Win a copy of For the Love of Paw Paws this week in the Fruit Trees forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Dairy Sheep, kicking ideas around

 
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have found info on dairy sheep from several sources, and am about 60% settled on getting 2 East Friesian ewes and having them serviced by an English Milksheep ram. I am having a hard time finding local breeders however.

I was originally going to get goats, but I did some asking around, and sheep can actually be more productive than goats (wool and milk) and are not the rebellious little escape artists that goats are.

The plan right now is to convert a small (cow) dairy barn on my land into my sheep barn. I am adding a lean-to shed on one side to store straw. The hay loft appears to be adequate. An area near the front door will be filled with steel drums of grain. I only have 2 acres, but I can give the sheep 1 acre. I would be rotationally grazing them in a half acre pasture and under my half acre orchard. My chicken tractors would be going all over the place depending on what crop just got harvested or if the fruit trees are in need of cleanup. I will have to use woven wire to fence off the pasture. Electricity is unreliable and the solar chargers at tsc cost more than the roll of woven wire.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
25
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There’s are several Dairy Sheep groups on Facebook. Dairy Sheep Available and Dairy Sheep and Goats. I’m sure there are others that may help you find sheep. Also Homestead Dairy Sheep has a lot of great info.
 
Kris schulenburg
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
25
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How is your search for dairy sheep going? I had someone back out of buying a ram lamb and was wondering if you would be interested in him. I would trade him for help holding holding 12 sheep while I trim feet. Looks like you are less than 3 hours away.
His mom gives 1 gallon a day. His dad is Icelandic from milking lines. He is a triplet.
12FCCD3B-0664-4633-977B-E4F147FDFCDC.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 12FCCD3B-0664-4633-977B-E4F147FDFCDC.jpeg]
E010C942-6BBA-4F32-B5E2-5BC91D7A31C0.jpeg
[Thumbnail for E010C942-6BBA-4F32-B5E2-5BC91D7A31C0.jpeg]
 
Posts: 228
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
27
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have a pretty fool-proof enclosure to start them in, and have a plan for recapture if they still escape.  Once they know you and associate you with treats you be a little more open to other fencing options.  But when they're brand new to your place they'll be very skittish.  DAMHIK.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kris schulenburg wrote:How is your search for dairy sheep going? I had someone back out of buying a ram lamb and was wondering if you would be interested in him. I would trade him for help holding holding 12 sheep while I trim feet. Looks like you are less than 3 hours away.
His mom gives 1 gallon a day. His dad is Icelandic from milking lines. He is a triplet.



I would love to accept. I don't have the pasture fenced yet though. If you can hold onto him for me until then, I will help with your next shearing as well. I'm not available on the 28th of this month or the 1st of next month.
 
Kris schulenburg
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
25
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I’m in no hurry. He is a nice ram and I would like for him to have a good home.
You probably know they are vulnerable to dogs and coyotes as you are planning your fence. Good luck with the fence. Lmk if you want to know anything else about him.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kris schulenburg wrote:I’m in no hurry. He is a nice ram and I would like for him to have a good home.
You probably know they are vulnerable to dogs and coyotes as you are planning your fence. Good luck with the fence. Lmk if you want to know anything else about him.



I don't check a gift horse's teeth. But if you want to you can tell me more. He looks good and sounds good and him being sn icelandic triplet is great for starting a multipurpose flock. I bet his wool would be good for hand spinning.

I can probably come down to pick him up the first or second week of august. When do you need hep with the foot trimming?

I do have a question about fences. My original plan was to construct a permanent fence with sheep panels and barbed wire and permanent posts. However I can't afford to do that all at once on short notice. Would electric sheep netting be good enough for this year and build the permanent fence next spring when I buy ewes?



 
Andrew Mayflower
Posts: 228
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Kris schulenburg wrote:Would electric sheep netting be good enough for this year and build the permanent fence next spring when I buy ewes?



Only if they're trained to the fencing already.  Look for my thread on "Help with Lamb Containment".
 
Andrew Mayflower
Posts: 228
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nicole - thanks for adding that link.  I was on my phone for that post, and it was a bit of a pain to get that link.
 
master steward
Posts: 10079
Location: Pacific Northwest
3962
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not a problem! I understand that sort of problem. I'm often on permies with my daughter sleeping in my lap, so I can only cut and paste, not type (typing wakes her up)--which is why I just threw the link there rather than saying anything!
 
Kris schulenburg
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
25
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
He is not trained to netting but as long as you have a good charger it should be fine. May take some training like Andrew said. He will be lonely. Do you have any other livestock?
I trimmed feet 2weeks ago so August or September is fine. As long as my husband knows they are going it’s all good.
You will want to read up on barber pole worms. They are an issue. A 60 day pasture rotation helps keep them at bay. His mom tested negative for OPP and Johnes. His granddad was a East Freisian x Lacoun from Good Shepherd Dairy in Owingsville KY. They got their first sheep from Vermont Shepherd. He does have nice fleece. I was thinking of keeping him for a wool pet but I don’t need any more. His horns look like they are growing wide but it’s hard to tell what they will end up like. If they will be a problem later. I think he will make a good herd sire.
Have you ever milked before? It is a commitment.
 
