Help me choose a lawn mower

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by verminclature, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. verminclature

    verminclature Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I am looking for a few sheep/goats to keep my six acres mowed...I am looking for a low maintenance animal that perhaps I can profit from either raising or selling the fleece. Any thoughts?

    I have cold winters, wet springs and hot humid summers...need hardy!

    Could Jacobs sheep do this for me? Is their unique look and fleece enough to get them to pay for themselves?

    Thanks
     
  2. sheep tamer

    sheep tamer former HT member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    You asked some good questions. There
    is so much we don't know at first. Asking
    is the ticket to knowlege, and may help
    prevent alot of anguish.

    Do you have grass or is it a weedy
    thicket? Sheep or Angora goats will get
    their wool full of junk if it's tall and weedy
    unless they wear covers, but goats thrive
    on tall stuff.

    If you're willing to do the necessary fencing,
    get cheap brush goats until you have the
    time and skill to invest in fancier breeds.
    Sheep don't stand on the fencing like goats,
    but can be easy prey if the fencing doesn't
    fully protect. Watch the local trade papers
    to see what others are raising to know what
    may work in your area. If you read Countryside
    look in the breeder listing where you are...ideally
    find someone who could offer lots of help
    getting started. I would think cold would be
    more the concern where you are...so think
    winter quarters..

    If it were me, I'd raise shetlands or another
    hardy, and colorful smaller breed and do my
    best to keep that wool clean to get top
    dollar. A starter flock could easily cost you
    a grand or two, but hey, that's as much as
    some lawn mowers! Unfortunately, animals
    don't come with warranties. :rolleyes:

    As a spinner, I don't care much for Jacob,
    but their horns may help them protect
    themselves. To start out, you may just
    want to get a few spring lambs, bottle feed
    them to keep them tamer, then sell them
    off for meat about the time the mowing
    season is done. That way, there's no need
    to maintain your mowers all winter. :) HTH
     

  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    I think it is best to start off by aiming at self sufficiency first and profit second. Fence, build your shelter and watering facility, then get your flock/herd, let them do the work for you then sell or eat he excess. Almost all Hair sheep have wool in the winter and should provide a fleece in the spring if you want that, but if you forget, or dont feel up to it when the time comes, they will roo (shed) whereas wool breeds will suffer if you dont shear them, wool maggots, debris, heat stroke, death. I think hair sheep are easier than goats since they don't require bolus feedings of copper, of course if you only have goats you can put out goat salt, but if you mix the two you will need to somehow get copper to the goats but not the sheep


     
  4. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

    Messages:
    2,252
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    In our area, we were given a price of about $50. each for unregistered shetland sheep.
     
  5. verminclature

    verminclature Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Thanks everyone...I think I will get my feet wet with some "brush goats" as recommended.