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Author Topic: thinking of buying sheep  (Read 6513 times)

jason-rct

  • Joined Mar 2011
thinking of buying sheep
« on: March 07, 2011, 11:58:13 am »
but ive no experience and not sure what breed to go for.
i have just over half an acre of land i would like to start off small and concentrate on one particular breed of sheep and slowly build up a flock then maybe moving to a bigger area.
although it would be a hobby eventually i'd like to turn into a profitable business.
could someone please give me some advice/idea's what breeds of sheep woulds be suited for me.
thank you
jason

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 01:03:26 pm »
Hi and welcome to TAS  :wave:

On half an acre, sheep aren't really a runner. You would be able to fatten some lambs but you don't have room for breeding sheep. Stocking density varies with many factors, but the commonly quoted one is 5 ewes to the acre.

You can make money from sheep but you would need a lot to make a living i.e you might make 100 from each breeding ewe but you need 100 ewes to make a living. You might see the odd sheep making 10k at a breed auction but that's few and far between.

If you want sheep for a hobby, there are some wonderful British rare breeds that need your support but you'd need to secure a bit more land first.

Do your homework before you buy - lots of good information on here. And don't let your lack of land put you off - you might be able to secure some grazing locally to let you get started.

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 01:52:49 pm »
iv got 4 in-lamb gimmers on one acre. im hoping for 2 ewe lambs which would give me a total of 6 (fingers crossed) i expect 2 small ponies to maybe share the paddock for 6 weeks during early summer. the ewes will be in the paddock all year unless it needs resting, plus they get haylage and hard feed. in my opinion u cud keep a max 4 in half acre but profit goes out the window once u start supplementing their diet. but it might give u a taster to see if u like sheep enough to find more land.
 :D

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 02:41:18 pm »
How many sheep you can fit per acre depends totally on the type and quality of the land and grazing.  The absolute max quoted for lush pastureland is 6 whereas for some land it's not sheep per acre but acres per sheep.
I think you have plenty of homework to do before you take delivery of your animals.  Try to vist other small scale breeders to see their systems, visit agricultural shows in the summer to see the breeds and talk to their owners.
On half an acre you would have to start off very small and stay very small, until you can acquire more land.  You would also be best to keep one of the smallest breeds, such as Soay, Ouessant or maybe Shetland, and just a couple of ewes if you want to go for it.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 05:43:35 pm »
or a trio of geese, they graze the ground down nicely. Can be noisy tho so no near neighbours or stick to chooks!

shetlandpaul

  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 12:01:03 pm »
on that size i would be just planning a decent veg patch. possibly a few chucks as well. the sheep will be fine in the summer but in winter they will run out of food fast. the worm count will build up fast too.

jason-rct

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2011, 11:18:02 pm »
how much do lambs sell for roughly and what could they sell for when ready for slaughter?
cheers

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 12:57:43 am »
how much do lambs sell for roughly and what could they sell for when ready for slaughter?
cheers
Jason it depends on so many factors!  Check your local livestock auction, they will probably publish reports of their weekly liveweight top prices per breed and averages overall.  Or just phone them up and ask!  There's probably someone advertising in your local paper to buy finished lambs, quoting a deadweight price; the auction company may be able to give you deadweight prices too.  But be aware that these prices fluctuate widely, mostly unpredictably.
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

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: thinking of buying sheep
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 03:01:52 pm »
or a trio of geese, they graze the ground down nicely. Can be noisy tho so no near neighbours or stick to chooks!
are all geese really noisy? iv only kept embdens, and they were the only ones screeching at market yesterday? was a few diff breeds.

 

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