Shetland sheep

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by cavaliermom, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. cavaliermom

    cavaliermom Hatching

    Feb 2, 2017
    I am buying a property 5 acres and am considering adding sheep right away to help with all the weeds. I dont want goats because they are too destructive and smell worse than sheep. The ultimate goal would be multipurpose. But the shorterm would be to help with the expensive grueling land clearing job since the property has been vacant 10 yrs. Any advice? Would it maybe possibly be not be worth it? Should I wait untill the land is manageble to add the shetland sheep?

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Only the buck goats smell bad. Wethers and doe goats don't smell. Goats eat weeds and browse, sheep are grass grazers so they won't do much for land clearing, they are good for keeping the grass short after it is cleared. Probably cheaper to buy a brush hog for clearing. Sheep need more maintenance due to the shearing than goats.
  3. cavaliermom

    cavaliermom Hatching

    Feb 2, 2017
    Good to know and thank you .
  4. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    You can always get hair sheep. There are several breeds of hair sheep and they do not need to be sheared. That said, for brush clearing, goats will do it, sheep will not. You can get temporary movable fencing if you are so inclined. That is what people who rent out their goats for brush clearing use. I don't know whether it would be worth it in your situation. I just threw that in for general information.
  5. Zoomie

    Zoomie Songster

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    Agree with the rest: what you need are goats. Not sheep. Ever see a golf course? They are designed after sheep pastures. That's what a sheep pasture looks like: perfectly trimmed grass. GRASS. Goats on the other hand adore eating things with stickers and thorns and will eat things with total gusto that would actually kill a cow. If they can stand on their hind legs to eat it, so much the better which means junk trees will go too and you will need to protect good trees as the goats will peel the bark off them. They will NOT trim everything down perfectly. For that you need a mower, brush hog, what have you. But thickets of pasture rose, blackberries, thistle, black locust etc. they will eat that. Amazingly enough.

    And yes, goats do not smell. Buck goats, **while they are in rut**, do have quite the odor. This is to entice females and warn away other bucks. To their way of thinking, the stronger the smell the better. But your normal average goat does not smell. Come to that, rams (male sheep) ALSO can smell when they are in rut although it's not as common as with goats. Having sheep does not solve the odor issue.

    Now, there ARE breeds of sheep that are very primitive and will eat at least a little brush. Nothing like a goat, but close. I used to have Jacob sheep and they were fairly good at this. I still think what you want are goats, though. Most goats don't need to be sheared, but there are sheep breeds like this too... not the Shetland, though, they need to be shorn once a year. Do you have a local Ag extension office? Ask them. They will know what will work in your area.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by