Down sizing, down south

More
11 years 6 months ago #25588 by itlldu
Hi All
Iv just moved onto my new lifestyle block, and have no idea what to do with it. I have been told that calf rearing is easy enough, and I have been thinking about a few pigs but really dont know where to start with choosing what to farm and where to get stock, and then there is the question of what do the stock need? - oh the endless questions! Anyway we are doing what we can to settle into a new life in a new town so any advice is always welcome.
Cheers

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357692 by Stu_R
Replied by Stu_R on topic Down sizing, down south
hi itlldu :) and welcome to the lSB family
:) there are quite a few from down your way on here , so am sure there will be plenty of advice on what works best down your way :)
Good luck with your venture :) .. sounds good to me

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357717 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Down sizing, down south
Hi and welcome and as Stu said. Need to know more about size and your knowlege to help

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357721 by itlldu
Replied by itlldu on topic Down sizing, down south
We have 12 acres currently in 2 big paddocks. We have 3 weened calves coming this weekend but are waiting for the bailage contractor to come and get the grass under controll for us, so will have to russel up a holding area for the calves for a while. We have been contemplating getting a pig or 2 but are not sure about how much they smell and how much they make a mess of the paddocks.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357729 by Stu_R
Replied by Stu_R on topic Down sizing, down south
:) itlldu .. um if not nose ringed um they happy to plough the paddock for you :)
I would suggest either some fences or Electric and cut your big paddocks into smaller ones .. makes handling small numbers of stock ( any sort) easier :) and also means you can control and rattion feed when things get a bit dry :)
Good yards ( yep made out of what ever you have laying round works :) ) are a must if sheep, cattle and most livestock :)
Its ammazing what you can make out of junk at times :)

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357739 by itlldu
Replied by itlldu on topic Down sizing, down south
Thanks stu
do you need a vet to put rings in pigs or is a sharp bail needle and some ear muffs acceptable? This place is really tidy so nothing to scrape together to do anything much with. There is just a pile of concrete posts that I have only managed to use as an edging to the vege garden so far.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357741 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Down sizing, down south
It seems that you have enough land to be almost self-sufficient in food there itlldu. As to the pigs we have ours within about ten metres of the house and we hardly notice them. You will need very good fences for them and if they get out they will destroy your pasture fairly quickly.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357786 by ronnie
Replied by ronnie on topic Down sizing, down south
Welcome from a fellow Southlander. If you need to know anything specific about down here, just ask away as there are several of us that hang out around here at times.

There is a group of houses surrounded by paddocks out on the North Road. There is a small paddock whose boundary is very near the road. The paddock is constantly in a state of turned over - they have a pig. Have a look for it if you are out that way and you will get an idea of what a pig can do without a ring in its nose.

If you do buy a couple of weaner pigs, see if the seller can put the ring in for you when you pick them up.

Good luck with the baleage contractor at this time of year - they are just soooooooo busy and tend to sort of forget the small farmers in preference for their clients who have lots of land and grass to bale.
Are they taking the bales away? are you getting them done in large rounds, medium squares or small squares? baleage or hay?
We get our baleage done in medium squares as we have no tractor and it falls off in slices (biscuits) when opened. The round bales are a real effort to get to unroll if you don't have gear to do it.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357793 by itlldu
Replied by itlldu on topic Down sizing, down south
Thanks Ronnie and Igor

We are hoping to be as self sufficient as we can, have just dug a huge vege garden but notice that everyone seems to have those tunnel house things, not sure what the difference is between a tunnell house and a glass house - apart from the obvious, but most people seem to have one of each so not sure what we will manage to grow in the garden but will give it a go.

Thanks for the info on the pig rings, am facinated that it makes that much of a difference, have only ever seen them in bulls and that seemed to be only so they could be lead at the A&P show.

