Thanks for the reply. I am definitely looking to purchase them privately, so I am not interested in checking out sale barns.
I will be in MN and I have been told that at least the county agents don't have much interest in or information regarding sheep, although I will check that out more throroughly once I am up there in October. I'll also check with the state, but I am not optimistic at this point. I am guessing that I may have to purchase them from out of state and have them shipped in.
Yucca- your suggestion might work IF I were in MN now, but I am still in Florida and I am trying to do some legwork and research now via the internet so that when I DO get up there I will have all the info that I need.
Ross, I will be in Central Minnesota in mid-October and would be starting this venture next spring (2005). I am in the early stages of research here and I am open to suggestions regarding all phases of this anticipated sheep project, including breed. The protocol which I am considering is to buy 60 pound wethers in the spring, and feed them out to 120 pounds utilizing rotational grazing of alfalfa, supplemented with our own farm raised, organic barley, corn, and oats. I expect that the lambs would put on 60 pounds in about 60-65 days. I would be interested in recommendations of breeds that would do well with this type of management in MN. Hair/fiber are not a concern at this time as I am most interested in the meat.
Get creative - do a google search on Minn stock sales, or call a friend and then call the stock sales and inquire. OR call either the extension service in the area you are moving to and ask them or call several vets and inquire. This is the information age after all.
Sounds workable but you realize lambs grow the fastest from 10-50 pounds in the first three months of age, so you are taking on the more difficult 60 pounds. The point is you want creep fed lambs that will move on to your feed rapidly with no set backs, be vaccinated and wormed, maybe even on Decox or some other cocci stat feed mix. To hit the weight you want bigger sheep, Hampshires Polypays, and Suffolks spring to mind but there are many. A 60 pound Suffolk will be too lean to get top dollar, so there may be a discount for you there to profit on. Suffs seem to grow frame first which is handy for finishing like you want to. Are you selling on forward contracts? Some lamb buyers can be awfully picky.
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