Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Sheep as lawn mowers  (Read 4517 times)

sallyw

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Buckinghamshire
Sheep as lawn mowers
« on: March 22, 2010, 01:21:39 pm »
Hello All,

I have a three acre field all livestock fenced around the perimeter (it has been empty for years). I would like to have a handful of lambs (6-8) on it to help maintain the grass and then fill the freezer in Novemberish. The field will be empty over winter and then we may do the same next year.
My question is does the field need to be subdivided and the lambs rotated. It is a big field for a small number of animals. I understand that if we had quite a lot of sheep or intended to keep them all year round that it would absolutely necessary but to be honest he expense outweighs the benefit.

Any guidance gratefully received.

Thanks

Sal


dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 01:55:59 pm »
If you want to keep the costs down and rest it over the winter then just put them on it! I have 10 ewes on 4 acres, but will move them soon as I'd like the hay off it, but if I were to leave them they would be fine.

Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 05:24:39 pm »
The only comment I would add is that be sure of their worming status first - it is always adviseable to strip graze a field to prevent worm build up.

Thanks
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Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 09:15:15 pm »
You will probably have to keep topping the field, as the lambs wont manage to eat the grass right down. I had 15 ewes and their lambs on 7 acres last year and they didnt make a dent on it and I had to top it. But if you dont need the hay of it and only plan lambs every summer on it I agree that the expense of subdividing is too great. We are now in the process of doing this to our field, but we breed our sheep and they are around all year (we also rent another field nearby). It is also taking us a couple of years to do as I have to sell some lambs to get in some more money to afford the fencing...

bazzais

  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 10:34:40 pm »
Sounds perfect.  Buy some store lambs, fatten them up, get them in the freezer.

6 to 8 sounds fine on what land you have as you'll probably be wanting to feed them that little bit more in the last few weeks anyway with pellets and that.

I would make sure they have been wormed some time in advance and would monitor them for signs of worms up till slaughter time so you can treat them if they do get signs in the meantime. - Cant advise borrowing a small amount of wormer from a neighbour if they do show signs of worms as it against some rule somewhere. - But best to keep them without worms, this is both for important for them and for you, the end consumer in the end.

As far as I know you will also need a holding number and a few other bit of paperwork like transfer/transport details and medical records.
-Maybe someone else can tell us how many sheep you have to have before having these documents?

Ta

Baz
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 10:36:20 pm by bazzais »

Hellybee

  • Joined Feb 2010
    • www.blaengwawrponies.co.uk
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 10:38:57 pm »
Also check the withdrawal period with each wormer as they vary .  it will be on the back of the worming pack.

Bazz i think you need the paperwork even for few  ;)

jembo

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 04:18:08 pm »
These days you need the correct paperwork even if you have 1 sheep.

You need a CPH (holding Number)
A flock number
A flock movement book
All movement licences
A medical record book including withdrawal periods
Then there is the business of tags! EIDs for 2010 born lambs if not going to slaughter within 12months of age and depending on what the market auctioneers demand!! Can you tell I have just had my inspection! :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:

sallyw

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Buckinghamshire
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 02:47:53 pm »
Thank you all so much.

I have a lead on 6 Jacob lambs which would be lovely although i am waiting to hear how much they cost me.
I have the CPH by virtue fo our pigs but will get going on researching the other documents that I need. Thank you for the list that is really helpful.

I will let you know how i get on.

Sal :pig: :chook: and maybe   :sheep:!

jembo

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2010, 05:06:03 pm »
Make sure your fencing is good for Jacobs they are brilliant at escaping!
Good luck   :sheep:

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2010, 06:55:55 pm »
just an addendum on CPH and flock no.:-

I think you need a different flock no. for sheep/goats than the one you have for your pigs. You might want to check with RPA in case I'm talking b****cks though.   ;)

mab

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2010, 08:16:58 pm »

Yes you do need a different flock number for your sheep. If you only have a small number it may be worth considering worming them with verm-x
No problem to get and no withdrawal period. :sheep:
Anne

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2010, 09:32:24 pm »
Why must it be lamb have you ever considered mutton. everyone now a days is fixated by lamb. Its beyond me, mutton is far tastier that any lamb.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Sheep as lawn mowers
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2010, 09:59:00 am »
I can second Jembo - we grazed some jacobs and they had a nack of putting their heads through the fencing and as they pulled back the wire hooked onto the horns and wahay! they were off!!
we graze up to 25 on 3 acres and have a break over winter. 
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

 

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