New Lifestyle block owner; question on Lambs to Sheep

More
5 years 11 months ago - 5 years 11 months ago #523455 by mysterydog
Hi there,

We have recently moved to Gladstone, Carterton in the Wairarapa. We have 4.5 Acres made up of 4 paddocks (5 if you count the area by the stream.) We have begun planting various fruit trees, olive trees and have a large area for chickens (13 hens so far).

We are very keen to start with a number of lambs (say 5) and raise them up to be sold on. (or have a ram and ewe and raise their off-spring and on sell.)

What price and how would i on sell raised sheep? Or is it better to just lease the grazing area for other sheep?

Is it economical to run a tiny flock?

I'm going to have loads more questions and very happy to share my experiences as I go (and I am sure i will have a huge amount more questions)
Last edit: 5 years 11 months ago by mysterydog. Reason: Spelling

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523466 by Ruth
Nobody answered you! Welcome to the forum. It's always a bit quiet in the weekends, when presumably people are busy and outside. :)

Is it economical to do anything much on a small block? Is that your primary concern? Sheep are hard work, lots of fun, lovely, terrible, delicious, troublesome, etc., depending on the animals, what you want, what you like doing, what you have time for ...

We used to have a handful of sheep but could never get the lambs off to sale/works at the right time and it just became a big pain in the rear, so we downsized to keep only enough to have a bit of mutton from time to time. Others find better stock agents, better options.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523542 by mysterydog
Thank you for the reply Ruth.

I have the time (working from home) to manage any sheep and lambs. It sounds like you have given it a go. What age did you start with? What age did you sell on (or did you keep the meat)? Where did uou buy and where did you sell?

It would be great hearing more of your experience and even the best palce to learn on what is involved in looking after a small group,

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523547 by Ruth
I sort of inherited some sheep so bred what we had. Fortunately there were none prone to bearings but there were a number prone to mastitis. Not keeping the lambs of ewes who couldn't produce milk for them proved to be a great step forward - tempting to keep the bottle-reared tame lambs but best not from mothers who can't milk well enough to feed them.

We eat the few lambs we produce. Currently eating the last lamb, which got to about four before we got around to doing it and only then because I sent the ewes away to get in lamb and didn't want to send her. Good roasts! Some years we haven't bothered lambing.

We've occasionally sold at the local saleyards.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523550 by tonybaker
sheep are the easiest animal to keep. You can check their cost/value on Trade Me. Generally you eat them at about one year old. Main problem is getting them shorn to prevent fly strike, especially if you only have a few. Wool is worthless now, so don't count on that.
I run Dorpers now as they have a shedding fleece, more like hair really, but for years I had a motley crew that were on their way to the works. They provided meat and the odd bit of cash. I kept the ram in with the girls all the time and never had any issues. You will find that there are purists out there that make raising lambs/sheep sound so difficult, it is not. If you have to worry about losing the occasional lamb and keep calling the vet, it is just not worth it. Just make sure they have plenty of grass/hay and water, a bit of shelter and you will be ok.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago - 5 years 11 months ago #523561 by kindajojo
There are low maintenance sheep like Dorpers and Wiltshires, they shed so don't need shearing, some Dorpers have poor feet. You shoul be able to easily run 5 or 6, on the acreage you have. Sheep will sell at around $100.00 ( good year) for a good lamb, it will cost about $50.00 ish to get them home killed so you can put it in the freezer. It is not really economic to hand raise, as it will cost you in the order of $100.00 in milk powder , vet fees and pellets...but you will have the experience. Pet lambs are also more prone to drop dead.
Are there others around you can borrow a ram from, for 5 sheep running a ram full time is not required ...or you can buy in a ram lamb at 2 months and use him then eat him....or sell him to the sales yard

Good luck
Last edit: 5 years 11 months ago by kindajojo. Reason: Fixed

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523567 by Stikkibeek

kindajojo wrote: Sheep will sell at around $100.00 ( good year) for a good lamb, it will cost about $50.000 ish to get them home killed so you can put it in the freezer.


No wonder I don't buy mutton from the supermarket. I hope that fifty grand is not per kilo! :whistle: :evil:

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523578 by Rokker

Stikkibeek wrote:

kindajojo wrote: Sheep will sell at around $100.00 ( good year) for a good lamb, it will cost about $50.000 ish to get them home killed so you can put it in the freezer.


