We have three ewes. Two of them lambed this spring, and we have three lambs. The ewes are, evidently, mixed breed. The ram we used last fall was a katahdin. We are raising our sheep on our one-acre house lot. We hope to add chickens soon.
I have sheep! One ewe that lambed a few weekends ago named Oreo, she gave us George. One ewe lamb named Mary and one ram named Rambo. Rambo and Mary are both hair sheeps of some sort or another. Oreo is a wool sheep as is her baby. I love 'em. They make the best sounds! We also have two goats, one is due soon. Then we have two steers, Steak and Burger. And yesterday we brought home our newest member, Buttercup, a purebred jersey heifer!
We only have just under two acres and about 1 of it is fenced in for these guys, so needless to say we'll have to buy a LOT of hay..but that's ok. It's worth it! They are great.
Can anyone help me with why I should get sheep? What are the marketing opportunities on a small scale?
In addition to chickens and 3 little pigletts, I have 20 acres of hay that I bale into small squares. Most of my hay goes to a lady with $10K Dutch Warmbloods. I always have some that is between 15%-18% moisture and she will not take it. Instead of finding other customers(mainly because I want animals), I could vertically integrate and feed my hay to my own animals.
Cows are awfully big(albeit tasty). Pigs don't eat hay(neither do chickens on a grand scale)... Those are the animals I currently eat.
So I thought of goats or sheep but not sure where or what to do with them after they are raised(and eaten my hay). My thought was hit the cultural markets.
Other than the occassional gyro I have not eaten lamb... and never eaten goat...
So if anyone could expand on answering ChicknLittle's question that would be appreciated.
We have sheep..
I can never count them, because I always end up falling asleep...
I love our sheep. Actually we have....
2 purebreed hamp rams
1 jacob shetland cross ram
1shetland black mt. welsh ram
10 polypay ewes
1 purebreed shetland ewe
1shetland lincoln cross ewe
plus we had our first lambing season this year....we ended up with
6 lamb ewes
5 lamb rams
then at a recent animal sale I brought home...
2 lamb ewes who need to be on the bottle a while yet.
I completely feel in love with our sheep. I wouldn't get rid of them for anything.
We haven't had our first shearing YET... that will be some time this month. As for selling them. We have only sold 2 of our ram lambs. I sold them for $65 a piece. I don't know the price per lamb from others or even what they purchase theres for. Some have told me I sell to low. But they went to a younger boy who was using them for a 4-H project so I was happy with what I sold them for.
Whe I bought the 2 littel girls here recently I paid $10 a piece for them as I had to still go out and buy milk replacer for them. ($45 a bag....ouch!!)
As far as feed for them....Ours are out to pasture year round. Although they don't venture to far from the barn during the winter. So we suppliment with hay and grain. SHEEP CAN NOT HAVE COPPER SO NEED TO WATCH FOR THAT IN THE GRAIN MIXS.
We give a little grain all year, more to the moms when preggo and while nursing. As for the hay, sheep aren't really picky about the hay~~~at least ours aren't!!!
They need some sort of a hay box/feeder though as they don't like to eat directly off the ground(specially if one went to the bathroom on it). And also to help prevent hay waste. We just through one together with some rough cut timbers laying around. Nothing fancy....
As for fencing...Right now ours are doing pretty good with only a single strand electric fence. But we are going to be improving that SOON!!!!
The single strand electric will keep NOTHING out. IT was actually just temporary fix for us to use at the moment.
I would recommend something strong and of course taller. No barb wire though.
Sheep are prety friendly and docile animals. I have yet to have any cause a problem.
I really can't think of to much else to suggest right now. As I think of it I will add, or you can always PM/EMAIL me if you have more questions.
oh yeah, brauts made from sheep/lamb are wonderful. Never had until this last summer and i thought they were fantastic!!!!
Quote:You can fetch very good prices for grass fed lamb. But, they're not going to gain on hay... very little if all. So then you have to grain, in which case you aren't doing grass fed so you'll probably end up having to sell wholesale and not make any money. I use alfalfa pellets on my lactating ewes to keep them going. They will eat hay, but really they're not going to do great on it. Modified ruminants like goats will do much better.