Is it worth getting a couple of sheep?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by livininbrazil, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, we have about 2 acres of grass-land, since we moved here a few years ago we´ve planted loads of saplings, have chickens and geese, though not a lot, and we work hard at keeping the grass down! It grows to 4ft tall if we do nothing. Looks terrible We thought about putting acouple of sheep on here, it´s easy to get Santa Ana sheep, they do well here. But I don´t know if the work they bring will be worse than keep cutting the grass. We´d have to protect the saplings, I know. People around here keep these sheep wih just 3 strands of barbed wire for a fence, so it seems there´s not too much problem with safety. What do you think? Is sheep-keeping just more work, or will it be worth the agro? I think goats are more work from what I´ve read! Thanks
     
  2. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if it's only grass, keep a couple of kune kune pigs.
     
  3. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depending on where you live you might could let someone cut it for hay. They get free hay, you get your fields mowed. Just make sure that they do it or it will grow up in bushed and trees and look awful. I've had that happen before. Goats are great to keep bushes and weeds down. They will clear an area in no time. Sheep are finicky, only want grass.
     
  4. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your thoughts. I´ve never heard of Kune Kune pigs, and I doubt they´re easily available here, but thanksfor the suggestion! Before we bought the place, one neighbour used to come in and hack down areas of grass, but it looked a mess after, so won´t do that.
    All our neighbours here have their own fields, but keep cattle. There are sheep around, though, and not very protected, so I don´t think there´s much trouble with predators or dogs. A neighbour a little way away keeps cattle, horses and sheep all together, and encouraged us to get some, but I wanted to check out the down-sides first.
    For example, will they force holes in the fences to escape to the next field? Will they destroy the saplings we´ve planted? I thought about putting up fencing around each sapling so they don´t nibble the bark, we´re planting up our little patch here with native trees, but there´ll be plenty of grassy area, too. Besides worming and clipping hooves, what else do they need? Would it be best to buy a sheep with lamb, or just two lambs so that they´re tame? I only want two females if I should decide to get any I have a flock of geese, and I´ve read that´s a good mix. On the other side, I have 3 dogs who are ok with my poultry, mainly, but I don´t trust them 100%. So, we have electric fencing we could use there, and, of course, training. Opinions, please.
     
  5. mercyme

    mercyme Out Of The Brooder

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    Although goats are the champion of brush control, sheep are right behind them. In my experience sheep don't tend to bother the bark of trees but they will eat the leaves off as far up as they can reach. If you have a neighbor that has sheep and is willing to help you learn about the basics of sheep keeping, you should be in fine shape.
    Barbed wire is generally not considered acceptable for sheep around here. Whether you try barbed wire or go with electric, I would suggest more than three strands (more like 5-7) to keep sheep in and predators out. If many of your neighbors are running their sheep with larger livestock, that in itself provides a level of protection from predators.
    My opinion would be for you to purchase adults. They will be less susceptible to predators and sickness and therefore lower maintenance. Unless they are a very flighty breed most sheep can eventually become fairly tame with patience and treats.
     
  6. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for a vey useful post. Eating the leaves off as high as they can reach is no problem, once the saplings have grown! The Santa Ana hair sheep is what is mainly kept around here, or a cross with it, and they´re just kept in fields with just 3 or 4 strands of barbed wire. They don´t seem to try to get out, either. So, a couple of ewes would be best, then. OK. As regards bigger livestock, the fields surrouding our property have cattle and horses and pigs in them! Oh, and chickens absolutely everywhere! now, a lot of folks here tend to have animals without knowing the important bits.
    For example, our neighbour with the sheep is all ready to sell us a couple. Now, he also has geese. He said he had about 50 before, but many of them died to some disease, the survivors are slowly increasing in number, but he loses a lot of goslings, doesn´t know why. Now, he´s not that worried about it, continues with his lack of knowledge, so I figure it could be the same thing with the sheep. Therefore, I thought it best to ask on here, where I´ll get more knowledgable answers. Thanks! I will, of course, talk to my neighbour, but I just want to have a bit of an idea first, before I end up with something that causes more problems than it´s worth.
     
  7. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Does anyone have experience of Santa Inês sheep, or cross? They seem to be pretty tough from what I´ve seen on the net, and from what I see around here. Sorry, I put in Santa Ana sheep in the last post, goodness knows why! Mental block. I´m not aware there is such a breed!
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    If you really live in Brazil where it's warm year round, you could probalby put at least 4 sheep on 2 acres with no problem.
    If you have seasons when the grass won't grow you'll need to plan for aquiring hay during those periods..
    They will also need mineral suplements to stay healthy

    Sheep don't require a lot of work, but they DO need a dry shelter out of the wind. although it doesn't need to be totally enclosed.
    They will also probably need worming once in a while, ESPECIALLY in warm wet climates
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  9. livininbrazil

    livininbrazil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Where we live in Brazil it´s mostly warm, with ´cold´ spells in the dry season, when it can get chilly at night, sometmes a frost, and doesn´t rain for weeks. That´s when there´s little grass growth, but saying that, my neighbour keeps 2 cows on his plot that´s a bit bigger than ours, without giving any extra food. That´s because lower down on both properties it goes into a marsh, so there´s green grass there the year round. This is the time when we don´t feel such a need for sheep, as my poor hubby doesn´t need to mow the grass quite as oftern, maybe just once a month. In the summer it´s heavy rain and temperatures in the upper 30s, so the grass grows like crazy. That´s when we think about the sheep! Also thanks for the advice about worming. I was already planning a shelter for them, I know where it´ll go. There´s a nice little spot under trees at the top of the slope out of the wind and rain. The chickens like it there, too. I think we could start off with 2 sheep, and see how they go. Thanks for the input. I´m encouraged to think there´s not too much work with them! The place they´ll be is already surrounded by pigwire. Will that be sufficient? Most people just keep them with cattle and 3 or 4 strands of barbed wire, so I imagine pigwire will be ok. It´s there to keep my geese contained safely.
     

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