Lifestyle Greenhorn

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7 months 3 weeks ago #556191 by LizZ
Lifestyle Greenhorn was created by LizZ
Hello Everyone,

We've finally done it... Found our dream property in rural Waipu. A lovely 3 hectare plot nestled in the hills.

We settle on Nov 29th and are poised to move in and leave Auckland behind. (Hopefully, all of Auckland won't be flocking north along with us)

The previous owner will be leaving behind a well planted orchard, a productive garden with greenhouses galore (good thing my husband has a background in horticulture), several sectioned off paddocks and a flock of sheep.

It's set up for the Bach life and we are very excited to get to it since lockdown hasn't allowed us to view the property in person. Thankfully, we have friends in the area who were able to get us pics and vids galore.

Moving in will be my husband, myself, and our 7 year old son.

I'm primarily used to handling poultry, so sheep will be quite the change of pace. I've been poring over what I can in regards to their husbandry and so far, aside from lambing, it sounds pretty straightforward and manageable.

In regards to poultry, we have our little urban flock of chickens - 3 hens and 6 chicks from our latest hatch (happy I get to keep my roos this to me around!). I also have some decent avian medical knowledge thanks to a year of volunteering at Birdcare Aotearoa.

Hoping to add turkeys, kune kune and Arapawa goats over the next few years.

So much to do; I'm sure the block will be keeping us busy for quite some time.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #556192 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Lifestyle Greenhorn
Congratulations, that's very exciting. An established orchard is wonderful - it's taken us years to get on started.

Best of luck with your new adventure B) B)

Web Goddess

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7 months 3 weeks ago #556199 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Lifestyle Greenhorn
Absolutely fabulous! It's ok to dream of things like goats and Kune Kune, but just live on the place for a season and get used to the routine first. The secret to surviving an LSB is not to take on more than you can handle. Make sure you are totally conversant with your water system and know what to do if a pump breaks down on Christmas Eve! Walk around the fenceline and make a record of all things that need to be fixed. You did not say what sort of sheep you have, shearing is a problem these days and wool is not worth anything so go for self shedding types like Dorper/Wiltshires. Make friends with a neighbour who has a tractor, you will need to borrow it in due course. The orchard sounds great, regular pruning is the key to a manageable crop but no doubt your partner has covered that during his studies. This season is likely to bring big fire risks with all the grass growth, will you have any means of topping the paddocks?
It all sounds so exciting at this stage, everything you need to know is on this site somewhere, or just ask!!

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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7 months 3 weeks ago #556208 by LizZ
Replied by LizZ on topic Lifestyle Greenhorn
The property comes with a little tractor and all the implements, so we should be good there for field management etc. My husband has done a tractor safety course but says he's gonna spread the knowledge as 3HA is not a one person job. XD

There's x2 30,000 litre tanks and several 1000litre across the property with collection from the spanframe and any considerable roof areas.

Sheep look to be a mix of Arapawa and Romney, so once a year shave? I don't plan on adding anything other than more poultry till next year. Trying to convince my husband to let me buy turkey hatching eggs and my son really wants quail. I want to do some meat birds and am going to try my super fast developing campine roos over my SLW when they're old enough to breed. - hopefully, this will give me a big, or at least medium, fast developing bird for freezer camp.

I'm very confident with poultry, so they're a relatively easy start and I have equipment for upscaling already.

We'll be reducing the sheep down as well, to a more manageable 6 and probably get rid of the ram sooner than later.

We'll get to go through a season of lambing while I slowly upgrade some fencing and set up appropriate shelter and enrichment for goats, then add a few Arapawa goats - likely a doe or two and a wether.

Kune kune aren't a priority and yeah, we'll need to get to know the land.

It'll all be according to budget, of course. Being very considerate not to overextend.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #556211 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Lifestyle Greenhorn
Sounds great! you have done your homework for sure. I raised 30 Cobb birds for meat from day olds. Put me off buying chicken from the supermarket as you realise that the ones they sell have only just got their feathers at 6 weeks. We took ours to 10 weeks and they were like turkeys! Quite easy to do if you have the gear.
If you are planning to get a ram, then go for a Dorper or Wiltshire and breed up, no "shaving" needed!
Not so sure about the goats, are they really that useful? Great that you have a little tractor, even better if it is a Fergie. Once you have all this set up, I don't think your hubby will need any help, probably get someone to show him how to butcher a sheep? Keep the water and fences in good condition and the rest will look after itself.

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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7 months 3 weeks ago #556212 by LizZ
Replied by LizZ on topic Lifestyle Greenhorn
There's already a ram there...

With the goats, thinking eventual milks, cheese, etc...

Arapawa goats are smaller, so they produce less than a dairy(which would be way too much for us) and it's higher in milk fats.

We also want them as pets and to keep the breed going. We're not looking to make money, at least not right away as we'll both be working full time, so it's specifically for hobby and lifestyle - sustain ourselves.

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