Thinking About Getting Dorper Sheep - Opinions?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Omniskies, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've never had sheep before and would like to get three ewes for our pasture. Since I don't want to shear, and want something that looks as close to a traditional sheep as possible, we decided on the Dorpers. Now we have questions about them [​IMG]

    1. I live in the midwest - what are the average prices for Dorpers? When is the best time to buy?

    2. Should we start with lambs or mature adults? On one hand, we want them to be experienced in lambing, on the other hand we want friendly animals that come to you.

    3. What is the hair used for? Specific examples are appreciated [​IMG] We're not sure whether it has to be hand spun or can be used to stuff pillows/blankets, etc.

    4. We have 75 acres that we rent out to a guy who raises beef cattle. Is there any reason why we couldn't keep a few sheep with his cattle? We don't want to force him to grudgingly accept the idea, and I know I've heard of the benefits of having sheep grazing before, I just can't remember any of them.

    5. We have coyotes, a fox and a bobcat that has been seen once in the past year a mile from here. What needs to be done to keep the sheep safe from them? Do we need a guard dog? Do the sheep have to be put up every night? Can sheep stay with geese in the same pasture?

    6. Things I've missed. Do I need to keep them in a barn at night over the winter?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Run-A-Muck Ranch

    Run-A-Muck Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  3. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the information about the barbed wire. The whole pasture is fenced in with barbed wire except for where we keep our geese. It sounds like any sheep we get will have to go in there with them.

    Assuming supplemental feed is given, how much space does each sheep need in order to not make a pasture a muddy mess?
     
  4. Run-A-Muck Ranch

    Run-A-Muck Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:we had made the mistake of trying to use electric fence for the sheep...I was so proud that they were staying in with only 1 wire mid leg/calf area. I even posted it on here somewhere how wonderful it was our sheep were staying in. That is until the babies wanted to get out. The same with the barb wire our moms were pretty good about staying in, but the babies are another story. We had found out through trial and error that the field fence is the best choice.
    As for pasture size that's a little hard. we have our sheep in a fenced in area that the field fence is 330 feet long on all sides plus the extra fencing we have going from there to the fence (sorry I am really bad at trying to figure out the sizes/measurements). We have sheep, goats, llamas and horses all pasured together. they do have a few trails that run from the barn-fenced area to the main pasture. The sheep will wear a trail/path in a short time. But it seems like they always use the same trail or two to walk into the main pasture.
    We only suppliment with grains in the winter. That is the only time they get hay also.(pregnant and nursing ewes also get hay and grain). Otherwise as long as they have free choice grass thats what they get. I should say we did give grain a few days after shearing-only because I felt sorry for them. [​IMG]
     
  5. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think our goose pasture is 120x70'. It is a quarter of the size, if not smaller, than an area we have fenced in that we keep mowed. Technically we could build a second pasture alongside the goose one, I just don't want to have to fence in the whole thing if we can help it, and I really don't want to have the goose pasture turn into a mud pit.
     

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