Yes we have been assuming that all the big players get the contractors attention. i was thinking we should ring around and see if any others are free but I recall my father lecturing me on loyalty when I suggested that to him once, and he was a BIG player, so I wait. He is doing big rounds into bailage and has a buyer for them, so we might get $15 each after his costs, but it gets the grass cut and managable for a start. We where told that someone does squares into bailage too and we thought that they might be good for the second cut as we have no tractor either. But just how big are the squares? How do you move them without a tractor? I was thinking we would still need a front end loader bucket at least? We are getting a barn put up in the new year so will have somewhere for calves and bails then.

We have these 3 weaned calves arriving this weekend and id like to keep them restricted, since there seems to be no gate between our 2 paddocks!!! And strangely enough I dont want them having free range of 12 acres! Does anyone have any suggestions on where to get some second hand electric fencing gear? Trade me stuff is pretty scares, and CRT new is frightening, and this place is so tidy there isnt even a beaten up old bit of corrigate blowing around!

Chers

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357826 by ronnie
Replied by ronnie on topic Down sizing, down south
Hi,

See if there are any clearing sales around - check todays paper. I got all my farming gear from those over the years.

With our baleage, the contractor was kind enough to shift the big squares to a place that was very handy for us for feeding out and we just put an electric fence in front of them to keep the stock off. No way to shift them by hand - far too heavy.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357831 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Down sizing, down south
itlldu, whilst a bit of corrigated iron and some old pallets may serve as yards while the calves are small. I would sugest that proper yards are a priority on your block asap. Calves grow pretty quick and if you ever need a vet to treat them, or load them out for sale you will need the facilities to handle them safely. Even quite small calves can escape over or under a rickity fence!

It is worth an investment in electric fencing early on, so as to train the calves to respect a good zap. Then you can use it for subdivision, to put round your baleage and even to make temporary lanes to move stock from one area to another. You might be able to pick up a reel and standards cheaply but if I were you I would invest in a new reel of wire/tape from the Farm shop as it can easily get broken wires after it is constantly used and doesn't carry the current too well. For the Unit to produce the power the mains ones are best, but you can get ones that run off car batteries and expensive solar powered ones. The little units that run off 6x D batteries are OK as a quick fix, but they run out of juice quickly and the animals constantly test them and soon find out-and then chew up the wire!

We get big squares of baleage made, they weigh about 300kgs each and no we don't have a tractor, but feed 90 of them out by hand! Get the contractor to stack thenm in a convenient place. Open up the bale carefully, remove slices as required and re tie the plastic to keep it from drying out too much. An opened bale will easily last fresh for a week or more if re-covered.

Calf rearing is easy enough, especially if you let a cow do it ;-)
I'm pleased you are starting with weaners, because rearing from 4 day olds needs a bit of skill to avoid too many heartaches for a beginner!

Welcome and enjoy your new venture!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357863 by Stu_R
Replied by Stu_R on topic Down sizing, down south
:) but Sue ... lol your calves weigh over 400kg :) i know as i have met quite a few of them :)
I agree totaly that good yards are the very best asset anyone can have ... essential actually

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357873 by itlldu
Replied by itlldu on topic Down sizing, down south
Thanks All
We have taken Sue's advice and started with a new elec fence reel, which was cheeper than expected and it is up and buzzing with 3 calves wearily lounging within.
The sun is shining, the washing is dry, the veg seedlings are up and its a lovely if high hayfever level day in the deep.
Cheers for all the advice so far, keep it coming. Does anyone know much about growing mushrooms?!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357875 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Down sizing, down south
Well done, you can do lots with a temporary electric fence if it is going well enough, before you work out where to put your permanent fences.

StuR, I have had many a lively newborn whip through, over and under fences before they realise what has bitten them! If they get trained when small-they can be contained when big and learn to respect a fence which MIGHT bite!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 6 months ago #357891 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Down sizing, down south
With Miss Piggy, we put 3 small rings into her nose, with lots of effort. After the wound healed in about a month, 1 ring was knocked out by her snuffling around in the soil, and the other 2 rings didn't stop her rooting at all. Then she decided that the dog had to be kept in his place, and any sheep that had just given birth were not safe. She is now safe in the freezer, and the animals are safe from her. I most definitely would not start with pigs - they can get through, under and over fencing that Houdini would have trouble with.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.205 seconds