Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep  (Read 14520 times)

minibn

  • Joined Jun 2012
How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« on: June 18, 2012, 09:35:52 pm »
Good Evening

I would like some advice on how to get started about purchasing some sheep. I have never kept sheep before so this is all new to me.

I have read on this small  holding website with regards to all of the stages which i would need to go through before i can actually get some sheep. It all seems a little bit daunting as there is so much legislation when it comes to sheep, unlike the more simple horse.

Please could anyone advise as to the best way to approch this. I know that we do claim for the single payment scheme from the RPA already, although im not aware of a CPH number.

I was looking at some Zwartable sheep and have decided that these are the sheep for me. Can anyone give me any advice on the things i should look out for with regards to a good quality sheep.

Many Thanks

Emily


plt102

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 09:56:57 pm »
Sheep are rewarding, great fun and very very sweet!!! I am so glad we got some. We are just 9 months in and loving it! I am probably not the best to advise you on the legal stuff. Still learning myself and don't want to get anything wrong, however from our steep learning curve, here is some advice for practical stuff:
Make sure you have sturdy, fairly high fencing - depending on what breed you get, they will try to escape from wherever you want to keep them...
Bucket train them. small amounts little and often with a repeatable call. once you can get them to follow you with a bucket into a stable/enclosure/new field/trailer, it will make your life soooo much easier
Have a small area/stable where you can herd them into and easily catch them for inspection/treatment/shearing - invaluable and so much better than chasing them around a field
Check for fly strike EVERY DAY during the fly strike weather. It is easy to treat if caught early but disgusting and disasterous if not noticed. Keep a stock of fly strike preventative and treatment remedies.
if you want to breed, don't do what we did and let the ram leisurely take his time over the ladies....it will give you a very long drawn out lambing time....
If you want to start lambing, be prepared for the worst - buy the whole kit of everything you will ever need and hopefully you won't need it. We were prepared for the very worst and had a thankfully uneventful lambing
Dont expect to make millions of pounds from sheep but do expect it to be fun challenging and a great experience. They are wonderful creatures - full of character and quirks. You'll love it!
 
 
 

Fowlman

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Wiltshire
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 10:09:51 pm »
Here's what you do its not as daunting as you think. Enjoy your sheep they are great and addictive.


http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/livestock/sheep/starting-with-sheep/
Tucked away on the downs in wiltshire.

Pedwardine

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Lincolnshire
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 07:50:21 am »
You won't regret getting sheep. However take it slow. I'd advise getting some ewe lambs when weaning time comes or some young ewes so you can get to know them and their nature a little before plunging straight into tupping and lambing. We got far too big a starter flock (14 yearlings and three ewes in-lamb) when we started, we coped but in hindsight we would have started with fewer. We've since sold starter flocks of x3 experienced in-lamb ewes with a tup and two wethers (for his company) or just a few young ewes for tupping later down the line. Ewe lambs you would have a whole year+ to get to know before going down the road with a tup. It means for a good foundation relationship with your girls and you get to know their character traits and the handling/treating of them before the added joy, but also complication of lambing.
Also order the Tim Tyne book! There's a long waiting list but it sounds amazing with no bad reviews.

Haylo-peapod

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 08:58:04 am »
If you are already claiming SFP you should have a holding number.
If you are interested in Zwarbtles I would recommend getting in touch with the breed secretary. Take a look at their website www.zwarbtles.org.
 
Whereabouts are you located? Local smallholder clubs are good source of support and advice or if you are in the South East there is a fantastic club called the Small Shepherds Club that I found invaluable when I started out with sheep.
 
Although there is a lot to learn, don't be too daunted - each year you will face new challenges and will have your fair share of heartache but then again you will learn from each of these experiences and become a better shepherd. If you are keen to learn and to take advice, owning sheep can be a great source of enjoyment, particularly when you see your new lambs frolicking in the field.
 
Good luck!

