »
You'd be better off getting three sheep rather than two, that way if one gets ill and has to be separated or one dies, then the other one won't be left on it's own.
How big are your paddocks?  If you've kept three ponies on them then I suspect they are plenty for 3 sheep.  10 acres for 3 sheep is way way too much.


devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: field size
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 11:14:36 am »
Difficult to be definite without knowing size of smaller paddocks or current state of grass, BUT in every other aspect I would go for nearer home. Two paddocks gives the option of resting one which can help hugely with worm load, plus it just sounds like a lot less hassle and hard work. We have rented grazing away from home a couple of times and especially when new to sheep it can increase anxiety if they are too far away to easily keep an eye on. We have also tried the joint approach and whilst it had many plusses eventually we felt constricted and not able to look after our livestock our way. we've now returned to keeping the sheep close by and doing it ourselves- much less grief like that. In renting any field there is so much to consider, not only shelter ( which is hugely important, natural or otherwise, but water supply, state of fences etc. etc.

Jamie12

  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: field size
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 11:22:13 am »
My dad rekons the wee paddocks combined are half an acre or so. I'd be tempted to say they were slightly bigger.

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: field size
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 11:34:54 am »
we work on a stocking rate of 3-4 ewes per acre ( possibly 6 on good grassland) though that's never an exact science of course. fields near home sound a bit tight even for 2 (or 3). we have a couple of small paddocks which we use if we need to separate any out- and after lambing sometimes- even with a very few sheep it doesn't  take long till it needs resting. we've got 2 of this years ram lambs who are freezer bound in a 1/4 acre bit at the moment as we didn't castrate them and they need separating. they've only been in there 10 days and we are feeding hay ad lib and it does look a bit messy. probably move them at the weekend.

Jamie12

  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: field size
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 11:38:20 am »
Thanks. It might have to do only for s short period. All very new to this!. X

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: field size
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 11:57:26 am »
Run them with your friend over winter, and then pull them back to your adjacent paddocks for lambing?  And in the mean time, find the best solution for the longer term :).


Alternatively, rent the large field and get lots more sheep!  ;)

Jamie12

  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: field size
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 01:27:24 pm »
The only problem with loads of sheep is it turning from a hobby to a buisness too quickly haha x

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: field size
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 02:53:51 pm »
I'm not experienced but have 8 on a couple of acres which is just about enough, especially during winter.  I would say the land near to home isn't enough.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

smallflockshearing

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Devon
Re: field size
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 08:41:10 pm »
If you're set on the land near home, which apart from size has many advantages, then you could manage that but only with the help of some careful management and the purchase of enough hay or silage.  Use the paddock with the best shelter over winter, and if need be segregate it further with electric fencing and accept that spring regrowth will be slow there.  Feed them there, make sure there is some dry ground, and make sure your fluke doses are up to date over the winter.  Once you hit the growing season keep them out of there and use the rest of the land, which should last you over the summer and into early autumn when the grass runs out again. 

If you want to go for the bigger field, you will need to restrict access for your small flock throughout the year - more electric fencing!  Get the excess grass cut at the right time, keep some for yourself and sell the rest.  Then grow your flock slowly until you need another field...  Don't worry too much about shelter. 

Friend's farm  :hug:?  I wouldn't, unless I couldn't reliably find the time to tend to my own flock.
Carefully shearing small flocks throughout the South-West.

Jamie12

  • Joined Nov 2013
Re: field size
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 10:08:39 pm »
I shall try take a photo of smaller paddock. It needs to grow a bit yet. Currently have 200 square bales and 40 round Ones purchased and in storage.
Advanced I'd the elderly man who owns wee paddocks is on site, it is very close to a local place where peoples dogs run. Bigger fields are much further away and occasionally have other people using fields. Friends farm would be ideal for advice/sharing but wouldn't be able to just turn up.

 

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