homesteading whit sheeps

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by vulcan, May 27, 2006.

  1. vulcan

    vulcan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I am getting ready to buy a small farm, and I have to problems taking care of chicken, goats and even cattle but I never had sheep, so I dont know how much land should I have for 6 sheep, and what you guys think about a sheep dog. what breed is the best I am planning a small flock so I dont know, any books out there to help me? please let me know. thanks vulcan in Pennsylvania.
     
  2. kirsten

    kirsten Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    639
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Hi. I am not exactly sure about the terrain in Penn. but you can probably run your 6 sheep on one acre and maybe another half if you are going to feed out your lambs there too.
    Two good beginner books I like are:
    Storeys guide to raising sheep
    The sheep book by Ron parker

    Also for lambing time:
    Managing your ewe and her newborn lambs- that is close to the title anyway. You can find it on any book store web site.

    What do you want the sheep dog for? Protection or for herding?
    kirsten
     

  3. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    The Lambing Time book is by Laura Lawson - pricey, but a wonderful resource!
    Ron Parker's updated version of The Sheep Book is available to read on line - do a search and you should be able to find the website.
    I agree with Kirsten; in PA, you should be able to run 5-6 sheep per acre, depending on their size. You'll have to supliment hay in the winter at that stocking rate. We have 50 ewes and their lambs on 12 acres, but we rotate paddocks about every 4-5 days. We'll put the sheep on hayfield regrowth in late summer to allow their pasture to regrow for winter grazing. You'd be surprised how much faster the grass regrows, and the quality of feed you can get if you are able to rotate. Think about setting up your pastures so its divided into at least 4 sections.
    On dogs......unless you are "into" training and trialing herding dogs, its not worth it for small acres and small number of sheep. A bucket with some corn will work just as well. :) A guard dog - LGD - worth its weight in gold! If you are careful in selecting one, they will guard all your menagerie, plus your family. :)

    Lisa at Somerhill (waving Hi Neighbor from eastern Ohio)
    www.somerhillfarm.com