need sheep advice...

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by luvrulz, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,232
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I am thinking of getting a couple sheep and would be interested in dual purpose, I think. I had a couple questions.... Can I keep the sheep in with my 5 cows? I run them with 2 lines of electric - would I need anything more?? My cows are heifers except for a 2 mo old bull calf. I would have a separate area for the sheep because the minerals are different, aren't they? Do they stink like some folks have told me?? What's the down side to owning sheep??

    I was interested in jacob or shetland because they're smaller in stature and I will be the primary caretaker human person..... Is jacob wool harder to clean than shetland? Do their hooves have to be trimmed annually or is it as needed? What are quirks are there to caring for them?

    We have probably 7 acres pastured and more if needed - is that enough for everyone, if I go with 2 or 3 ewes? Is it too weird if we decide to breed earlier than is the norm? Our winters here are milder and we would have a warm heated area if needed..... I am trying to convince hubby that this would be a good thing and would be little added care with all the other critters we have - I also thought we could run them with the cows too, but maybe I was wrong..... I decided sheep would be better than goats because of the wool and the meat. I also thought that with the 1000 blueberry bushes, and the asparagus farm, if the goats got out - we'd have nothing of either one left. I thought the sheep would be less apt to escape....

    Thanks for any feedback and advice! :p
     
  2. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    If you dont want to shear, Soay are about the same size as jacob. Soay shed, have short tails that dont need docking and are resistant to foot rot. Soay also prefer to browse rather than graze and would compete less with cattle for food. Any livestock can be mixed if the space is adequate. I don't know how much feed value you have in your pasture.

    www.soaysofamerica.org
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Personally I've never had much luck with electric and I can guess you'd need more like 5 strands of electric to be effective. I've tried 6 and not had a sheep proof fence. I know electric can work for sheep just they need to be very familiar with the concept. The biggest problem with keeping sheep and cattle together is the same as for goats and sheep and that is a mineral problem. I'd think cattle would do OK on sheep mineral and the occasional copper suppliment as has been suggested here by some other contributors.