I would like to start a sm herd but which breed?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Caelma, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to start a small herd of sheep.
    I'm not familar with the different breeds.
    Uses would be wool and meat.
    Anyone having sheep, can you share with me
    which breed you have and why you chose that bred?
    Thank you in advance for all input.
     
  2. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    OK,,,

    What type of sheep you buy depends on many things....
    Do you want large cuts of meat?
    Or would small do?
    What kind of spinning would you like to do?
    Soft Baby clothes and sweaters or courser wool for rugs?
    Do you want gentle sheep, or wilder the better?
    Are you interested in persevering Heritage sheep, or would the more common do?

    I ended up with Brecknock Hill Cheviots (small Borders), reasons,,
    I am over picky about Ram temperament, they had what I wanted,
    excellent fleece for handspinning, more on the medium course side, but blended well with llama to produce a softer roving.
    They were small and easy to handle.

    Here are some web site to check out all the breeds of sheep. My best advise is go see breeders near you in person, to see if what ever sheep you pick out, would be something you want.

    http://www.nebraskasheep.com/directory/Breeds/

    http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/
     

  3. kabri

    kabri Almst livin the good life

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    Hi Ranch Lady! Something else to consider is your climate (looks like you are in W. WA area or close?) I and others I've known have had nothing but trouble with hair breeds here, particularly barbado sheep - their feet just don't stand up to our normally wet weather unless you have a very large dry area for them. I have border cheviots, very similar to Bergere's, just a bit bigger. They do well with our wet weather, I've never had hoof problems, they are known as excellent mothers and until this year, I've not had lambing problems with the breed either. They are hardy and easy keeper. But, they do tend to be on the wild side and not as docile as some other breeds. The meat is excellent, but a bit smaller cuts than you might find in the grocery store. Good luck in making your decision!
     
  4. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    We chose polypay, because I liked their all-around productivity. They have nice wool from what spinners say; what that means I don't know! ;) A medium/large sheep, not the largest, but close. They are EXCELLENT mothers & nursers, common to have triplets, a bit more uncommon to have quads, known to breed back a second breeding (2 litters year/potential). If you compare polypays to the major meat breeds (suffolk, say), they actually outperform them pound by pound produced per ewe (not per lamb!). I have found them to be pretty docile, but the ram we have (3 years old) you have to keep an eye on, sometimes I feel like he may "get" me (never has though). Pretty hardy as far as worms, disease go (unlike the suffolk in my opinion). The drawback to them is that they are a newer breed, I believe they were started in the 70's, they were made from 4 breeds of sheep, trying to get qualities from each breed all into one. I highly recommend them.
     
  5. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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  6. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    From another post on this forum - sort of same subject:

    Take a good look at California Red Sheep. They are excellent wool producers with 60 micron wool (3/8ths blood). The wool is oatmeal in color and they are easy keepers and very friendly.

    Here is a link:

    http://www.nmredsheep.meridian1.net/

    I will have a litter of 7/8ths Anatolian, 1/8th Great Pyr pups raised with sheep later this spring.

    I also will have Cal Red lambs in late summer (July-ish). BTW if you look at the above link, I now own Rhedd and Sugar Daddy.
     
  7. CCSheep

    CCSheep Member

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    Hi Ranchlady43:
    I live in Central Washington (much drier than the west part of the state) and raise Texels, Coopworth and Clun Forest sheep for meat, breeding stock and wool. I chose the Texels for heavy muscled carcasses, medium sized, easy to handle and we have a small purebred flock for breeding stock. For commercial lambs (meat lambs) we cross the Texel rams with Cluns and Coop ewes because they are exceptional mothers and easy-keepers. I rarely assist in lambing (ewe lambs only) and they are wary and protective mothers but sensible, when you go in to check on a lamb and get in the lambing jug with them they don't get up and stomp all over their newborn lambs the way other breeds I've had in the past have done. They just seem to be sensible hardy sheep and gosh they keep great body condition all through lambing, nursing and I don't feed grain.

    For some links to the breed associations of these sheep, you can visit our website www.cookecreeksheep.com and find out more about them. I haven't quite figured out how to get that to click and go yet...think I don't have something enabled on here. Enjoy your quest. You'll meet lots of nice sheep people along the way, I'm sure.

    Jami B.
    Ellensburg, WA
     
  8. GOATDADDY

    GOATDADDY Well-Known Member

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    I just got my check in the mail from the sale of three romanov rams. I have also sold some romanov lambs. If you want to loose money this is the breed for you. Sort of joking but so far my bright idea with these sheep havn't panned out. I am going to get a different ram soon and try him on my ewes. I think the romanov are sort of wild also, unless you are able to spend a lot of time with them.
     
  9. CCSheep

    CCSheep Member

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    Goatdaddy:
    Got a chuckle out of your post, but do wonder what the pros and cons of Romanov are and why, just curious.
    Jami B.
    Ellensburg, WA
     
  10. GOATDADDY

    GOATDADDY Well-Known Member

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    CCSHEEP,
    Well, (I know, deep subject) I am so far from an expert or even knowledgable about sheep but I am glad to share what I have experienced and guess at what might be going on.
    Pros: mutliple births, strong will to live of the little lambs, they are a little different.
    Cons: they are a little different
    When I decided to get sheep I was I guess you could say "attracted" by the fact that they were different, they had black lambs, white markings on their legs and heads. They are cute and with their mother they are eating alfalfa and corn maybe by the first day they are born. Definitly by the third day. Anyway, I have taken them to the local auction, the money they brought was very poor. I have spoken with the gentleman that runs the auction and he said that the people who buy the sheep are just put off by the black color. Now maybe it is not this way in other areas, maybe I am doing something real wrong but all my lambs and sheep are very healthy and have had optimal chance to grow and if I do say so it shows. I have had advice from others on this forum that indicated that a romanov crossed with a more traditional sheep is the way to go. That is what I am going to do. Another problem is the romanov has hair mixed with the wool so basically it is of little value. I have found out over time that there are other people in this area that are into the romanov cross deal in a fairly big way. It may turn out that I was sort of thinking the right way after all but I just had too many rams and the easiest way was to take them to the auction.
     
  11. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    My sheep are mutts for the most part. Romney crosses, and a Suffolk/Dorsett cross (just bought my first two purebred Dorsetts!) For years I wanted a sheep, but dh wouldn't go for it. I'd look and look while at the fairs, and was certain I wanted one with a big fuzzy face. It just needed to be cute, lol!

    Anyway, so far they've paid for themselves. The woman I bought them from loaned me her ram (twice now) so I didn't have to worry about stud fees. They've more than paid for their purchase and feed with lamb and wool sales. I'm not doing this for big money, but am loving the fact that I've finally found something that is at least earning it's keep!