Lifestyle Block At Last :) And some questions!

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3 years 11 months ago #540980 by InCusterdy
Hello!

We are moving to our first LSB at the end of the month, 11 acres in North Canterbury. We're really looking forward to it. I was wondering if anyone had any advice re: getting started with sheep and goats. I had the idea to start with basically a pet lamb to get the hang of things. I come from a LSB background, but haven't raised sheep or goats before, and I don't want to start off with like, twenty full grown animals that I'm obviously going to be ignorant about regardless of how much I read because real life is always different.

Anyway, I was wondering if that seems like a good idea? Or is it incredibly silly for some reason I'm unaware of? I'd also like to have a pet sheep first because we have dogs who are city born and bred and need to learn to respect stock and I feel like a more confident hand reared sheep would help that.

Thanks for reading!

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3 years 11 months ago #540981 by Farmersden
We rushed in and started with 4 ewes, with no experience, were lucky to have helpful neighbours as we were able to use their yards for shearing and vaccinating and foot stuff. If we had the time over would have got the set up right first with fencing done, gates in the right place (corners not middle of a run) snd water troughs in place. But we managed. Sheep do better in a small mob so 4 were good number to start then maybe look to getting or borrowing a ram when you have learnt how to move them. Get them bucket trained too. At the end of the day you farm the paddocks, wait to see how yr land grows grass before committing to large stock numbers.
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3 years 11 months ago #540982 by tonybaker
Welcome to LSB!
Sheep are a great starting point but shearing them is a hassle. Wool is not worth much now so go for the shedding breeds like Dorper or Wiltshire. Make sure you have a small enclosure with their water trough in it so they get used to going in there. This makes maintenance easier.
Main thing is to get your vege garden and chook run going so you can eat real food. In the meantime there are bound to be nearby farmers who are looking for a bit of grazing (not horses) and this will ease you into having stock around.
All the answers are on here somewhere.....

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. :)
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3 years 11 months ago #540983 by Mudlerk
In my opinion, the first bit of kit you need...way before a ride-on mower or a quad bike...is stockyards. They don't have to be elaborate, but must enable you to restrain your animals. For sheep, that means a race; for cows a crush.
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3 years 11 months ago #540984 by LongRidge
Never, never, never have sheep and goats together on the same property. The sheep diseases that don't worry sheep much will kill the goats :-(. Also. sheep need short length pasture and goats need long pasture and some weeds in their diet. The amount of copper that a goat needs will harm sheep. Goats need much better shelter from cold and wet than sheep need. Goats go much better with cattle than with sheep.
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3 years 11 months ago #540991 by InCusterdy
Thanks very much for the replies everyone! The part about not having goats and sheep on the same property is really interesting and I will definitely do more reading on that, as I'm mostly interested in goats, so I may just go straight for a couple of goats instead.

Also, yes, yards are definitely on the agenda! And I need to have a better look at the fences too. There's lots to do for sure.

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3 years 11 months ago #540992 by Farmersden
We have a couple of pet goats in a permanent paddock and our sheep move between the rest of the property split into 4 large paddocks. We have two yarding areas and have built shelters in the exposed areas. You will get good insights into what other folks have tried but it has to work for you and your land, so take some time in yr planning.
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3 years 11 months ago #541001 by Wren
I think Longridge has gone a bit OTT about the sheep and goats - it does take more thought (for many of the reasons Longridge mentioned) but plenty of people do it without problems.

Like Farmersden, we have a dedicated goat paddock for our 4 goats, while the sheep get rotated around the rest of the paddocks. This is working well so far for us - the goats eat mostly browse, pellets and hay anyway, so the grass in their paddock doesn't disappear. However I do know people who let them run together in a big mob, and that seems to work for them. There is a lot of opinions online, often contradictory, but you'll work out what works for you.

We started with two weaned lambs as our first stock, but in hindsight probably should have got 4 or 5 because socially that seems to work better. We now have 5 ewes permanently, and borrow a ram at breeding time. And as I said, the 4 goats have their own paddock.

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.
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