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Author Topic: Thinking ahead - fields or hill?  (Read 1071 times)

CarolineJ

  • Joined Dec 2015
  • North coast of Scotland
Thinking ahead - fields or hill?
« on: December 16, 2016, 04:56:39 pm »
I'm trying to figure out what to do with my sheep next year.  They're currently in fields down the road, being fed, and will definitely stay in the fields until they have their Heptavac and fluke & worm at the end of March.  Then I'm torn about whether to keep them in the fields or turn them out onto the common grazings on the hill.

Pros of hill
- should keep their weight down and fitten them, I don't want them coming in too fat in the autumn as gimmers going to the tup for the first time
- less work on a day-to-day basis!

Pros of field
- easier to keep an eye on them
- captive training material for Jack, who will only be 8 months by the end of March and I'm not sure I want him going full pelt over hill ground before his growth plates have closed

What would you guys do?

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Thinking ahead - fields or hill?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2016, 05:11:43 pm »
Keep them in the fields, don't feed too much, and use them to train the dog (start him at 6 months?).  The dog will keep them fit ;).
If the dog makes good progress then you can put them on the hill.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Thinking ahead - fields or hill?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 05:13:59 pm »
BOTH put the best out to the hill to acclimatise and keep a small batch of poorer inbye on better grass and to train the dog (  don't know how many you have ? )

CarolineJ

  • Joined Dec 2015
  • North coast of Scotland
Re: Thinking ahead - fields or hill?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 07:04:34 pm »
Thanks - I've only got 14 at the moment, 3 old pet ewes and 11 hoggs.  I don't really want to split the hoggs up, I don't want to put the 3 older ones out on the hill on their own, but they're completely unafraid of dogs and not suitable for training on!

The other plus point for keeping them in is nettle and dock control, but the 3 older ones got fat on the fields over the summer without being fed at all, and that was with the horses in with them helping keep it down.  I guess having another 11 will solve that one though!

 
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