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How many sheep pr acre?

 
pollinator
Posts: 518
Location: Andalucía, Spain
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Hi
I'm new in here (but have been lurking for months), and I have a question to experienced sheep people: how many sheep would you keep pr acre, and how many pastures would you divide your pastureland land into?we (my husband and I) are buying 6 ha (~ 15 acres) in the south of Spain.

Additional questions:
What kind of sheep would be good in a Mediterranean climate?
We are looking to raise them for wool and meat mainly (neighbor had dairy goats), and for wool I prefer merino or BFL, but don't know how good the meat on those are, and w. merino I am concerned about infections etc. (see they too in-bread to be good permaculture stock?)
 
pollinator
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Location: France
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Hi Dawn and welcome aboard. I'm afraid that I don't know the stocking rate for sheep but I think a lot would depend on the type/quality of pasture available. I'm guessing that it gets quite parched in the south of Spain around now? Here we have 11 sheep on about 3 acres (but we can move them to other areas if need be. This we manage on a rotation basis with small 1/4 acre paddocks within the big area - they trim it down, we move them on, until they've been right round.

There's a breed of sheep called a Basco Bernaise that is in the south of France/ north of Spain. I don't know if that would be an option for you in the south. They are awfully cute. Irene Knightley on here has some so if she drops in maybe she'll advise.

Other than that, hopefully other 'sheepy' people will contribute.

Good luck.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Alison Thomas wrote:Hi Dawn and welcome aboard. I'm afraid that I don't know the stocking rate for sheep but I think a lot would depend on the type/quality of pasture available. I'm guessing that it gets quite parched in the south of Spain around now? Here we have 11 sheep on about 3 acres (but we can move them to other areas if need be. This we manage on a rotation basis with small 1/4 acre paddocks within the big area - they trim it down, we move them on, until they've been right round.

There's a breed of sheep called a Basco Bernaise that is in the south of France/ north of Spain. I don't know if that would be an option for you in the south. They are awfully cute. Irene Knightley on here has some so if she drops in maybe she'll advise.

Other than that, hopefully other 'sheepy' people will contribute.

Good luck.


Thank you!

We have (ha! When I wrote this we didn't) 6,6 ha of which 3 ha is pasture - it has been running goats for at least 80 years, and shows! 2-3 of olives (where the goats have roamed the last 15 years too, at least, maybe longer) - the rest is too steep for the goat herder to go and in an OK condition - but since it is not reachable by goats is it not really reachable by anyone except rabbits.

I had a talk with Rosemary Morrow about it (my husband took a PDC with her, while I wrote the OP) - and she says there really isn't any "right number" only observation Because it depends on so many different factors - the quality of the land, the breed of sheep, the rate with which you move them etc. etc. I tried to talk to the neighbor about using his goats holistically on our land until we get sheep - and he just flat out said "well if you want to shield the land from over grazing you don't want my goats on your land" (he's 85 and has been a goat herder all his life).

I am trying to figure out which way to go first (well fist we need to get trees on top, rebuild the house and stop erosion around the house) to restore the pastures... also because I fear if we don't have any grazing it will be a fire hazard.

Your sheep are primarily for milk production? How is the fiber?
 
pioneer
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How about just asking him if he will run his goats just for a week or so when you need it? That should keep the fire risk down while you establish your own grazing. Presumably he has other grazing he can use off your land? From the reading I have been doing it suggests that it is not so much the grazing intensity as the length of recovery/rest period that matters.
 
Dawn Hoff
pollinator
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That's a good idea, I'll try to se if I ca. Talk to him about a deal like that.
 
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