1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Sheep??

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Samarai Jenn, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Samarai Jenn

    Samarai Jenn Chillin' With My Peeps

    527
    0
    139
    Nov 12, 2008
    What are your thoughts on raising sheep? My husband and I have talked about it before, I just want to know what people who have raised them think about them.
     
  2. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,164
    12
    204
    Jul 21, 2007
    NJ
    It depends on what you want them for. We used to have a large flock and raised a lamb crop each year to sell as market lambs. I also do a little hand spinning and also sold fleeces to others for spinning. I currently have only 4 left - they have officially been designated as pets. [​IMG]
    You need to research different breeds that are suitable to your needs/purposes and are suitable to your environment.
    As far as having them solely for pets, IN MY OPINION, they are pleasant to have around, but are not as responsive as some other types of animals such as goats.
     
  3. Tikkajazz94

    Tikkajazz94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm getting sheep in the spring
     
  4. Samarai Jenn

    Samarai Jenn Chillin' With My Peeps

    527
    0
    139
    Nov 12, 2008
    We just want them for pets...As of yet, no butchering or anything. Maybe in the future get a herd...Any ideas on what types of breeds are the best for pets?
     
  5. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,164
    12
    204
    Jul 21, 2007
    NJ
    Mmmm... pets. Well, I've had Suffolk, Dorsets, Romneys, Coopworths, Cheviot/Texel crosses, and Leisters. The Cheviots tend to be a bit skittish. The Coopworths were a little more confident and probably my favorites. I didn't care for the Suffolk. They didn't have quite as much of a flocking instinct as the others and were sometimes a little harder to herd.
    You may want to investigate some of the hair breeds. Then you wouldn't have to worry about shearing them. Also, the Southdowns look interesting. I've never had them but they are very small and some people refer to them as "lawn ornaments" as they are not large enough for meat and don't have particularly good fleece for spinning. But they will keep your grass mowed! [​IMG]
    Again, there are so many breeds you may want to do a little research to see what suits your fancy. The Storey book on sheep raising is a good place to start. You can also see if there are any sheep organisations in your area to see what breeds do well in your climate and what is readily available. If there are any Spinning Guilds near you they may be able to give you information because a lot of hand spinners have their own sheep. Of course, everyone will have their favorites (just like chickens!).
    Good luck!
     
  6. Samarai Jenn

    Samarai Jenn Chillin' With My Peeps

    527
    0
    139
    Nov 12, 2008
    I think my husband would enjoy the part about the grass being mowed. Haha. I've been reading information on the southdowns. I just want a breed that will be gentle around the kids...And the other animals...
     
  7. Tikkajazz94

    Tikkajazz94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Im looking in to also,
    I would like the suffolk,
    Its the breeds around the area,
     
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    46
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Sheep are nice grazers. Grass fed meat is awesome but even better if you give them a little grain and a little corn to build richer fat. Rams and lamb rams can be a very aggressive danger if you are not prepared. Read, read, read. Talk to people in your area and see what is being raised. Read, read, read. Then get your lambs.

    You can see my dispatch and butchering of my ram lamb this past weekend on my website.
     
  9. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,164
    12
    204
    Jul 21, 2007
    NJ
    Miss P - That is a wonderful piece on your website. I forgot to mention that rams can be very dangerous (a very stupid thing to forget to mention). We used to get rams in every fall (in October) and I never entered a paddock without a shovel in my hand! The easiest ones to work with were the ones that never had much human contact (although they were hard to catch). The ones that were handled as ram lambs lost their natural fear of people and were very dangerous. Thanks for the reminder!!!
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Sheep are probably the most effortless livestock I raise, and I love them for that. They're rarely trouble and I just need to manage their grass and hooves for all to be well. We sold and ate 18 lambs this year. It hardly seems like work when you enjoy them for supper!

    Probably the only thing easier for me to raise are the geese and ducks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by