Su Ba wrote:
How much lawn/ grass do you have? Growing sheep can really eat a lot of they are eating just lawn. They prefer to eat a lot of forbs, which lawns won't give them. Suburban lawns aren't normally good sheep pastures. Thus you may have issues with bloating and other eating disorders due to lack of long staple fiber. Free choice hay will help prevent this. Have a back up plan if you run low on grass. Since you plan to eat them, you really don't want them losing weight at slaughter time.
Watch which pellets you offer them. Avoid everything with copper, including mineral supplements or salt licks with copper. Go with a sheep approved pellet. Or use a whole grain. Be careful how much grain they eat per day. Grain and pellets change the rumen chemistry which can lead to several types of metabolic problems.
Take the time to train them to the a Premier 1 fencing. With no prior experience with it, they can quickly become entangled. Sheep tend to jump forward when startled, either running through the fence or getting caught up in it. I've never lost any sheep to this fencing, but I've had friends who came home to find a dead sheep tangled up in the fence. By the way, I use Premier 1 fence to mob graze my flock, and I love the stuff. But it did take time to get the dumber ewes safely conditioned to the fence.
Travis Johnson wrote:This is a VERY poor plan. There are toxins from the lawn being mown so many times, so close to the ground, that will harm sheep.
Buying from a livestock auction is also a very poor idea, and the prices seem rather high.
Surely you can make sheep friends on Facebook Groups, or other online places nearby, and buy your sheep from a reputable farm instead. I waited 10 months to find the right flock of sheep, but was glad I did.
Terri Pine wrote:Finished on grain or pellets? Pellets work better, but I don't know what's in them.
Make sure you have good, fast-growing graze at least when the lambs first show up. They sometimes take a while to get used to your forage mix, and you don't want them to get skinny while figuring it out.
Travis Johnson wrote:Oh...one more important point.
I mentioned fencing...NOT NEEDED!
Cows cannot chew through rope, so on many of my cows, before I got fencing for my sheep, I would just tether them out.
I made a metal plate that had to plates welded to it at angles, then a eye pad that swiveled at the top. I would just bury this metal plate in a shallow hole, attach a 50 foot rope to it, and then to the cow. As it neared the end of the rope, it would pull on the metal plate causing it to dig harder into the ground, yet the swivel kept the cow from winding up its rope. I never had any problems, and as the cow grazed down all the grass. I would just dig a new hole, bury the plate, and then have him graze that down. I had to move it every week, but that was not so bad. Just be sure to place the water bucket where the cow can drink, yet not within the circle so it would ensnare the rope. It will likely knock it over anyway.
A welding shop could make the swiveling deadman for about $20.
In the end it would be very cheap to graze a single cow. Just be sue to always check on the cow once per day for water needs, and amount of feed it is grazing on.
elle sagenev wrote:I never noticed my turkeys guarding. Now they do love to run over to things, whatever that thing would be. So I can see them running over to some other bird eating scraps. I watched my turkeys step on the chickens. Like not on purpose but turkeys get BIG ya know. Never had disease problems either having a mixed flock.