All things sheep!

2 years 1 month ago #557277 by Bullandbags
Newcomer here! We have recently purchased a small 2000m2 property with a lot of grass.

We are interested in getting a Wiltshire ewe to keep our yard grass down. Plenty of juicy thick grass!

But... I have a few questions.

1. We are between two 3HA properties (1x holds 2x bulls and the other hold approx 8x wiltshire Ram's). So our boundary fencing is already set up, previous owner also added deer fencing in some areas on our boundary.
We want to section our driveway off as we are close to the road, so as a safety measure for the sheep when we are entering/exiting the property.

How high does our temporary electric fence (that sections the driveway) need to be?

We are thinking of using plastic tread ins and polywire. What do you think?

2. We eventually want to get 2x lambs in during lambing season to accompany the wiltshire. The purpose of the two lambs will be for the freezer. We wouldn't be too worried about the breed as they will be around temporarily. This may sound silly, but is adding two lambs going to be a issue socially?


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2 years 1 month ago #557285 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic All things sheep!
Welcome and good questions :-). I will try to give good answers :-) .
1. Sheep hate to be on their own unless they have been bottle reared on their own. Get at least two, from the same flock. Sheep consider that a stranger is not a friend, and will find the holes in your fences that rabbits couldn't get through.
2. Are the neighbours sheep rams or wethers? Rams have a scrotum, wethers don't.
3. We find that killing bottle-fed sheep is like killing the pet dog. We cannot do it so have 6 pet wethers :-(. Bottle-fed lambs do not grow anywhere as well as ewe-reared lambs, so yours will be part of your family at least 6 months.
4. We always raise bottle-feds in with the other ewes so that they learn to be sheep.
5. We never kill lambs for our freezer. They taste much better when they are between a year old and 3 years old.
6. We have learnt the hard way to never wean lambs before they are 12 weeks old or 20 kg live weight, whichever comes last.
7. Always, always, always castrate a bottle fed ram lamb. They can be very dangerous when they get a bit bigger than 20 kg.

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2 years 1 month ago #557286 by Bullandbags
Replied by Bullandbags on topic All things sheep!
Thank you so much for your reply!

The neighbours sheep are Rams. There are about 8 of them.

Thank you for all this insight, so helpful!!

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2 years 1 month ago #557288 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic All things sheep!
Electric fencing is rarely any good to hold sheep in. They are quite insulated from shocks by their woolly bodies and will push through any sort of electric fencing. If you need to have a fenced area you can get through, consider a chain-link gate on hinges so you an open it easily, and fill any open area across the rest of the drive, with post and rails, or standard fence with sheep netting, posts and battens. or, an electric opening gate at the entrance

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

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2 years 1 month ago #557290 by max2
Replied by max2 on topic All things sheep!
I would encourage you to take a keen interest in the breeding line of your future freezer beasties.

We run texel ram and a southdown ram with our mixed agred/breed - mostly romney ewes. Those projeny have nice huge bums (the texels moreso) and they grow very well.

Two years ago my stock agent obtained a couple pens of mixed breed/age lambs rather cheaply and I thought we did well, but most have hardly grown (well a bit, nothing like the texel lambs), they have attitude and liked escaping and I have just put two in the freezer from that group.

Tiny after butchering, which still cost $100 per sheep regardless of size. So you want some bang for your buck there.

However there were some ram lambs in that lot and they had gone on to cross with some of our ewes last year. The difference between the texel fathered lambs and those by the XX runty rams is very noticeable. Unfortunately the sales yards prices also reflect that with the texel x achieving far more.

So check out those sheep breeds aimed at the meat market and start your search off in the knowledge your future freezer beasts are going to provide well for you in the meat dept. Afterall the homekill butchery cost is going to be the same regardless and you want a decent sized roast out of them.

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