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1 Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 9:12 am

Schipperkesue

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I am relatively new to sheep. In fact I have only raised sheep once before and never bred them. I am hoping to get a little online conversation going amongst people who have sheep and want to bandy about ideas on raising them.

My sheep are Shetlands. I know Heda has them as well. What kind of sheep do you breed and how long have you been breeding them?

2 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 10:03 am

heda gobbler

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I think this very interesting thread should be reposted to "Sheep".

As Sue says, I have Shetlands and a few mixed breed ewes. I guess I've been breeding them 7-8 years. They started as pasture management tools. I love them. They love me. But they are quite shy around strangers.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

3 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 10:07 am

authenticfarm

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My folks used to raise registered Dorpers. I know a little about sheep, having assisted with lambing and such, but not a lot. I had already been moved out for quite a few years when they got into them!

As a cattle producer, though, having sheep personally is against my religion. Wink

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

4 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 11:09 am

Schipperkesue

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D'Oh! Embarassed We do have a sheep section, don't we? Oh Jaime.....

OK, sheep people. When you slaughter ram lambs for meat is it wiser to leave them whole, or to have them neutered? What is the difference in size, taste, managability, etc.

5 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 11:38 am

bckev

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The best "lamb" I ever had was an intact yearling, that I kept back to do some breeding before putting him in my freezer.

6 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 11:45 am

Schipperkesue

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bckev wrote:The best "lamb" I ever had was an intact yearling, that I kept back to do some breeding before putting him in my freezer.

Was the meat 'strong' tasting?

7 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 12:13 pm

Hidden River

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I have moved this to the right section for you Sue, such a naughty girl you are starting it in the wrong place. lol!

I raise Katahdin sheep, love their personalities, and their temperament. I also like that you don't have to shear them, they are extremely good moms and are very prolific. We generally get twins and triplets from our ewes, some first timers give us singles but their next year always twins or triplets. Many people that flush them will get quads as well but I prefer to keep it down to 2-3 babies.

I prefer to castrate (ring) my ram lambs as soon as I know they are not going to be breeding stock. Some I know just by the lines I want to keep going, others is at 4 weeks when I do their first weighing and they are not making the cut. Or if they have poor confirmation. We have not been eating our lamb long to know if there is much taste difference in a castrated or whole animal at slaughter time but everyone I have talked to says there is no difference in taste. I just fine it is easier to raise wethers to the proper size without the hassle of having to separate them from they ewe lambs at weaning time. The ram lambs do seem to grow larger, more bulky than the wethers but it could be because of my choices in who I keep as rams and who I wether...


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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8 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 12:45 pm

lady leghorn


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Sue, I know for some reason, the ethnic groups always want ram lambs. They don't want whethers?

Maybe there is a difference in meat flavour? For some reason, they don't want white goats either?

Same thing, they have to be bucks.

9 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 12:50 pm

Schipperkesue

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Yes, I sold a year old un neutered buck to a man for a wedding last fall. He was very stinky and probably more flavorful. We namby pamby North Americans like our meat a little blander, I think. I find lamb and kid taste similar, but kid has a coarser texture.

Thank you Jayme! Embarassed

10 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 2:14 pm

coopslave

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authenticfarm wrote:My folks used to raise registered Dorpers. I know a little about sheep, having assisted with lambing and such, but not a lot. I had already been moved out for quite a few years when they got into them!

As a cattle producer, though, having sheep personally is against my religion. Wink


LOL from another cattle snob! Very Happy I like lamb, but with rosemary and garlic, not on the hoof. Wink

11 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 3:29 pm

heda gobbler

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If I think a ram lamb is fabulous I'll keep him intact. If after a year he hasn't sold or he isn't as fabulous as I hoped - he goes to the butcher with the wethers. Can't tell which one is the ram when he's cut and wrapped! But I try not to go beyond 18 months old. And don't think I'd try if he'd been used as a ram...

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

12 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 5:03 pm

Hidden River

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coopslave wrote:
authenticfarm wrote:My folks used to raise registered Dorpers. I know a little about sheep, having assisted with lambing and such, but not a lot. I had already been moved out for quite a few years when they got into them!

As a cattle producer, though, having sheep personally is against my religion. Wink


LOL from another cattle snob! Very Happy I like lamb, but with rosemary and garlic, not on the hoof. Wink

Well you cattle snobs there has been a big move lately of cattle producers getting some sheep to graze the areas the picky cattle will not. Very Happy So times are changing get with the program. lol!



Last edited by Hidden River on Tue May 28, 2013 7:39 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
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13 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 7:29 pm

heda gobbler

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Exactly why I got sheep - and they work exactly as planned...

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

14 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 7:50 pm

Schipperkesue

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So tell me about shearing. Do the hair sheep stay warm enough in the winter? If you have wool sheep, when do you shear? I was lucky enough to find a great shearer who will come out for four! He didn't charge much either!

15 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 7:57 pm

Arcticsun

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I know there is a luck and fertility thing with intact black males (preferably with horns) with one group.

So, how you you all deal with the wethering? Bands? Vet? Snip snip?

