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Author Topic: Shepherd services needed  (Read 4899 times)

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Shepherd services needed
« on: September 07, 2014, 10:51:30 am »
I have a friend who has a hill farm and around 600 Swaledales.  He isn't a farmer and has had a full-time shepherd for the last 15 years or so, but he is now moving on.

My friend is happy to do all the basic daily grunt work of sheep care: winter feeding etc, but wants an expert eye to come in every so often to help keep them in good order, arrange tupping, shearing, sorting and lambing etc until he learns how to do it himself.  He will, of course, pay for the service.

Has anyone got any suggestions where to find such a person?  He is based in North Yorkshire, between Whitby and Pickering.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2014, 10:58:22 am »
Tell your friend to ask the local vet and/or local farmers.  They'll know which farmers locally might take that on, and/or who have sons or daughters with sufficient experience and capacity to help.

Wish I was a bit nearer myself... ;p
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

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2014, 11:10:13 am »
He's taking on a couple of local farmer's sons to help with the daily work but they aren't experienced enough yet to manage the finer points! Possibly their parents will have an idea or two.  There is a real lack of such people around the area: either they've got their hands full with their own flocks or they've moved away, it seems.

Vet is a good idea: I'll suggest that. Thanks!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2014, 11:17:08 am »
A local retired farmer then, to advise and organise but not do.  If he already has the 'grunts'. :D  Vet would know who'd do a good job ;)
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

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2014, 04:48:30 pm »
If your friend was closer, i'd take his arm off!

Out of interest, how does someone end up with a hill farm with 600 Swales, and not much idea about sheep?


Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2014, 06:20:20 pm »


Out of interest, how does someone end up with a hill farm with 600 Swales, and not much idea about sheep?

I wondered the same!
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 11:06:00 am »
The OP states that the full-time shepherd of 15 years' standing is moving on.
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

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 11:08:27 am »
He inherited the farm from his grandfather in the early 80's when he was still a teenager, complete with resident shepherd (and cowman as it had a suckler herd then too).  My friend, now a teacher, moved to the farm, as it has several cottages, in the early 90's and helped around the farm in his spare time as he and his brothers had done since childhood. The cowman left and the shepherd continued as a general farm manager until he retired in about 2000.  Charlie then took over the accounts and admin side of the farm, continued to help with whatever jobs needed doing, and took on another farm worker. The cattle were sold when he also retired and a shepherd/farmhand was taken on part time. 

To cut a long story short, the most recent shepherd/farmhand has just got a tenancy on his own place, so is leaving. 

Charlie and his brothers have always wanted to continue using the farm as a proper hill farm, so has kept on the sheep despite it being far from profitable.  He has plenty of experience with handling sheep and all the usual daily jobs, helping with clipping and dipping (he has the necessary cert) and gathering etc, as he's been doing them since childhood, but has no wish (or time) to involve himself further in the more complex tasks.  Hence the need for someone to come in every so often to do these things.

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2014, 11:03:05 am »
The other possibility would be for him to take someone on with their own smallish flock and provide them with barn, fields and a cottage plus a small income and incentive bonus and let them get on with it.

Such people are surprisingly hard to find though.

cooksey

  • Joined Jun 2014
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 10:32:21 pm »
if he is willing to just have some one at the end of the phone till the summer i will be interested i am in my final years of agriculutral college but been arounf sheep my whole life and work currently for a contract shepeherd

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2014, 08:33:11 am »
I am wondering if he might be more likely to find someone who knows their stuff if he was to offer some form of contract/share farming arrangement.  Of course, that might remove him from the day to day action more than he would like.

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 10:17:17 am »
I'll ask him, Cooksey.  That might well suit him very well!  Where are you based at the moment? PM me your details for me to pass on to him?

Mowhaugh, I think he likes to have a bit of involvement but really is a landowner rather than a farmer.  I suggested he might tenant the farm, but he doesn't seem keen on that idea for some reason, so presumably he does still want some input.

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 11:27:09 am »
I was just thinking of the two chaps who often write on the back on the Farmer's Guardian, one is the landowner who is mainly retired but does still have involvement in decisions and some of the work, the other contract farms the farm for him, so I guess is pretty much like a farm manager with profit share, I have no idea how it really works, but sounds like the sort of thing that could work for your friend - pehaps it would be worth him speaking to a local landagent about how that sort of arrangement might work, agreements etc., then if he thought it could suit, he could advertise.

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2014, 05:52:11 pm »
Share farming works well, and can take many forms. In this case, one man supplies the ground and a portion of the livestock, the other the labour and more livestock maybe?

Hevxxx99

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Shepherd services needed
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2014, 01:48:41 pm »
Yes, I think a joint venture with the right person would work well for him.

I'll put the idea to him...

 

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