No wonder I don't buy mutton from the supermarket. I hope that fifty grand is not per kilo! :whistle: :evil:


Have to admit I did a double-take on that one too, Stikki. But we'll have to allow it this time as that little mark after the 50 is a dot, not a comma. :blink:

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523580 by Baroque
Welcome to LSB!

If you go for an easy care sheep breed like Arapawas, Dorpers or Wiltshires, you will still need to invest in some good sheepyards for veterinary or other care. Cheapest solution for a small handful of sheep is using 2-4 gates or other suitable panels which you can tie together in the corner of a paddock.

I would try to see if you can borrow a ram rather than buying one, or run your ewes with a local ram. That way you don't have to keep the ram on the property all year.
If you get a breed like Arapawa they will happily breed throughout the year, opposed to some of the other more traditional breeds which are single breeders and those ewes only ovulate in late summer through to late autumn.

Good luck!

Breeding & training quality Spanish horses - THE horse of Kings! Also breeding Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mudlerk

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523647 by LongRidge
Sheep love olives, especially the leaves. They also like many other kinds of fruit trees. So until the trees get big enough for the sheep to not damage, the trees have to be fenced off. The other problems with trees is that they steal the sunshine from the grass, and sunlight is essential for good quality pasture. The nutrients that trees need are quite different than what pasture needs, so fertilising for one will not be right for the other. Trees also provide shade and slow the wind, so they provide a great place for flies to sit on the sheep and lay eggs, which turn into maggots, which eat the sheep.
The Wiltshires they I have had experience with have been crazy, so they are not my preferred breed. Dorper temperament seems a bit better, but they are designed to have very close nails (to keep out the tetse flies in African deserts) so they tend to have bad feet problems. Cheviots and Perendales tend to be maniacs, but they tend to do well on poorer quality food.

So .... certainly try a few sheep but be prepared to quit them at a moments notice, and be aware of these problems.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 11 months ago #523668 by kindajojo
I don't think wiltis are any scattier than other sheep, I think testament is very much dependant on management. Q Dorpers are a cross between the Dorset and the Persian, they come from drier sandier climates and the hooves grow pretty quickly so unless you are on dry land ie the east coast, they don't tend to do well on wet Manawatu clay soils, can't talk for other areas of the country.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 10 months ago #523976 by Wenz
Hi there, I run 15 ewes, a ram and a pet wether. I need to have tame sheep as my dog is a pet and I have hills. Of the 15 ewes, I bottle fed 10 of them and the others are daughters of my original bottle fed ewes. The sheep are all friendly, bolt to me for nuts and are easily rounded up into my makeshift yards for shearing, drenching etc. For me they need to be tame so I can easily approach them if any trouble arises lambing, health or just to put them in my lamb shelters when lambed in bad weather. Yes there was a start up cost but each ewe has paid herself over several times as they mainly produce singles and twins. The lambs are then sold before the end of Nov. I have had decent wool prices and lamb sales at $110. Looking at having a handful as you are, I would invest in hand raising ewe lambs. You can manage them much easier and get to enjoy their antics...sheep can be real characters! You can easily provide shelter for them and as they are used to it, will take their lambs inside. Life is just so much easier if the few you have are tame :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 10 months ago #524054 by mysterydog
Thank you all for the advice and experiences.

I am thinking that I will hand raise orphaned lambs (female) that need help in the coming months (up to 3 or 4). From this group I'll look at later breeding from them for sale or meat.

next question the n would be where is the best place to offer my help for orphaned lambs?

thanks again,

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
5 years 10 months ago #524104 by LongRidge
Probably the best way is to introduce yourself to all your neighbours. You may have to pay something for a lamb. And they only come sporadically when a ewe is unable to care for it, so don't expect all to arrive on the same day at the same age :) . Lambs that are a couple of weeks old when ewe can no longer care for it can be quite difficult to train to suckle a teat. One of the very important piece of apparatus in our lambing kit is a lamb tube feeder. Older lambs are generally ill too, so talk to your vet about how to get antibiotics urgently.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.230 seconds