Diversifying with sheep question

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Ky cowboy
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Re: Diversifying with sheep question

Postby Ky cowboy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:58 am

This pasture is at my dad's house it's only 5 acres and aggravating to haul cattle up there back and forth. To steep to bale bale for hay. We already have plenty of facilities at this farm and a big barn we plan on wintering them in. There are several auctions very close that have auctions for sheep. A guy I work with raises hair sheep and says he does very well.
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callmefence
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Re: Diversifying with sheep question

Postby callmefence » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:06 am

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farmerjan
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Re: Diversifying with sheep question

Postby farmerjan » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:08 pm

We run about 50-75 White Texas Dall sheep. Hair breed, and we raise them for the horns that the rams have to sell to hunting preserves. Any that don't make the cut as lambs as far as the horn development goes, go to the lamb market. Used to have horned dorsets years ago but the wool market got so bad that we just couldn't justify the shearing costs. We like the horned sheep. That said.... the dorpers are very meaty, had a friend that raised them and we have discussed maybe adding a few but the biggest thing is fences that aren't good enough to keep them in on rented pastures. The Dall's are a semi wild breed and can be hard to handle although the ewes are tamer than the rams. That is the way they need to be since the rams will go on preserves to be shot and they don't need to be coming up to the hunters. The biggest problem we have is #1 - predators ...dogs, coyotes after the lambs. And dogs that have gotten in and run pregnant ewes and they abort. We use llamas for predator control. #2- worm load here as it is too moist an environment and although we are using more resistant females as breeders, there is still a problem with worms. #3 - foot rot. Again in part due to the wetter conditions as sheep do better in arid, dry conditions. And we are breeding the ones that tend to need less foot trimming and slowly getting rid of the ones that need alot of constant attention.

If you know a guy at work who does well with them, why not some sort of a partner deal? Learn from him and decide if you want to be bothered with them. Or even outright renting the land to him?
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pricefarm
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Re: Diversifying with sheep question

Postby pricefarm » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:14 pm

Ky cowboy wrote:I don't care about the wool, the hair sheep I've seen haven't impressed me at all and look to much like goats. For the small number that I'll be running I'll shear them just to clean them up and discard of the wool.

There are good katahdin sheep just hard to find around here. Most of the one you see are maybe 100# ewes. When i had sheep I preferred a katahdin ewe over a dorper. My ewes where 200# ewes, big and stocky. The Katahdins where's excellent mothers and the lambs would hit the ground running.
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farmerjan
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Re: Diversifying with sheep question

Postby farmerjan » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:35 pm

Our Dall sheep are very good mothers and if you don't catch the lamb within 12 hours to tag....forget it. Have to get them all in a catch pen as they are fast and very active. They aren't like the commercial wool sheep that are way too dependent on man to take care of them. Those are looking for a way to die it seemed. Aside from the foot problems and the worm loads, they are pretty hardy overall. The friends that had the dorpers said they were pretty self sufficient, they may have had some other crossed in them. Some of the Dall's we have, have had some wool sheep crossed in them and so we get a few with some wool but it will usually shed off as it is not dominant.
Our big thing is really fences, and keeping the llamas as guardians.
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Angus86
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Re: Diversifying with sheep question

Postby Angus86 » Wed May 03, 2017 7:35 am

I have st croix hair sheep. They do very well in the heat and will occasionally browse but all in all I would call them grazers. Best part is I have never wormed them and have not lost a single one. These guys are supposed to be very parasite resistant and my original stock is registered. Dorpers from what I hear are not so hardy with parasites but put on size and muscle much better.
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Ky cowboy
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Re: Diversifying with sheep question

Postby Ky cowboy » Mon May 08, 2017 7:47 pm

Image


Went Saturday and got 4 Dorset ewes and a ram, all reg. Didn't get a good pic and couldn't with out my boy in there. Between my kids and nieces and nephews they'll pets in no time. They're are December born and weigh around 80 lbs.
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