Andrew Mayflower
Posts: 228
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I strongly recommend that you not have a single lamb, especially in electro-net when he hasn't been trained on it.  Their wool insulates them from the shock, so if they don't know what it is they'll just run through the net.  And a solo lamb will be unhappy and more likely to be unpredictable.

For a short term solution get 4 of the 16' x 50" welded livestock panels.  Zip tie 3 of the corners and use Velcro to hold the other one.  That will provide enough forage (assuming good and long grass) for 3-5 days for a single lamb.  I have 3 lambs in that set up and 1.5 days is about right for their appetite.  It takes 2 people ideally to move it, but in 30sec you can have them on fresh grass.  Surround that with electro-net and they'll have secondary containment, plus protection from coyotes.
 
Kris schulenburg
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If it’s too soon for sheep, I may still have him in the spring or chance are good there will be more lambs next year. It’s better to take your time and make sure it’s a good experience.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kris schulenburg wrote:If it’s too soon for sheep, I may still have him in the spring or chance are good there will be more lambs next year. It’s better to take your time and make sure it’s a good experience.



I want him. Can you save him for spring and I will buy him properly? Grandma is really excited and already named him Ragnar.
 
Kris schulenburg
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes. They will need their feet trimmed this spring also. Or I was asking $150 for him. Which ever works.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kris schulenburg wrote:Yes. They will need their feet trimmed this spring also. Or I was asking $150 for him. Which ever works.



Thank you so much!

If you don't mind my company, I would like to help with shearing too. I am a complete noob when it comes to sheep and I learn best by doing. And you get an extra pair of hands.
 
Kris schulenburg
pollinator
Posts: 154
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
25
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Icelandic ‘s best fleece is in the fall so I will be shearing some in early October. If you want to come down and see Ragnar and get some hands on sheep experience that would be great. Or the spring works. With only a few sheep you can shear with a good pair of scissors.
Got a couple of pictures yesterday.
0BC42EAB-4CB6-4623-AB14-DC7F93461D42.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 0BC42EAB-4CB6-4623-AB14-DC7F93461D42.jpeg]
0AAEF401-B0B1-4768-9A67-D32CEEFC1997.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 0AAEF401-B0B1-4768-9A67-D32CEEFC1997.jpeg]
46967F2E-CAA7-4E6A-8C75-79091BD69C4A.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 46967F2E-CAA7-4E6A-8C75-79091BD69C4A.jpeg]
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kris schulenburg wrote:Icelandic ‘s best fleece is in the fall so I will be shearing some in early October. If you want to come down and see Ragnar and get some hands on sheep experience that would be great. Or the spring works. With only a few sheep you can shear with a good pair of scissors.
Got a couple of pictures yesterday.



That sounds great! I will mossage you my phone number and you can text me closer to the time.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I got the fence posts half put up. 15 t posts driven today. I feel the burn. I have another 5 to do tomorrow. I need another 2 bundles of t posts, the wood corner posts, and the wire. I can only carry so much in my 4 door sedan. LOL


The wood posts are going to be interesting.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 392
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA
95
forest garden hunting cooking food preservation sheep homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ryan Hobbs wrote:I got the fence posts half put up. 15 t posts driven today. I feel the burn. I have another 5 to do tomorrow. I need another 2 bundles of t posts, the wood corner posts, and the wire. I can only carry so much in my 4 door sedan. LOL


The wood posts are going to be interesting.



I realize it is semi-taboo to quote yourself, but oh well.

I might be getting a truck. That will make bringing the 8 ft long wood posts and fence wire home faster and easier and will let me take my mini tractor to get fixed. My mom has one and is supposed to bringing it over next weekend if my stepdad agrees. That means I'd be able to come get Ragnar faster.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1228
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cattle panels are great for small pens (I use them for goats).  But rather than velcro, I use carabiner clips to hold the panels together.  That way you can open the pen at any point where two panels come together.  The panels are awkward to move -- easiest with two people so you can have one on each end.  It isn't so much the weight, but they do bend and the ends drag on the ground, so moving them solo is a pain (worse for me because I'm short!).  But they are by far the best type of fencing for goats or sheep.  Just too expensive to use for large areas.  
 
Posts: 16
Location: Southwest Ohio (Currently)
1
rabbit books homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ryan, you will have to change your signature from "no goats, no glory" to "ewes it or lose it." Sorry, couldn't resist...
 
I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam - the great philosopher Popeye. Tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!