What kind of sheep for "mowing"?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by countrymommy134, May 5, 2005.

  1. countrymommy134

    countrymommy134 Member

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    Apr 13, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    I've heard on the goat forum that sheep are good for keeping the grass down. We have 10 acres (will be moving in next week). The previous owners have moved their calfs off it already and the grass is getting high.

    Looking for a fairly inexpensive breed that does a good job.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. HunterTed

    HunterTed Rockin B Farm

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    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    I like Barbados. I have some and they do a great job of keeping the grass mowed. They seem to eat a wider range of grass and browse than wool sheep plus you do not have to shear them. And the fences do not have to be as good as they would need to be for goats. BTW I have a small starter herd for sale. I have two ewe lambs and a ram lamb (ram and ewes are not related) that I need to sell. Where in our great state of Texas are you? PM me if you are interested.
     

  3. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Depends on if you want to take the time to shear them. I've not got any hair sheep, but have heard they shed all over the pasture (I'd be interested to know if that's true, as I've a neighbor who's tired of shearing but doesn't want to clean up scratched off wool.)

    Beyond the shearing issue, everyone is likely to give you an opinion on why their breed will or won't work. I've got 4 ewes here and one does a great job of mowing evenly...makes great crop circles when staked out! The others are hit and miss with their grazing, not nearly so even. However, they all work better than nothing ;) The pasture does get mowed down, just happens that Dolly does the best job.
     
  4. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    I had a couple acres that needed mowing. Neighbor invited me to just open the gate and let his cows in. Worked great. When they were done, they left.

    Sheep book I've been reading recommends getting older ewes who are not pregnant nor plan to be so you can use them for clearing out a pasture and not worry abour the quality of the feed.

    A sheep farmer near here arranged with people who have pasture to haul in sheep, let them clear the pasture, and then pick them up and move them elsewhere. And he paid for the privilege of using the pasture. If you have good fences and a sheep neighbor, maybe you could work something jout. What deal--no shearing, no dipping, no foot trimming, no vet bills, and you still have sheep!
     
  5. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    I should think feeder wethers would be great. Buy just weaned and grow them out until market size and enjoy! Wethers shouldn't need any grain. they just might not grow as quickly.

    I had 2 wool sheep, several Barbado, and a Katadin. The wools were so big I could not catch them and my husband could almost not catch them on the fly. They were close to 200# :D . the barbado were fairly light but they were FAST and AGILE :yeeha: . They springborded off me several times :p :haha: . the katadin was slightly more courious. waited longer to bolt. This is just my own experience. I loved my sheep and hope to have them again when/if we get a bigger place. They were easier than my goats to care for. Go figure :confused: .
     
  6. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Kansas
    We had mouflon hair sheep, and we never had a problem with wool on trees, pasture, etc more than the wooled breeds. They tend to scratch on the trees wooled or not, and leave a remainder behind. The wool is much harder to remove than the hair.

    I would suggest hair sheep, yet keep in mind that they are more "wild" than the wool breeds, and can get out easier. If your fence is iffy, I would go with wool, or maybe a different type of animal, because all sheep have a tendency to get out, but not as much as goats! If your fence is good, hair sheep are good, but they won't bring as much money as the wool. Guess it just depends on what is most important to you. :)