Advice please! Gotland or Dorper Sheep.

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10 years 4 months ago #36861 by Morgs
Hi there,
My name is Emma and we have recently purchased our first lifestyle block in Coatesville We are keen to run 6 sheep on our block as lawn mowers but also for our freezer.
From some research I understand Gotland are docile sheep, good lawn mowers and good meat for the freezer. Also easy lambers as me and my husband are newbie sheep owners. Is Gotland the way to go? Vs dorper, wilties, Suffolk etc? Any advise here?
Also we are keen for our ewes to produce lambs but may not have the right amount of space on our block to run a ram, also mindful of the kids etc. Is it practise to pay a stud fee and borrow a ram during breeding time, keen to keep the bloodlines pure where we can. Any advice here would be appreciated.
Thanks Em

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10 years 4 months ago #479624 by tonic
Don't know much about Gotlands, but if you want ease of care then shedding sheep are good. Of the Dorpers or Wiltshires, I think Dorpers have more foot problems, being bred to live in dry climates.

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10 years 4 months ago #479625 by muri
I am biased as I have gotlands but they have proven to be very manageable if you have good fences.
They are easy lambing, very quiet and easy to tame
The advantage of them over the dorper is that the dorper have real feet issues in our damp climate
You can PM me if you want to know the name of some breeders who are reliable if you are looking for purebreds.
I dont think children and rams are a good mixture personally but there are a few people who may lend a ram.
Dorpers can breed in any season, gotlands have quite a short breeding season, they usually lamb oct nov

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10 years 4 months ago #479630 by kindajojo
Would not go near a dorper if you have any issues with wet paddocks, clay soils or damp climate. They have great temperaments but the feet are an issue.
Gotland are a wool breed i though, lovely fleece.
I like wilt's for low maintenance and no shearing.
Depending on where you are, how many sheep you have you can lease or borrow a ram if you keep in touch with the breeder.

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10 years 4 months ago #479723 by Stu_R
Coatsville is on ther Corromandel i think ,.,, um i have some Dorper X's in Manawatu .. and with wet underfoot nope wouldn't touch them with a barge pole :( :( ... Gotlands i have no experience with at all .. so don't know .. the Wilties have proven good on the wet land i have use of :) :)M ... lol but all my lot are "Designer Sheep" and cross breeds :) lol .. the ones with Dorper in them are bad feet all the time .. the few pure dorpers i had originally were just atrocious with bad feet :( :( ..... just my personal experiences on wet manawatu land

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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10 years 4 months ago #479752 by LongRidge
The Gotlands I have seen have had awful foot problems, and the Dorper crosses and their lambs (so 1/4 Dorper) have had even worse problems. I would not bother with either. If you don't have a reliable shearer then I would go for Wiltshires, even though the neighbour one is absolutely crazy. If I had a shearer then Suffolks or Perendales. Perendales will give as much meat, and easier-to-sell wool. After they have been tamed they are great, in my limited experience.

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10 years 4 months ago #479762 by muri
Actually Longridge, the Gotlands have quite fast growing feet, which is different from poor feet and they need regular trimming. Gotland is a rocky island in the baltic so they do really well on hard ground.
When I ran the gotland on the neighbours drive, their feet trimmed up really well naturally, but since i lost that grazing I now need to trim their feet

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10 years 4 months ago #479767 by igor
Good luck with taming the perendales. I don't believe I have ever met a tame perendale. Just this week I saw two of my neighbour's big ewes go over the catching pen railing from a standing jump. If you are after meat not wool I would be inclined towards Wiltshires. You might consider Texels also. I'm told that they are a good meat breed although I have no experience with them myself.

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10 years 4 months ago #479779 by GloPony
Gotlands all the way! LOVE my Gotties! :D

Yes, they 'can' have foot issues. I've been through this with mine after ONE sheep brought it in. As Muri says, their feet are fast growing though so they recover from issues quickly once you've killed the bug. They're also so quiet, you can trim their feet loose in the paddock. I just walk up to all of mine (well, actually, they come running to me) & can pick up all their feet as I would with a horse.

They have very goat-like personalities & are the sweetest, cuddliest, most wonderful pets if you choose to treat them that way. My biggest challenge has been trying to NOT have friendly rams! These guys literally tame themselves without any bribery from sheep nuts or anything else.

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10 years 4 months ago #479789 by stephclark

Stu_R;483276 wrote: Coatsville is on ther Corromandel i think ,.,,

nice try Stu.. Coatsville is in nth west Auckland ( although those at the far end of C.Ville will say nth shore ).. as the crow flies, about 5km from me :)

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10 years 4 months ago #479801 by Stu_R
*blushes* your right Stepth clark .. i was thinking of Coleville at the time as had been talking to some Greyuhound friends there .. and that is on Corromandel ... Coatsville is of Kim Dotcom fame isn't it ? :) lol

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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10 years 4 months ago #479839 by jsmum
I have dorpers and wiltshires in separate flocks. I love both. The wiltis look after themselves - no shearing, rarely drench them and very calm. My dorper ram hasn't been touched for nearly 2 years - we keep a healthy, respectful distance. He is on a clay soil so does limp a little in winter when the water sits on the soil but is fine otherwise. A good ram makes all the difference. The dorper ewes vary with the limping but I am starting to get a few that never limp, shed completely and hardly ever get drenced.
Both breeds are delicious if you like lean meat. The lowest maintenance tends to be the wiltis

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10 years 4 months ago #479880 by chocolatewoolnz
There is no one perfect breed and there are always trade offs. We have Gotlands here in Palmerston, Otago and experience some feet problems, especially this season. Plus side they have a lovely fleece if selling for handcraft (however need shearing 2 x year) and they are a manageable size if having to handle in the yards. They are alert and rather smart which is a plus and negative depending on the quality of the fences.

86 acres with Gotland, coloured merino and a few white sheep www.chocolatewoolnz.com + 1300 strawberry plants www.gilchriststrawberries.co.nz

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