The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default Sheep Sheep Sheep

    Does anyone have any sheep? When our woods are cleared and planted I am thinking about getting a few sheep as pets. How are they to live with?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2007
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    332

    Default

    My horse has her own sheep. Now sheep claims she is lonely when I take horse to shows every weekend and wants her own pet.

    Hmmmm....what type of pet to get for the sheep.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2012_03_27-IMG_2418-loh.jpg 
Views:	115 
Size:	186.3 KB 
ID:	37064  



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    709

    Default

    Adorable little fuzzbuckets

    Seriously, tons of them on farms I was working at in New Zealand and loved the little guys. Easier than most other livestock, IMO, small and rather dim-witted. But funny and sweet. Of course I am biased because I was there during lambing season! Nothing more awesome than lambs <3



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2,479

    Default

    Can be sweet pets, do a much better job of clearing land than goats do BUT when we had them that yearly shearing cured me of wanting to keep them.
    I don't know how the hair breeds are.
    Oh..and you have to be aware that dogs from all over will want to kill your sheep.
    Safe fencing needed.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    I am seriously considering getting a few sheep in the spring, but I really know nothing about them. I have a 2.5 acre pasture (part of which is my septic field) that won't have horses on it and no desire to mow it all and my friends suggested sheep.

    I assume there is maybe a market for the meat or something? Not sure what they need for shelter or anything...have to do some researching this winter. I don't want to do it if I won't at least break even.

    Can I turn a regular or mini donkey out with sheep?
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    8,676

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horseshrink View Post
    My horse has her own sheep. Now sheep claims she is lonely when I take horse to shows every weekend and wants her own pet.

    Hmmmm....what type of pet to get for the sheep.
    Cool how you color-coordinated your horse and sheep
    Answer to your ?: why, another sheep of course
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    I am seriously considering getting a few sheep in the spring, but I really know nothing about them. I have a 2.5 acre pasture (part of which is my septic field) that won't have horses on it and no desire to mow it all and my friends suggested sheep.

    I assume there is maybe a market for the meat or something? Not sure what they need for shelter or anything...have to do some researching this winter. I don't want to do it if I won't at least break even.

    Can I turn a regular or mini donkey out with sheep?
    I'm going to start with the Storey's Guide to Sheep. I am hoping to be able to put a meat steer out with them so it won't be lonely while it waits to be butchered. I need to plan shelters and improve the fencing first though.

    Horseshrink I love your picture!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2012
    Location
    knee deep in Oregon mud
    Posts
    618

    Default

    Katahdins are great. They're a hair sheep, so no shearing. Ewes typically have twins (can have singles or triples, but not as frequent) and are easy lambers. If you're raising for meat, katahdins usually have a good dressing percentage.

    They're pretty hardy and can withstand a variety of environments. We've only lost one to predators in 3 years, and we live in a coyote and cougar filled area (not to mention everybody in our area has dogs). Livestock guardian dogs, llamas, and donkeys are all good predator deterrents.

    Fences should be good, but don't need to be anything special. Sheep are not fence challengers by nature. With fencing, its more about keeping unwanted critters out than sheep in.

    They are skittish at first, but once they trust you they get to be quite friendly and have funny little personalities. As another poster mentioned, sheep are rather dimwitted, but they can be entertaining. Food bribes are the best way to gain their trust, just be careful to not let them eat horse grain or have access to horse mineral blocks. These have high levels of copper, which sheep can't tolerate.

    We have 11 currently, 1 ram, 4 ram lambs that will be slaugtered next month, and 6 ewes. We had 8 ewe lambs from last year's crop as well, but we liked the ram and wanted to keep him, so we sold his daughters. Next year we will keep the daughters and sell or trade the ram for a different one. Our sheep live with a jersey steer (pet, not food), a jersey heifer (showed up to be weaned, still hasn't left) and a horse.
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
    Katahdins are great. They're a hair sheep, so no shearing. Ewes typically have twins (can have singles or triples, but not as frequent) and are easy lambers. If you're raising for meat, katahdins usually have a good dressing percentage.

    They're pretty hardy and can withstand a variety of environments. We've only lost one to predators in 3 years, and we live in a coyote and cougar filled area (not to mention everybody in our area has dogs). Livestock guardian dogs, llamas, and donkeys are all good predator deterrents.

    Fences should be good, but don't need to be anything special. Sheep are not fence challengers by nature. With fencing, its more about keeping unwanted critters out than sheep in.

