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9 years 5 months ago #33911 by Macadamia
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Hi all,

We've just bought a relocated house on 2 acres at Whitemans Valley, Upper Hutt. Moving in a couple of weeks. Totally flat land, basically a blank canvas. Not really sure where to start so any advice would be appreciated.
There is no garage or shed, so thinking that is pretty important as the grass is growing and I guess I will need a ride on very soon before we work out whether to get some sheep. Any tips?

Cheers

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9 years 5 months ago #448863 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Brand spanking new
Dont rush in to buying a ride-on. You need to do your homework on those.
I know a lot of people love mowing their lawns and having it looking neat and tidy, but I worked out it was cheaper to fence lawn with sheep netting than to mow - based on the cost of the netting and the fencer, balanced against the cost of petrol, paying someone to mow your lawns or buying a ride on,
It was costing me over $1000 a year to have the lawns mowed, and the fencing of the area cost considerably less. So in my first year the sheep have done my mowing and from now on I am only saving money
I would get someone to mow initially if you are going to mow, but think of the cost of mowing, of the petrol and the pollution in the environment from it.
Buying the ride on is the easiest bit, getting it serviced and maintained isnt easy unless you have a trailer that can take it to the repair shop etc, or you are mechanical enough to do it yourself
I would get a contract mowing person in to give you time to decide what you wanted to do - mow or graze

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9 years 5 months ago #448865 by Macadamia
Replied by Macadamia on topic Brand spanking new
Thanks for that. Makes sense to wait as I am far from mechanical. How many sheep would you suggest. We need to do a lot of planting also so will need to stop the woolly ones from chewing down on them.

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9 years 5 months ago #448887 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Brand spanking new
First thing to do, think about what you would like to have.
Second, look at what is possible. Start investigating, the soil, the climate, wind rainfall, frosts...Any planting you do might need to consider where the really annoying, drying or chilling winds come from, and where the water sits in winter, for example. If you do plan stock, plan to fence them off hedges or shelterbelts, and avoid toxic trees adjacent to them.
Get to know neighbours, find some with longer term knowledge of the area.
Invite them a round for a housewarming and bend their ears![;)]

Revise what you'd like to have according to your time and the land you have and of course, money!
Take a breath and get to know your new bit of land, and the area.

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9 years 5 months ago #448911 by LongRidge
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WV is definitely not a suitable place for macadamias.
Decide whether you want to be bothered with animals, or with a garden. Having both is nearly impossible. With plantings be very careful that they are not poisonous or the animals will have to go, or edible because the plants will go. Except totaras, nothing much except those horrible squarky black bird like them. I've still got 20 300 year olds to be chopped down, when I get a round tuit.

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9 years 5 months ago #448971 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Brand spanking new
I think a ride on is a much better option than sheep if you know about neither. Do not rush into getting sheep, they are a very high maintenance animal especially for a beginner. The cost of getting them shorn would be a lot more than the petrol for a ride on ( we mow 1.5 acres and use 20 litres of petrol every six months for the mower). If you break the ride on it can be fixed, if you break a sheep (or don't notice fly strike etc) the animal either dies or suffers.
We bought out ride on for $400 second had and it has been very reliable. I am assuming even though not mechanical, you still have a car like the rest of us, so that is no reason not to get a ride on.
You can always sell it later if it doesn't exactly meet you needs, you won't lose much if you buy second hand to start with.

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9 years 5 months ago #448974 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Brand spanking new
Ride ons dont make very nice pets, they dont come when you rattle the sheep nuts and they can be a lot more maintenance than sheep.
Not all sheep need shearing, not all sheep are hard work
And then there is the desire to live on the land and have a few animals, everyone has to start learning somewhere

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9 years 5 months ago #448976 by kindajojo
Replied by kindajojo on topic Brand spanking new
If you getting self shedding sheep then the cost is nothing for shearing , but if you are considering sheep make sure you have some forms of yards to handle them start at about 2 per acre, so 4 would be ok.
Have you any neighbors with sheep or ride-ons see what their experiences are.

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9 years 5 months ago #448981 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Brand spanking new
You are unlikely to make a major mistake with a ride on, quite is to do a review online. If you know nothing about sheep and have no close friend who does, it is a much better starting point. You can keep you block maintained whilst you live there a while, learn about your place, work out where the best places for fences are if you want to add fences, research your options for fences. Ask around about sheep, then go and get some if you want, but do not feel just because you have land that you have to get animals, you are allowed to just enjoy having the freedom and space if that is what you choose.