16 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 8:00 pm

heda gobbler

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We have a shearer that comes out along Highway 20 twice, once outrageously early - like early March, the second time, really late, like early June (next week). He is inexpensive but you have to fit into that schedule ("early" or "late"). He is charming and handsome and very good and fast at shearing. He knows all the "sheep people" gossip which is great AND knows more than the vet about practical sheep matters. Does a basic skirting (takes off the nastiest bits of the fleece) and helps me put the sheared sheep in the "deck chair" where I trim their feet and vaccinate and drench them for worms. But he can shear a sheep faster than I can do all that so now I just vaccinate and worm and do foot trimming later when I can obsess over it.

I'm still playing around with when to shear and when to lamb. I've sheared before lambing and after lambing, both work fine as far as I'm concerned....

I use the elastrator on the ram lambs, as early as I can feel both testicles. Will do it up to one month old. After that the vet.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

17 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 8:01 pm

authenticfarm

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Hidden River wrote:Well you cattle snobs there has been a big move lately of cattle producers getting some sheep to graze the areas the pick cattle will not. Very Happy So times are changing get with the program. lol!

That's the recommendation, yep. But it's a lot of extra work to fence for sheep - especially when you're measuring fences by miles and not by feet!

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

18 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 8:06 pm

authenticfarm

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Schipperkesue wrote:So tell me about shearing. Do the hair sheep stay warm enough in the winter? If you have wool sheep, when do you shear? I was lucky enough to find a great shearer who will come out for four! He didn't charge much either!

The dorpers seemed to do fine, yes, in southern Alberta anyway. They had open-faced shelters as well as free access to an insulated barn, but no heat - unless it was lambing season and the lamb needed a little extra something, then they would get a heat lamp over their lambing jug. Or lamby would wear a sweater.

Some of the dorpers had some degree of wool to their coats, but it was not like regular wool - you could shed it off of them in the spring by pulling away clumps of it. The best quality ones, though, are the all-hair ones.

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

19 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 8:18 pm

Schipperkesue

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Arcticsun wrote:I know there is a luck and fertility thing with intact black males (preferably with horns) with one group.

Interesting! My Angus is a black ram with horns. He has 3 ewes. Two have had lambs and one will be lambing soon.

The one we are waiting on has had a huge udder for over a week and she is taking forever to lamb. I did not notice the others' udders bagging up before, and then wham, there were lambs. Which is normal?

20 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 8:20 pm

Schipperkesue

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Does anyone have pictures to share of their lambing jugs? Jugs...why are they called that?

21 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 9:53 pm

authenticfarm

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I had a look and it appears that I deleted all the sheep photos when the flock was sold. Sorry! I will try to describe ...

My folks' set up was a system of movable panels that all hooked together. The pens could be adjusted to size according to whether the ewe had a single, twins, triplets, etc., and then removed to accustom the moms and babies to living with another set of ewe and lambs, and eventually all removed to become part of the group.

The barn was built specifically for sheep and for lambing, so it was a large metal building, insulated, with wood on the bottom half of the interior and tin above, with those transparent panels up high for natural light. Also, circulating fans and TONS of outlets along the walls, so electricity was always nearby if a heat lamp was needed. There was also water to the building. Concrete floor with rubber mats on top, for cleanliness and ease of cleaning.

There were several small doors to the outside (a normal sized person had to bend in half) along with the man door and large sliding door. When lambing season was over, the jugs were all removable, so they could be stacked out of the way and the building used for whatever else was needed. (I once shot a group of ladies for boudoir sessions in there!)

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

22 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 10:04 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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I am in the same boat as sue but just with bottle lambs. They are about 3 months old now. I love the little fuzzy faces that play fetch with the dog.

My question is what vaccine and deworming schedule do you use for lambs and adults?

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

23 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 10:10 pm

Schipperkesue

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fuzzylittlefriend wrote:I am in the same boat as sue but just with bottle lambs. They are about 3 months old now. I love the little fuzzy faces that play fetch with the dog.

My question is what vaccine and deworming schedule do you use for lambs and adults?

AND what wormers do you recommend?

24 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 10:31 pm

Hidden River

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Our Katahdin's do very well in our winters, we provide them a shelter to go into to get out of the wind on the nasty days but most times they enjoy laying in the snow outside. We provide heat lamps for our babies when they are born for the first 2 days then they are good to go. (Most times they don't need them I just like spoiling them).
We trim hooves once a year, deworm and vaccinate twice a year. The hooves, deworming and vaccine is 1 week pre breeding, the second vaccine and deworming is 2-4 weeks pre lambing.
The prebreeding dewormer we use is Valbazen, an oral drench. It is not safe in the first 3 months of gestation so we prefer to not use it when they are pregnant at all, so the pre lambing we use Ivermectin Injectable. I do have a couple ewes that have hooves that do not wear well so we will trim them up if we see an issue but most are just once a year.


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Raising Heritage Chickens, Guinea Fowl, Waterfowl, Katahdin Sheep, Angus and Jersey Cattle. Mother of 2 wonderful girls and wife to a very understanding Husband.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://www.hiddenriverranch.weebly.com

25 Re: Sheep Thread on Tue May 28, 2013 10:37 pm

heda gobbler

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I trim hooves once a year - some don't need it but I always get them up in the deck chair and check. They get a shot of Tasvax 8, 4 ml at weaning, another 2 ml 6 weeks after that and then 2 ml once a year. I worm with ivomec drench only once a year - do fecal egg counts (vet does if I take in a sample)periodically to check and that is more than enough.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

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