Hello, from Canada

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9 years 10 months ago #32461 by Hanson
Hello, from Canada was created by Hanson
Hi All,
Ex pat Kiwi, now living in Ontario Canada.
We have 50acres here(25ha).
Currently have 20 ewes, 3 rams. 8 Nanny goats, 1 buck.
Learning the ins and outs of raiseing sheep in Canada.
Have lots of exp, raising horses and cattle, only just started with the sheep in 2010. Then added the goats in 2011.
It has being an eye opener learning to farm with the really cold winters over here. Snow Snow. then really hot/humid summers.

VBR Farms, raising quality sheep. Raisng strong healthy animals, in rural Ontario Canada.
Ex pat Kiwi now living in Canada.[:D]

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9 years 10 months ago #433522 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello, from Canada
Welcome. :)

Do the sheep have fly problems in the summer in terms of strike, or are the flies a different sort of problem when they settle all over the animals and bite them?

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9 years 10 months ago #433524 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic Hello, from Canada
Welcome! Go Goats! :D:D:D:D

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9 years 10 months ago #433531 by Hanson
Replied by Hanson on topic Hello, from Canada

Ruth;432096 wrote: Welcome. :)

Do the sheep have fly problems in the summer in terms of strike, or are the flies a different sort of problem when they settle all over the animals and bite them?


We don't seem to have a big fly problem, but the mosqitos, and a little fly(like a sand fly) called a no-seem tend to bugg the heck out of the sheep udders and under bellies.

So they spend lots of time laying down or grazing in rolling groups trying to out run the bugs. but during the day they have free access to the barn so lie inside on sawdust away from the bugs and in the shade of the barn in the summer.

I find the new lambs(born March 2012) aren't as bothered by the bugs, as much as the older ewes. The new lambs are often out grazing, while the ewes are hold up in the barn most of the day.

VBR Farms, raising quality sheep. Raisng strong healthy animals, in rural Ontario Canada.
Ex pat Kiwi now living in Canada.[:D]

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9 years 10 months ago #433533 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Hello, from Canada
What breed of sheep do you have.
Do feral breeds from north america fare better than english breeds
Also do you over winter them indoors?

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9 years 10 months ago #433581 by Hanson
Replied by Hanson on topic Hello, from Canada

muri;432108 wrote: What breed of sheep do you have.
Do feral breeds from north america fare better than english breeds
Also do you over winter them indoors?


Most sheep here originated from Britsh, european wool breeds.
There is also demand for the hairbreed sheep, dorper, Katahdin these are a sheding sheep. So you don't need to worry about shearing.

I have Rideau Arcott, which is a mix breed developed by Agri Canada for the canadian climate. They have suffock, finn sheep, ramboullet(sp), and dorset all mixed in.

These sheep were developed for easy care, easy lambing, multipule lambings, and the ability to lamb out of season.I lambed out (11) in March 2012, (8) of them were 2011 lambs(Born Jan/Feb 2011) lambing for the first time. Ended up with 21 lambs, 10 ewe lambs and 11 rams. The lambings were 2singles, 2sets triplets (both from firsttimers), the rest were twins.


2011 rideau Lambs Taken Sep 2011


2011 rideau Lambs Taken Sep 2011


2011 rideau Lambs Taken Sep 2011


Taken March 2012 Before Lambing.

The sire of 2012 Lambs was a mixed breed ram I plan to use across the older stock again for October 2012. For lambing in March 2013

Mixed breed Ram sire 2011 lambs.

I have a Ilde France/Texel cross ram I plan to use across the flock of 10 Ewe lambs this fall(October) for lambing in March 2013.


The winter months are very cold, with lots of snow. Jan/Feb temps can get down as low as-20C overnight, with daytimes mabybe making it to -8C.

Taken Jan 2001 our first rural winter. Needless to say we stepped up to a bigger snowblower.:D


An Early morning pic


Best method for feeding hay to horses, sheep outside. :)

Some farms here do aim to lamb out in Jan, so the lambs are ready for the easter market. To cold for me. My barn isn't heated or insulated. I do have heated water buckets.

