Thinking about getting some SHEEP


11 Years
May 23, 2008
Peterborough, ON
I'm thinking about getting some sheep, a small flock to have a go at my overgrown top field. I have some questions that need answering about SHEEP.

1. What type of sheep should I get?

2. What is a good size flock for a newbie to sheep?

3. What is the recommended size of flock to satisfy the sheeps needs?

4. What type of accomodation would they need?

5. Would a 10x10-ish stall be good for refuge, it'd be open all the time and when they're not outside they'd have free reign of the barn, which is 30x50.

6. How about feed? ... Grain, etc.

7. What can I do with the wool after shearing?... There is a natural yarn/wool shop not too far from here, can you sell to places like that who dye, and produce wool/yarn from local sources?

8. What types of forage/grass are poisonous to sheep?

9. Any other information I might need?
I have been looking into getting sheep as well. I am a spinner so that is my reasoning. The breed that most interests me is the Shetland and I am also interested in the Old English Babydoll Southdown. Both breed are small (the Shetland only get up to about 125 for a ewe), hardy and lamb easily. They are also supposed to be excellent grazers. You may want to look into rotational grazing.
I found a really great resource for information on Shetland Sheep.

As far as selling the wool... I would check with the local yarn shop first, but if they don't buy raw fleece you may be able to find a processor that will. You can also sell fleece on ebay.
Get Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep and/or The Sheep Book by Ron Parker.

As for breeds, for clearing rough stuff, I'd recommend starting with a hair breed or cross, such as Katahdin or Dorper. Then you don't have to mess with shearing, and don't have to worry about junk in the fleeces. They are also hardier, more parasite-resistant, better foragers, and easier lambers than most other sheep.

Flock size depends on how much acreage you have for them. Three sheep is the absolute minimum for sociability, IMO.
We have 8 acres total, about probably about 2 acres for them to clear, after that they can be on normal pasture... we're going to fence in the bit they need to clear out.

When I went to try out a horse I met the barn owners 3 sheep, and they were so sweet and cute, I did notice they had burrs in their fleece but my dogs get burrs in their coats.
i think painted desert because they are so beautiful and you dont have to shear them and they are good mothers and 5 is a good size because they multiply and fast they are the best sheep i think

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