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Author Topic: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?  (Read 4052 times)

loosey

  • Joined May 2010
  • Cornwall
What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« on: April 18, 2011, 09:56:22 am »
Hi all

I've been briefly venturing into the sheep forum for a while now but we think this year we may try some sheep at the holding  :D

I have loads of questions, if anyone could help?! ???

How many would you recommend starting with? We have 12 acres but I have horses so the sheep will probably follow the horses when they move on from grazing and go into a fresh paddock the month before they leave us.
I have been told that electric rope will keep them in, is this correct? Is does pack a rather heftier punch than wire or tape!
Should I look at orphaned lambs or slightly older ones to avoid bottle feeding?
Presuming they will be going off before xmas, will they need shelter? We have dry stone walls and plenty of thick hedges and tree lined fields ... I do have a couple of spare stables though that I can leave open with hay and straw?
How much would a half lamb sell for to family and friends?
Is it a good idea to give them a small amount of hard feed to ensure they are easier to handle at the end?
Willl they need worming whilst they are with us?

I think that's it for now! The plan is to keep some for the freezer this year and maybe next and if we get on well, and once we have learnt, maybe look into breeding after that. Thanks in advance for your help!! :D

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 10:41:08 am »
bottlefeeding lambs is a nice experience for a novelty but a big commitment, plus the cost of the milkpowder is prob more than the finished lamb is worth! but we still did it. after the first ones, we sold any poddy lambs (who sell like hotcakes btw)
we always feed our sheep just to keep them keen, its much easier to call with them a bucket rather herd them, when uv only a few and no sheepdog. worm them when u get them, then if they are on clean (ie sheep free) grazing, worms shouldnt be a problem.
iv never used electricfencing on sheep, but thought if their fleece is short u can train them to a degree.

loosey

  • Joined May 2010
  • Cornwall
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 12:28:43 pm »
We have fairly good dry stone walls and hedging but all our fields are wooden posted with 3 strands of electric rope for the horses anyway. Fingers crossed!

We were thinking of 4 or 5, would you say this was a good number for first time sheep owners?!

Daisy-at-the-dairy

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 03:48:29 pm »
Hi Loosey

We started with six on 5 acres, with three horses last year so you'll be fine with 12 acres I would think. Our fencing is a mixture of electric tape, elec rope and sheep netting.  We have only had one or two breakouts, of young lambs.  We even kept a couple of ewes, with their very young lambs, on a tiny paddock in the orchard using a portable strip-grazing fence.  Having said that, I guess it does depend a bit on your sheep.

Do not go for orphan lambs.  Bottle feeding will soon lose its charm and I gather they become pushy and over-assertive to handle as they get older.

We give ours a sprinkling of hard feed every evening.  It keeps them used to us and is a good opportunity for a daily close-up check.  Also makes moving so much easier.  Yesterday we moved them across four paddocks and through four gates, just leading them with a bucket and someone behind to chivvy stragglers.

Pricing is up to you but look at the EBLEX website (English Beef and Lamb Executive) where you will find information/suggestions on how to run a meat box scheme which I found helpful.  They also do a DVD of specifications for cuts of meat, which will help you talk sensibly to your butcher when the time comes.  Bear in mind you will need to tell him how you want the carcase cut up (yes, there is more than one way, depending on the cuts you want) so now is the time to start doing your homework.  However, a good butcher will help you with this anyway and not just roll his eyes at your ignorance so don't be afraid to ask!

Good luck, I've loved having sheep on the property and I'm sure you will too.

PS  You may find you want the horses to follow the sheep, rather than the other way round.  That way you'll avoid the horses having too much grass.

princesspiggy

  • Guest
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 04:01:04 pm »
Do not go for orphan lambs.  Bottle feeding will soon lose its charm and I gather they become pushy and over-assertive to handle as they get older.

lol ...definitely with bottlefed ram lambs  :-[ :-[ :-[ ours is called bobby butter, but not cos he likes butter    :-[ :-[ :-[   lol

loosey

  • Joined May 2010
  • Cornwall
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 04:27:25 pm »
Thank you! When we send pigs off, we just sell them per half pig but cut into what is now our standard cuts. They can be anywhere from 85 - 120 per half dependant on size etc. Somobody I know said she was paying 70 for half a lamb ... does that sound about right or this this very cheap?

I'm quite excited about it! Lamb is my favourite! :yum:

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 04:56:49 pm »
Do not go for orphan lambs.  Bottle feeding will soon lose its charm and I gather they become pushy and over-assertive to handle as they get older.

lol ...definitely with bottlefed ram lambs  :-[ :-[ :-[ ours is called bobby butter, but not cos he likes butter    :-[ :-[ :-[   lol

what even my little shaun?! oh noooooooo!!  :-\  maybe I will be ok with him going to the freezer after all...
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Daisy-at-the-dairy

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 06:39:06 pm »
Thank you! When we send pigs off, we just sell them per half pig but cut into what is now our standard cuts. They can be anywhere from 85 - 120 per half dependant on size etc. Somobody I know said she was paying 70 for half a lamb ... does that sound about right or this this very cheap?

I'm quite excited about it! Lamb is my favourite! :yum:

Sounds cheap to me but depends on the lamb and the seller.  We just had 2 hoggets back from the butchers.  they were big lads but the whole legs were priced at 30 each, boned and rolled shoulders 20, rump roast 7-8 and a pack of 2 Barnsley chops 6-7.  That gets you to near enough 70 before you add in all the other Barnsley chops, the neck fillet, the rack, the mince and any offal you put in.  Ok it's a usually a bit cheaper by the half lamb but hey - this is a premium home-grown product you're marketing.  Why undersell it?

Daisy-at-the-dairy

  • Joined Jan 2011
Re: What will I need to raise lambs for the freezer?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 06:42:38 pm »
Do not go for orphan lambs.  Bottle feeding will soon lose its charm and I gather they become pushy and over-assertive to handle as they get older.

lol ...definitely with bottlefed ram lambs  :-[ :-[ :-[ ours is called bobby butter, but not cos he likes butter    :-[ :-[ :-[   lol

what even my little shaun?! oh noooooooo!!  :-\  maybe I will be ok with him going to the freezer after all...

Yes, even Shaun! A year-old wether knows how to throw it's weight around and a year-old ram.....Well, let's face it he probably won't get that far before you're fed up with him.
My little Ernie on the other hand, will of course remain a perfect angel.. :D lol.

 

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