But for myself I work fulltime, I like to aim for March it is much warmer with less snow around. I still have to lamb indoors. We have issues with coyotes. And the early frost can get down to -10C over night even in March.

I have to lock them inside at night, in the spring months, as we do have trouble with coyotes. But over the summer, Fall(autumn), they are free to come and go as they please.

Over the prebreeding, breeding and early winter I feed hay :) , feed 1x day a mix of whole grain(oats/barley), with wet beet pulp(it is a by product of the sugarbeet used over to make sugar. Very high sucrose content, the pulp left behind from proccessing is high fibre/roughage. it comes pelleted dehydrated. I soak it in hot water for 8hrs, quadruples in size.). I also add mineral mix, yeast, and added calcuim, and vitamin E.
I like beet pulp because it is a good way to get the sheep to take in more water over the cold months.

Then at around 45 days pre-lambing I start feeding 2x/day.
Then drop off to 1xday after 2weeks lambed. Then stop feeding once lambs are weaned. Normaly they are out on pasture by late march to mid april.

Sheeping waiting to be fed. Let me in by the hair of my chinny chin chin. :p


Chowing down :)


Some of 2012 lambs chowing down too. :)

I don't use dogs, to work them, they are so conditioned , to getting a fed once a day that I have no problems, calling them to the barn. Once in I can catch and handle as needed.

I did get one surprise, lamb this March. I have no idea where the colour came from.

Born March 2012


She is a twin, other lamb was white. PandaBear :D


PandaBear taken August 2012

Thanks for reading my long post.

VBR Farms, raising quality sheep. Raisng strong healthy animals, in rural Ontario Canada.
Ex pat Kiwi now living in Canada.[:D]

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9 years 10 months ago #433582 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic Hello, from Canada
Where in Ontario? We came to NZ from upstate NY, also home to very long, cold, snowy, frozen winters,m but I know not as rough as yours! We have friends in Ottawa, and used to drive up a few times a year to visit (not in winter!!!).

Farming in the winter and having to worry about coyotes, bears, cougars, bobcats, not to mention raccoons, skunks & foxes, and having to have all animal shelters built like fortresses was a bit stressful, so after 4 winters, we chucked it in. We had goats, chooks, a few ducks and a Shetland pony.

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9 years 10 months ago #433586 by RichardW
Replied by RichardW on topic Hello, from Canada
Hi Hanson and welcome :)

What i need to do is look at one of your photo to remind me that when i think its cold here is to just bloody harden up

Running superfine Merino's for 15 years drench free and seed grower, sold through www.sentinelsgroup.co.nz/


Inventor of Watson multishears www.watsonmultishears.co.nz

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9 years 10 months ago #433593 by KiplingAngel
Replied by KiplingAngel on topic Hello, from Canada
Waves to Hanson with a big Hello Eh...

lol - WE have a family cottage up in Minaki (not far from Kenora) and I grew up in Winnipeg. Lovely to hear that someone is still farming something other than cattle and wheat in Canada!!!

Where in Canadaland is your farm?

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9 years 10 months ago #433601 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello, from Canada
Great photos, Hanson, thanks for the window into your life! :)

Your cats are obviously a different sort of animal to those down here - they actually choose to get off their warm couches and go out into the snow?!

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9 years 10 months ago #433683 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello, from Canada
Welcome Hanson.
We had some lambs that looked a bit like that one. Ours had a bit of Dorper in them :-(.
In NZ, goats and sheep tend to be a bad mix because goats like and need longer grass than sheep do, and the sheep keep the grass too short. Even worse, the goats get the sheep worms much worse than the sheep do. Perhaps with your very cold winter and very hot summer they worms might be killed off faster than in NZ, especially if you have the aid of dung beetles, which we don't have. At some stage you might have to chose between having goats or having sheep.
Also, cats carry toxoplasmosis, which both sheep and goats can get. If they get the toxo when they are not pregnant then you will have no problems. But if the ewes or does (female goats ..... "nanny" is an old-fashioned term :-)... ) get toxo when they are pregnant then they will abort. They catch toxo by eating hay that has been contaminated by cats. We do a once-in-the-lifetime vax now.

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