Sheep question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bookjunky4life, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. bookjunky4life

    bookjunky4life Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2012
    We live at the family farm and there is about 5-10 acres on site that is not really ideal for our riding mower to mow. Nor can I get the older farm family members to come mow more than once a year with their tractor that is ideal for mowing said acreage. Therefore, I have been considering getting a couple of sheep to keep the grass and grassy weeds trimmed down to keep the place more presentable. I do live there afterall and keep my yard as nice as possible.

    My idea was that I'd get a couple of ewes, as cheaply as possible, either very friendly adults or start with lambs. My question is how much can I roughly estimate for feed. If you are grazing them from like April to say September at least (maybe March to October here in zone 5 Illinois), how much if any do you supplement with grain or hay per ewe? In the winter months, when not grass gazing at all, how much hay or grain can you expect to purchase per ewe like per month? I am on a fairly tight budget so definitely don't want to get into something that's going to be a lot more than I can handle and I'd like to keep the same ewes and not sell them after the grazing season is over. What kind of health care of vet care generally goes into sheep?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    If you want them to clear it, get some "hair" sheep (don't have wool) and don't feed them any hay or grain (as long as they maintain their weights) until they get it eaten down.

    In Winter they will need about 5 lb each per day and 1/2 to 1 lb of grain if you want to fatten them up

    If you put less than about 6, they won't make a dent in 10 acres, so you still might have to mow once in a while
     
  3. bookjunky4life

    bookjunky4life Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2012
    So to clarify about 5 lbs of hay each per day in the winter, with 1/2 -1 lb of grain optional. Its not a ten acre patch, its the grassy areas around the buildings, there might be a one acre patch that has no buildings or old tractors taking up space. I'm planning on tractoring up my chickens for some of the smaller areas, as well. About how long might a normal sized square bale of hay feed a sheep at 5 lbs per day? I believe my husband's grandfather still bales some hay over at his house. We need to go visit them and I could ask him what he would charge his favorite granddaughter-in-law per bale. I also get free ground corn/soybean mix for my chickens from my FIL in exchange for eggs, so I might be able to get some free or cheap grain for the sheep in the winter.

    Is your suggestion of hair sheep verses wool sheep based upon something other than the hassle of having to shear them? I actually would like to have the wool as I have been looking into getting a spindle to make yarn. I shave my housecats into lioncuts, so I'm sure I could shear a sheep. Also, is there something you have to do to maintain their hooves?
     

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