From London Banking to Farming - Paparoa (Kaipara)

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7 years 7 months ago #38661 by egyptianbob
Just found this site and looks fabulous. We decided to move from the uk 8 months ago and today settled on a small lifestyle block in Paparoa (approx 6 acres). Looking to have some animals to keep the grass down and to eat. All sounds very exciting but also hard from what we have read.

If anyone is in that area it would be good to get some advice. [;)]

Blue Fleece Farm - From London banking to Paparoa. Kids love it!

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7 years 7 months ago #497576 by tonic

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7 years 7 months ago #497578 by Ruth
Welcome to the forum. :)

What sort of animals do you like to eat? What animals do you think you'll like to keep?

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7 years 7 months ago #497582 by egyptianbob
Mainly beef for eating purposes. Possibly some sheep. Aware that the amount of land we have is not conducive for many beasts.

Yearlings to 2 year olds looks interesting. Would this be suitable for a beginner?

Looking forward to the challenges for sure.

Blue Fleece Farm - From London banking to Paparoa. Kids love it!

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7 years 7 months ago #497584 by Ruth
Older stock are certainly a much better bet for the novice than young calves.
Buy the best quality you can find despite the cost - although you can still buy poor quality for too much money if they "see you coming".
Get help and advice from people who know what they're doing and also aren't out to make a deal out of the novice. Working out who those people are can be the trickiest bit at the start!

Don't try and have too many animals or whatever you have won't grow to their potential anyway. Six acres is not a great deal of land, so be careful not to overstock. Is that the grazing area or the whole block including house, garden, driveways, sheds, etc.?

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7 years 7 months ago #497585 by muri
GloPony lives up near you but she doesnt often come on this site. too busy with her horses and she does gave sheep.
You could probably find her through Kaipara Kaimanawa on Facebook

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7 years 7 months ago #497595 by LongRidge
If I were starting again I would
1. Check the fertility and apply lime and other fertilisers if necessary for pasture. Phone Ballance or Ravensdown on their freephone to ask where their nearest store is so that you can collect the testing kit, and return it.
2. Work out what grasses you have. I do not know if you can make good hay from kikuyu, but if you can make hay, shut up the paddocks (after removing or marking the hazards). Make hay before or when 10% of the grass is flowering.
3. Keep 200 or more bales, stored under cover. Well tied down tarpaulins or plastic works well enough.
4. Buy 6 beef calves at the autumn calf sales. Try to find someone who handles their cattle regularly.
5. Hold them in the cattle yards, or hire the neighbours cattle yards, for 7 days and feed them hay. This will get them used to you, and for them to know that you are a nice person to know.
6. Break feed your paddocks with the electric fencing that you have obtained and set up.
7. When the grass is running out, start including hay in the daily break. Start with 1 bale per day and gradually increase hay to 2 to 3 bales per day and no grass.
8. to be continued ....

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7 years 7 months ago #497841 by Stikkibeek
Lots of pockets of limestone country around Paparoa, so lime may not be an issue. If you have Kikuyu pasture, it does make quite good hay but takes a day longer to dry than normal meadow grasses, however, it is also pretty good at holding off droughts. It is frost tender and will get burnt if you are in the frost line, so autumn oversowing with fast growing rye is useful to ensure better winter feed.
Don't overstock through your first winter especially if on clay as cattle will pug the soil and that makes it harder to recover during spring. It isn't impossible to cut your own hay or make baylage off 6 acres with some cattle, but that requires carefull handling of the spring growth.
Is your block hilly or moderately contoured? If hilly, best to get to know some of the farmers in your area and buy winter feed (hay or baylage) off them. Baylage although better quality feed is hard to handle however without suitable equipment so conventional hay bales would be best.

Welcome to the LSB

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

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7 years 7 months ago #497873 by nickyobrien
Hi, we are new too. We have 3.5 acres in pasture and we run 3 alpacas and 3 pet sheep and a pony. We would like some beef but can't find the money at present to fence properly for that and so the alpacas have been low fuss, good lawnmowers for us. Little bit different and we like the quiet hoot they give every few seconds which seems to let us know they are content. Very cute and have been easy to have around. Best of luck. All an adventure and good fun.

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7 years 7 months ago #497874 by LongRidge
nicky, sheep need much more and much better fencing than cattle do. After they have been trained to hotwires (eat the ones that won't learn, young beef is very tasty) they will stay behind a single wire that is electrified.

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7 years 7 months ago #498058 by Negodil
Hi egyptianbob and welcome to the forum. There's lots of people giving good advice here so just ask away. We we're all beginners once!

Fairhaven Alpacas, breeding champion Suri alpaca in Temuka

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