New, completely naive, lifestyle block owners outside Nelson

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1 year 1 month ago #554856 by jane789
Hi everyone,

My husband and I just bought a lifestyle property of about 1.4 hectares in the Upper Moutere area outside Nelson. When we inspected the property we noticed the sellers had 8 sheep and several chickens. After our bid on the property was successful, I asked the estate agent what the sellers' plan was for the animals and they offered that they were open to leaving them for us! I admit keeping a few chickens was part of my vision for our lifestyle change and then I thought we would perhaps gradually build up from there. I’m a bit intimidated about starting with sheep from day one! On the other hand it feels like a great opportunity to get into the lifestyle from day one. I guess my questions are a) Would it be foolhardy for someone with NO rural experience to take responsibility for 8 sheep starting about a month from now? b) If I did take this on, what would be the best way to give myself a crash course in how to do this? c) Is there anyone on here who is local to the area who might be able to suggest e.g. someone who can help train us, someone who can be a shearer etc.?

I am excited about our lifestyle change and look forward to learning a lot from this forum!

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1 year 1 month ago #554858 by LongRidge
Welcome to LSBing :-). I am doing goats feet, and perhaps sheeps feet, tomorrow. If you want to see how we treat feet, give me a call on 54 23096. We are 6 km inland from Brightwater and have cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys .... and a couple of roosters (our son's family's pets). PS if you stay for a while, bring your own food and drink. We can provide drinking water.

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1 year 1 month ago #554862 by jane789
Wow, thank you for the offer! We already have a lot of plans/appointments today so we won’t be able to make it out there. But maybe I’ll contact you during the week and connect. Appreciate the outreach. Thanks again!

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1 year 1 month ago #554863 by jane789
Wow, thanks for the offer! We already have a few plans and appointments today so we’re not going to be able to make it but maybe I’ll give you a call during the week just to connect. Thanks for the outreach, really appreciate it.

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1 year 1 month ago #554869 by tonybaker
given the size of your block, I would think 8 sheep is a bit much for a newbie. Find out what sort of sheep they are, have they been shorn recently, are they boys or girls?. Ideally, I would sell them and use the money to start anew with Dorpers or Wiltshires which do not need as much looking after. I would get one boy and two girls then you will most likely get four lambs around August which you can sell or raise for meat. Just make sure the fences and water system are in good condition.
Don't be put off by all the technical talk on here about sheep! You are not trying to raise prime lambs for export.....Please don"t get seduced into buying llamas/alpacas or any exotic animal, stick with sheep for a few years until you get used to the responsibilities associated with animal welfare.
The chickens need regular feed and water. Don't rely on scraps or you will not get eggs. Work towards having an automatic feeder and waterer so you can have a few days away from time to time. Most likely the hens are getting on a bit and may be going off the lay now. Best to make them into soup and start with new point of layers in spring. This will allow you to thoroughly clean the chook house as it will surely have mites and other nasties that need to be got rid of.

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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1 year 1 month ago #554870 by jane789
Thanks Tony, this is really helpful advice. I will ask the owners for full information on the current sheep and chickens and take it from there. Thanks for the tips on steering clear of exotics! Our goals are small, just to do it for the fun and experience of it, plus eggs and possibly meat!

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1 year 1 month ago #554871 by tonybaker
that's the way, grow your veges and a bit of meat, keep it simple to start with. We have had good results from using weed mat with holes in it for veges, Check it out here.

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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