New comers to LSB - Southland

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11 years 8 months ago #33021 by 16 Paws
In just over 2 weeks we move to 5 acres, and beginners would be the best way to describe us. About 3.5 acres is in pasture and the sheep currently on the block are moving out. We would appreciate any guidance as to what to get to replace them. A contact has suggested Tefroms (texel, east friesan romney crosses)? Any suggestions or thoughts appreciated.

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11 years 8 months ago #439509 by BonnieB
Very cool, you must be looking forward to getting it! I am not sure but i have a feeling that east friesan may be good at jumping fences- might be worth checking that they are not escape artists. I may be wrong. Personally I would just go with the look you like, and find out about their qualities. Sheep that people say dont need shearing often do, so be aware of that! And everyone likes the breed that they have! Southland has alot of different breeds, I woud keep away from merino and other high country breeds to avoid problems with their feet on the damper country. I have a few merino cross pets on coastal otago and am always treating their feet because of the damp ground- scald and hooves growing very quickly. have fun planning!

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11 years 8 months ago #439512 by igor
Replied by igor on topic New comers to LSB - Southland
Welcome to the site.
What, and how many, you can run on your land is dependent upon a number of factors. Not least of these is what you like to eat.
We have about three acres effective grazing and run a few dairy goats and a cow, a few sheep and pigs for meat, and assorted chickens and ducks. We raise the cow's annual calf for beef for our own consumption so at any one time we will have three or four cattle of various ages. We buy in a lot of feed to get through the winter as we are really running more stock than we should on the land area we have available.
As far as sheep go we started with a mixed age mob of six dog tucker ewes of various breeds and a Dorper ram. These were cheap and available locally so we took them. The Dorper and some of his progeny got more than a little foot trouble on the wet ground so we bought a Wiltshire Horn ram to try. We have one ewe left out of the original mob. She is at least part Wiltshire and has had no foot trouble at all. We chose the Dorper and then the Wiltshire because they shed their wool so do not require shearing. Some of them do not shed all their wool so you may need to give them a semi-annual tidy up.

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11 years 8 months ago #439536 by hilldweller
What do you want the sheep to do? Keep the grass tidy? Breed? Not breed? Fill the freezer? Produce spinnable wool? Look pretty?

hilldweller

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11 years 8 months ago #439582 by 16 Paws
Is it unrealistic to suggest we would like sheep to do pretty much all of the above - be edible, pretty lawn-mowers that regenerate and look nice wandering through the daffodils, with wool being an added bonus? Or is that just being too naive? We are not really looking to breed pedigree specimens, just something that fits most of the above and hopefully not be prone to too many issues.

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11 years 8 months ago #439597 by wiredkiwi
I've got arapawa/texel/coopworth crosses (with a little added EF and suffolk). They do all of the above :-)

I'd just look for a good mix of nice big heavy looking sheep. I'm a big fan of anything with Texel in it. Wouldn't go for EF's as they have litters of lambs and it can be really hard during lambing.

Getting a shearer for a small mob is pretty hard. Are you close to anyone else with sheep - can you work in with them?

I'm in Otatara and if I was starting out, would run about 12 sheep on 3.5 acres if I didn't want to buy in feed, or anything up to about 20 if you don't mind buying some hay. You might be able to do more without buying in hay if you're on better soil than we are out here.

However if you start with a dozen ewes and a ram, you'll pretty quickly get up there in numbers. I have 6 ewes, a ram, a 'retired' pet ewe, 2 replacements and 2 'eats' at any given time, plus the ewes lambs, so that's 12 sheep plus lambs. I do have 4 horses as well, but I've got 9 acres effective and manage it fairly carefully.

You'll find it hard to keep the grass down in summer and autumn, and there won't be enough in winter and spring - that's the rub with have a small block! The ideal is to make your own hay, which down here is pretty easy to do given the growth we get in late spring.

Anyway, welcome!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Horses must be magnetic. Have one and others come along to join it.

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11 years 8 months ago #439714 by 16 Paws
Thank you for all the replies. Especially the specifics of how many/ages to look at. It all makes a lot of sense, at least as a starting point. No doubt a lot more questions will follow!

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11 years 8 months ago #439730 by Ohailander
Some interesting breeds here and other info, I think they are out Blackmount way. www.organicwool.co.nz/

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