• 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 skip 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
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Steve Thorn
  • Eric Hanson

Paddock sheep forage seed species recommendations needed

 
Posts: 42
Location: Central Texas
6
trees cooking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm thinking about a rotational grazing grass fed sheep foraging operation in deep south. Right now thinking about 1 acre square paddocks, 8 total paddocks in rectangular formation with a long alley in between for moving sheep between them.

I'd like to prepare a plot of land and plant forage seeds for sheep to thrive on. The soil here is absolutely horrendous, so we will need to employ heavy machinery to make it a green paradise for the critters, which will sell for good money around here.

The forage qualities desired:

- large diversity & superior nutrition
- anti-worm and anti-parasite herbs
- heat and drought tolerance (can bermuda grass be friendly with other varieties?)
- deep taproots that till the soil (daikon radish & peredovik sunflower are on the list)
- winter vs spring vs hot-n-dry-summer-slump greens


And if anyone has a paddock design idea, please share it! The main purpose will be meat production. The fence will be semi-permanent.

How often to rotate?
Differentiate paddocks into lamb forage vs adult forage? Or just plant every paddock the highest quality and let everyone forage together?
Tree shade vs mobile shade barn?
Water supply? Pipes underground? How to keep the water clean in the water basins?
Number of sheep in the above design?
Is deer stealing forage a problem? We can potentially shoot and eat them. Or invite people for target practice & charge them money. We got lots of deer here. We can just simply raise the fence height and make it sort of opaque.
Maybe sheep varieties? I kinda have an idea, but welcome to any and all advice
 
Posts: 135
20
solar wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
dunno about raising animals but this guy has a few good ideas:

polyfacefarms

here's his products website:

http://www.polyfacefarms.com/
 
pollinator
Posts: 2441
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
154
forest garden solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recommend making a total of 30-40 paddock and then moving the sheep daily, to me this is the best type of mob-rotational grazing. this would give each paddock a full 29days+ to recover and for pest eggs to hack and die thus breaking the pest cycle.

Your county ag extension will usually have some info on the stacking rate for your specific area. They usually list a cow+Calf pair as 1 animal unit, this is equivalent to 5sheep+10lamb. If you were to do dwarf sheep you could double that stocking rate. Assuming you are going to hay/grain feed in the winter and give supplimental hay/grain feed djring the rest of the year I would put 5sheep+10lamb on that. I would move them to a new paddock in the morning/6am and give them hay supplemental in the afternoon/6pm. Assuming you didn't want to give any hay supplement I would only stock 1sheep+lamb pair per acre. Each sheep+lamb pair eats about 30lbs of forage or 6lbs of dry hay per day. Moveable electric fencing would help with you to sub-divide your current paddock. I would keep the sheep+lamb togather and not separate them or their forage. The 1male for 5 females I might keep togather or separate or better yet just rent a male.   https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/determining-carrying-capacity-and-stocking-rates-for-range-and-pasture-in-north-dakota

 
Tatiana Trunilina
Posts: 42
Location: Central Texas
6
trees cooking greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

S Bengi wrote:I recommend making a total of 30-40 paddock and then moving the sheep daily, to me this is the best type of mob-rotational grazing. this would give each paddock a full 29days+ to recover and for pest eggs to hack and die thus breaking the pest cycle.

Your county ag extension will usually have some info on the stacking rate for your specific area. They usually list a cow+Calf pair as 1 animal unit, this is equivalent to 5sheep+10lamb. If you were to do dwarf sheep you could double that stocking rate. Assuming you are going to hay/grain feed in the winter and give supplimental hay/grain feed djring the rest of the year I would put 5sheep+10lamb on that. I would move them to a new paddock in the morning/6am and give them hay supplemental in the afternoon/6pm. Assuming you didn't want to give any hay supplement I would only stock 1sheep+lamb pair per acre. Each sheep+lamb pair eats about 30lbs of forage or 6lbs of dry hay per day. Moveable electric fencing would help with you to sub-divide your current paddock. I would keep the sheep+lamb togather and not separate them or their forage. The 1male for 5 females I might keep togather or separate or better yet just rent a male.   https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/determining-carrying-capacity-and-stocking-rates-for-range-and-pasture-in-north-dakota



1 acre of 4 ft tall forage will give me 9,600 lb of total available forage (according to this site), which will feed 320 sheep+2lambs for a day. It will feed 10 sheep+2lambs for 32 days, assuming 1 sheep+2lambs eat 30lb per day of forage.

I will give the forage time to grow to 4 ft before introducing the sheep. Some sorghum and sunflower can grow very tall as well. Brassicas will give more body per plant, too.
 
Posts: 174
Location: New Zealand
10
hugelkultur purity forest garden books cooking woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We work in kilograms of dry matter per hectare rather than lbs/acre, remember you need a residual IE our cows come out of paddock when covers get down to 1600kgdm/ha.
Sheep graze lower but I never measure it for them I judo it all by feel.
Grass grows grass!
Hay is a filler.
Grain is expensive (at least here in NZ)  and should be used strategically to pump them up for mating if they're light etc.
We use 1 ram to 80 ewes on rolling country.
 
Drew Moffatt
Posts: 174
Location: New Zealand
10
hugelkultur purity forest garden books cooking woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh yeah and lambs have small mouths and teeth.
They do better on shorter higher quality grass covers.
High ME metabolisable energy.
 
Posts: 102
12
goat fish sheep
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tatiana Trunilina wrote:I will give the forage time to grow to 4 ft before introducing the sheep. Some sorghum and sunflower can grow very tall as well. Brassicas will give more body per plant, too.



Worth a try, but based on watching my sheep, they seem to rely on their vision a lot. I've put them in tall grass and weeds, and seen them act uncomfortable until they got to shorter grass and could see what was around them again. They could start at the edge and graze / browse their way in, but I don't know how well they'd like it. Maybe that would all change with familiarity. Leaving them in the tall stuff until it feels like their turf, maybe they'd adapt. If you try this, please let us know how it works out.
 
Tatiana Trunilina
Posts: 42
Location: Central Texas
6
trees cooking greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

T Melville wrote:

Tatiana Trunilina wrote:I will give the forage time to grow to 4 ft before introducing the sheep. Some sorghum and sunflower can grow very tall as well. Brassicas will give more body per plant, too.



Worth a try, but based on watching my sheep, they seem to rely on their vision a lot. I've put them in tall grass and weeds, and seen them act uncomfortable until they got to shorter grass and could see what was around them again. They could start at the edge and graze / browse their way in, but I don't know how well they'd like it. Maybe that would all change with familiarity. Leaving them in the tall stuff until it feels like their turf, maybe they'd adapt. If you try this, please let us know how it works out.



Yes, I'm thinking of planting in zones throughout a single paddock for variability. Tall robust annuals with climbing legumes on one side, plain old grass with alfalfa on another, and wildflowers on yet another side, or grass +wildflower together.

I will probably also have llamas in there with the sheep as well, so they may appreciate the taller plants.
 
Just put the cards in their christmas stocking and PRESTO! They get it now! It's like you're the harry potter of permaculture. richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!