a couple questions from a novice!

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Countrybumpkin, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    We have 4 acres right behind the house in weeds right now, and have thought of getting sheep, not only to keep the grasses down, but for $$ from wool, meat. now, the questions-can sheep use a 3 sided shelter? we are in NW Ohio, and the winters can get a little rough...where does one sell the wool? And, do they alsoeat grain, hay? I know about horses, but not sheep! Thanks!
     
  2. bumpus

    bumpus Well-Known Member

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    If the weeds have alot of burrs and such the like it can really be hard to get out of the wool.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Burrs are a pain and sheep don't eat them or mullin, or thistle either. You can jacket the sheep to sell a "clean" fleece if you do it right. Generally speaking raw wool is nearly worthless. Some people process it themselves wash card and even spin it and then sell it on Ebay or through local guilds etc. You would have to like the work and do it right to make it pay. And have the right breed of sheep too! Meat should sell pretty well, you havn't alot of land to keep many so I'm not sure you'd make a profit after buying winter feed. You're looking at 10 ewes with lambs worth of pasture, unless the horses (you have or just know about, horses?) are using the land too. Yes sheep eat grain, excellent hay (not all grass hay) and good pasture and they wouldn't need much if any. Drop off the quality and they'll need some grain and there are some advantages to feeding a little anyhow. Count on feeding at least a half pound (low teens protein) each per day in the winter. (winter is around 200 days in Ohio?) A good three sided shelter should be fine; wet is bad cold is OK if fed to accomodate it and shearing is done so there is at least an inch of cover by cold. Sheep are a little bit higher maitenance than goats but are a little bit easier to handle (IMO) You might want to ask on the goat board, angora fibre sells pretty well and you could consider llamas or alpacas too.
     
  4. MTDeb

    MTDeb Well-Known Member

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    Raw wool, just skirted, sells on ebay for about $4 to $10 a pound, or more, depending on the quality and breed. Some good breeds are Romney, Cheviot, Columbia, Targhee, Rambouillet, Shetlalnd, Border-Leicester, Jacob, Corriedale, just to name a few. There's a lot more that I can't think of righit now. Go to ebay and do a search on "raw wool".

    Sheep will eat the green grass before they'll eat the weeds. Our sheep even eat the milk weeds, but they save them for last.
    Good luck!
    Deb
     
  5. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

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    If you are not looking to use the wool yourself, it might pay to look into self shedding hair sheep since it generally costs more to have a sheep sheared than the wool is worth. Also, your feed conversion will all go toward the meat and lamb fetus growth instead of making wool. Hair sheep are quite hardy and get along just fine in cold climates as long as they have some shelter from wet cold. Some common hair sheep breeds are the Katahdins, Dorpers, and Barbados. In our experience, the Barbados were a little more wild and take longer to put on the weight to get to market.
     
  6. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

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    If you are not looking to use the wool yourself, it might pay to look into self shedding hair sheep since it generally costs more to have a sheep sheared than the wool is worth. Also, your feed conversion will all go toward the meat and lamb fetus growth instead of making wool. Hair sheep are quite hardy and get along just fine in cold climates as long as they have some shelter from wet cold. Some common hair sheep breeds are the Katahdins, Dorpers, and Barbados. In our experience, the Barbados were a little more wild and take longer to put on the weight to get to market.
     
  7. pilot_34

    pilot_34 Well-Known Member

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    Sheep are perfect for this acreage and shelter! Get a hardy breed that is good about self lambing. If your are not gonna put a lot of time into wool production consider finns they have "clean" faces tails and crouches it will save you the cleanup shearings that are a hassle when you dont have the shears.
    On the other hand on this small an acreage Wool could be a big part of the income if you keep a clean set of pastures!
    And yes even with only four acres you will want to keep it divided say into at least 4 pastures its even more important with a smaller acreage!
    You could also put up your own hay if you dont wanna spend anything! Presonally I would buy hay its cheep!and use the patures as"loafing space"
     
  8. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all that have posted! Now, I have to decide if maybe goats are easier, or stay w/ the sheep idea! I know sheep bring more$$$ for their meat...decisions!