New member and new to lifestyle farm

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10 years 5 months ago #30055 by sheep
Hi all this is sheep! yes i know it was a lazy username (was kind of surprised when it wasn't taken already :D )

we currently live on a 7.5acre section just north of Auckland, we have a vegie and a fruit garden which has turned out well since converting from bush & scrubs.

I'm wondering what sort of animals is suitable for a flat area of pasture of around 6acres. we have 3 separate fenced off pastures, 2 of which are roughly 1.5 acres each and the other around 3acres with a decent sized pond. there's currently a nearby farmer who runs a few of his cows on there but he has been quite difficult to deal with since we moved here just over a year ago, so we're thinking of changing to ourselves managing the grass level.

long story short, what is the best way of maintaining a 6acre pasture?

thanks
sheep :)

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10 years 5 months ago #406248 by Mich
Hi Sheep - welcome to the site. :-) I don't have any experience of cattle but there are plenty of people on here that do. Look forward to hearing more about what you decide on.

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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10 years 5 months ago #406288 by Stikkibeek
A small flock of sheep would do a good job, but there are some things to consider in your overall care of them. Is the pond paddock and surrounding area wet in the winter? If so, you will need to pay strict attention to your sheep's feet.
Are there close properties where there are "uncontained" dogs? If so, sheep might not be a good option due to the risk of worrying. And then there's shearing and flystrike to be concerned about. But, on the plus side, sheep are lighter animals and will not pug a paddock if it is a bit wet.
Do you have reasonable yarding facilities to handle stock? A loading race? A crush? If so, young stock may be a good option and if you get wet in the winter, you can always time selling the stock, before the weather gets too far into the wet season.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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10 years 5 months ago #406528 by helen55
Welcome :)

Have you thought about alpacas?

I've got just over 7 acres near Oamaru. I've been here since the end of March and cuurently have 20 alpacas here. They are relatively low maintenance, easy to handle and are great time wasters!

Living on a 7 acre property near Oamaru I currently have 5 wonderful Standardbred horses, 8 alpacas, 6 former battery hens, 1 labrador and 8 cats. I eat only plant based food and love trying new plant based recipes. Retired from the paid workforce in December 2019 and have never been busier!!

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10 years 5 months ago #406552 by sheep
what are the regulation in regards to sheeps? e.g. how many per acre. and yes think there is the loading race built from previous owner but not too sure about the crush, is it essential? also the land has already got plenty of holes dotted all around the paddock from the cattle currently, will this have effect on either the well being of sheep or alpacas?

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10 years 5 months ago #406625 by spoook
Welcome, you are not too far from me I guess.[;)]

I would suggest weaner steers. They do not need bottle feeding, will have been tagged and drenched. All you need to do is feed them for a few months and sell them, or freeze them, before the ground gets too wet.

Sheep will do a better job of producing a bowling green style paddock but will need shearing twice a year, foot trimming twice a year (at least) and, maybe, drenching. You will also have to watch out for flystrike.
If you get both sexes then that opens up the whole pregnancy and birth issues.
Do you know anyone with sheep that may want grazing? This will let you see what is involved without being involved.

What you choose depends on what time you want, or can, put into them.

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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10 years 5 months ago #406697 by LongRidge
If I were starting again .....
6 acres of moderately fertile pasture just north of Auckland should run 6 cattle. I would make hay this year and store it. Buy 6 weaner beef calves at the autumn sales. Set the fences up to run an electric wire, and breakfeed the autumn growth until it runs out then feed the hay out at 2 bales per day. Sell 3 of the calves in spring/September. Make hay from spare spring grass, buy 3 beef calves in the autumn sale and run them with the Rising 2 year olds. Sell the R2's when they are about 24 months old, and big enough, in about September, to the freezing works. Etc ...

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