Too many people jump in at the deep end when they buy a block, they struggle and give up. Take it slowly that is all I am saying.

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9 years 5 months ago #449029 by Macadamia
Replied by Macadamia on topic Brand spanking new
Great thanks for the suggestions. I have had a good talk to a couple of people that know the area including some of the neighbours. There is a mixture of sheep and mowers used but ours is the only flat section. There are also a lot of different weeds so I'll do some more homework incase some of them are bad for sheep. It's going to be a long process so a mower will probably be our best starting point.

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9 years 5 months ago #449245 by RichardW
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Macadamia;449390 wrote: There are also a lot of different weeds so I'll do some more homework incase some of them are bad for sheep.

Welcome Macadamia.

You do find that sheep wont eat anything that will effect them anyway.

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 5 months ago #449251 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Brand spanking new
Hi Macadamia, and welcome. A couple of suggestions: what about asking a neighbour with sheep if they'd be happy to put a couple on your land as grasscutters until you have a chance to think more about the vision for your land? That way you'd get some experience of sheep, but not have total responsibility for them. You'd also get a feel for where you want to fence, plant trees/shelter, place water etc. A ride-on would be nice, but IMHO a new block will inevitably have all manner of 'needs' that require (often big) money, and having someone graze your land initially will free up some dosh for you.

I agree with Kai that it's easy to rush in and want to do and have everything at once when you move onto a new block - it can be a recipe for expensive mistakes which, in turn, can be disheartening and take the gloss off what will be an exciting adventure. Not saying that this will be the case with you, but if you're new to the lifestyle then one of the best pieces of advice is to go slowly, talk to others who have been in that situation for a while, ask lots of questions (and as people on LSB frequently say, there are no stupid questions) and have fun planning.

Look forward to your posting more about your place and hearing how things progress.
Cheers, Mich.

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

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7 years 11 months ago #489728 by Peterkit03
Replied by Peterkit03 on topic Brand spanking new
I think everyone here has their point, only difference is we all are in different situation. As for me who has JUST got my block, bare land. Everything is so daunting, scary. God knows how many grey hair I've got in 3 months, endless migraine. It got so bad that I need to walk off to a library, sat down, close my eye. Told myself to relax. That was the day I started to enjoy the whole thing, the excitement to watching my plan grown. Listen carefully what people around me say, and carefully pick out what suits you most. Now I have just moved in 12 cattle onto my land the same day bought a second hand ride on. I got the best of both world. Hope my 2 cents make sense.
You need to enjoy n be happy with your choice. Owning a block is dauntingly hard, but the reward is honey.

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7 years 11 months ago #489733 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Brand spanking new

Peterkit03;494368 wrote: I think everyone here has their point, only difference is we all are in different situation. As for me who has JUST got my block, bare land. Everything is so daunting, scary. God knows how many grey hair I've got in 3 months, endless migraine. It got so bad that I need to walk off to a library, sat down, close my eye. Told myself to relax. That was the day I started to enjoy the whole thing, the excitement to watching my plan grown. Listen carefully what people around me say, and carefully pick out what suits you most. Now I have just moved in 12 cattle onto my land the same day bought a second hand ride on. I got the best of both world. Hope my 2 cents make sense.
You need to enjoy n be happy with your choice. Owning a block is dauntingly hard, but the reward is honey.

Especially if you have bees! ;););););)

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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7 years 11 months ago #489753 by kernels
Replied by kernels on topic Brand spanking new
We have been living on our block for about 3 months now and have found that a combination of a ride on and alpacas are the way to go.

Ride on is fine for the flat parts, but to get a ride on that will work on a slope and a bit of wetness you will need to spend some serious money.

If the bit you want to keep neatly mowed is currently overgrown as our bits were, you will also need to get a brush cutter as the ride on will likely bog down and damage the drive belts. Go through with the brush cutter, collect up the cuttings, then go over it with the ride on a few times.

Alpacas so far have been pretty good for the paddock, we only have 2.5 Alpacas on 1 Hectare, so they are not really making much impression on the grass, but we will expand the herd soon. They are reasonably maintenance free animals, annual shearing, a few vaccinations and a handful of pellets every now and then.

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