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 09:43:56 am »
Tim Tyne's book.
Spend some time with sheep owners learning how to do the basics (feet/drenching/dagging)
Small sized flock to start with (we have 5)
We've bottle fed all of ours, the latter 3 I had from a day old so they are silly tame and easy to manage.
Agree with Haylo about the heartache (there's back ache too from my point of view as I have an old back injury!) but they are lovely, great fun and a great way to keep the grass down so we can get to our orchard  ;)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

omnipeasant

  • Joined May 2012
  • Llangurig , Mid Wales
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 09:52:46 am »
We went on short courses to learn foot trimming, lambing etc which was valuable hands on experience. It is true that sheep will die for no good reason, but don't be put off by that. they are tough little beasts. I would advise visiting several flocks of Zwartbles and  buying from the people you trust as they will always offer after sales advice and guidance. I would also echo what has been said about starting small and buying young.

Happy shepherding.
 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 09:12:34 pm by omnipeasant »

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2012, 01:01:26 pm »
Check your fences
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 04:01:02 pm »
Why have you decided on Zwartbles? They are fairly expensive to buy in, and it may be better to make all (or most) of your mistakes with some bog standard mules (or whatever the local breed kept by your neighbours is) or go with a more primitive (and smaller and easier lambing etc) shetlands or Hebs? Both should be cheaper to buy in, and also easy to change away from if you still fancy Zwartbles after a couple of years.
 
Oh and Tim Tyne's book and get yourself on their waiting list for the lambing course now!

minibn

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 10:01:53 pm »
Thank you to all of you who have replied, i feel a little more confiendent in taking the plunge. I am also rather excited about getting some sheep. I will try and answer any of the questions which you have also posted, so here it goes.

I live in the Gloucester area, so i shall have a look to see if i can find a smallholder group in this area.
I decided on the Zwartable breed as i have read that they produce good fleece and i would like to try to create something from their fleece. I have seen that they are pretty large to. I would be looking for a large breed really. Although i am new to this so advice for any other breeds for this purpose would be great.

I am only planning on starting off with 4-5 and may increase it once i become a bit more experinced. Thank you for all the advice regarding age, type ect for this.


Where abouts could i find Tim Tynes book as it sounds like it could be a good read.

I shall keep you all posted about my progess

Thank you

Emily

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 10:10:01 pm »
If you are interested in fleece, start with Shetlands - easy lamber, smallish ewes (and tups), good fleece, can be roo-ed rather than clipped, and lots of smallholder flocks in all parts of UK. Not all that expensive to buy, even for pedigree ewes. Lots of different colours too.... Meat excellent as mutton.

Bramblecot

  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 10:54:18 pm »
Hi,  The Somerset Smallholders Association have a Cheddar Group.  Although they are quite a way from you they might have some local contacts and they are a helpful group.  If you are starting with sheep and want fleeces, I would go with Shetlands or their crosses - they are quite big enough to handle until you get used to sheep :thumbsup: good luck.

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
    • The Accidental Smallholder
    • Facebook
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 07:49:28 am »
Where abouts could i find Tim Tynes book as it sounds like it could be a good read.

You'll find details of the book and links to buy in the smallholding books section of the site (although it is scarce just now, a new edition is on the way I believe).

You might be able to get it direct from the publisher - http://www.goodlifepress.co.uk/sheep-1/the_sheep_book_for_smallholders

HTH.  :)

Mallows Flock

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Shepton mallet
    • Somerset Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 09:55:29 pm »
..." it may be better to make all (or most) of your mistakes with some bog standard mules (or whatever the local breed kept by your neighbours is)
LOL Anke.... I hid my mule lambs' eyes from this....  :o
From 3 to 30 and still flocking up!

minibn

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: How do i get started- looking to purchase some sheep
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 09:53:45 pm »
Hi

I thought that i would all give you an update about my sheep progress. Well i have finally sorted my CPH number and also now after speaking to animal health and being passed from pillar to post i also have a flock number. Im very excited now.

I think i have decided on shetland sheep after a few posts on here and also swatting up on the breed. I am also going to order the Tim Tynes book for some bedtime reading.

Is there any advice about any essential things which i need to get before i actually get some sheep?

If anyone can recommend sellers of shetland sheep that would be much appreciated.

Thank you

Emily

 

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