    They are skittish at first, but once they trust you they get to be quite friendly and have funny little personalities. As another poster mentioned, sheep are rather dimwitted, but they can be entertaining. Food bribes are the best way to gain their trust, just be careful to not let them eat horse grain or have access to horse mineral blocks. These have high levels of copper, which sheep can't tolerate.

    We have 11 currently, 1 ram, 4 ram lambs that will be slaugtered next month, and 6 ewes. We had 8 ewe lambs from last year's crop as well, but we liked the ram and wanted to keep him, so we sold his daughters. Next year we will keep the daughters and sell or trade the ram for a different one. Our sheep live with a jersey steer (pet, not food), a jersey heifer (showed up to be weaned, still hasn't left) and a horse.
    Where did you get your sheep originally?
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
    Katahdins are great. They're a hair sheep, so no shearing. Ewes typically have twins (can have singles or triples, but not as frequent) and are easy lambers. If you're raising for meat, katahdins usually have a good dressing percentage.

    They're pretty hardy and can withstand a variety of environments. We've only lost one to predators in 3 years, and we live in a coyote and cougar filled area (not to mention everybody in our area has dogs). Livestock guardian dogs, llamas, and donkeys are all good predator deterrents.

    Fences should be good, but don't need to be anything special. Sheep are not fence challengers by nature. With fencing, its more about keeping unwanted critters out than sheep in.

    They are skittish at first, but once they trust you they get to be quite friendly and have funny little personalities. As another poster mentioned, sheep are rather dimwitted, but they can be entertaining. Food bribes are the best way to gain their trust, just be careful to not let them eat horse grain or have access to horse mineral blocks. These have high levels of copper, which sheep can't tolerate.

    We have 11 currently, 1 ram, 4 ram lambs that will be slaugtered next month, and 6 ewes. We had 8 ewe lambs from last year's crop as well, but we liked the ram and wanted to keep him, so we sold his daughters. Next year we will keep the daughters and sell or trade the ram for a different one. Our sheep live with a jersey steer (pet, not food), a jersey heifer (showed up to be weaned, still hasn't left) and a horse.
    Thank you! This is some great information.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    I love sheep! I have four. One Icelandic, two Jacobs and one Finnsheep. I got three as lambs and they are very tame and the mom of the young Jacob is learning that it's OK to be a pet sheep.

    One of the nicest things I can do is go out and sit with them and give fleece massages. They are very serene and affectionate creatures and I really do enjoy mine.

    I have a calf dome for three of them and a lean-to for the Finnsheep ewe, who is disabled. She has birth defects and is a dwarf. The other sheep pick on her so she has a separate area.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2012
    Location
    knee deep in Oregon mud
    Posts
    618

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    Where did you get your sheep originally?
    They came with the property. Former owner moved to town and and SO offered to buy the sheep along with the house/land. We sold the old ram and traded with another sheep producer to get our current ram.
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2005
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    753

    Default

    I think sheep are great. Couple of things-- your fence needs to be a little more secure than for horses, plus you need to have a plan to deter predators if you are in an area with animals that will prey on sheep. I'm also a fan of hair sheep, but even with the hair sheep shearing is ideal.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2012
    Location
    knee deep in Oregon mud
    Posts
    618

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2foals View Post
    I'm also a fan of hair sheep, but even with the hair sheep shearing is ideal.
    If you live where it is hot and humid in the summer, shearing the little buggers can make them more comfortable. Here in the soggy PNW, not so much.
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2005
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    753

    Default

    Re: shearing, I think it also depends on the individuals, I have variation among my icelandics, some produce less wool than others, and some produce less with age. If you don't shear at all the sheep can develop wool "collars" that are difficult to remove, and it can be much harder to shear them later. If you are breeding I like shearing the ewes prior to lambing so I can see when they are getting close and to remove dirty tags of wool near their udders.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Is shearing sheep like body clipping a horse or is it another skill entirely?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2005
    Location
    ON, Canada
    Posts
    400

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crackerdog View Post
    Is shearing sheep like body clipping a horse or is it another skill entirely?
    If you are shearing just to take off the wool, it is really similar. If you are shearing to sell the wool, it is more complicated.

    The lanolin in the wool will do a number on your clipper blades.

    I have Shetland sheep. I will usually shear 3 or 4 of them by hand (with a modified scissors.) It usually takes about an hour per sheep.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2007
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    332

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crackerdog View Post
    Is shearing sheep like body clipping a horse or is it another skill entirely?
    OMG! OMG! I have body clipped horses all my life so I thought body clipping (shearing) the sheep pictured above would be piece of cake. After all, she's so much smaller.

    WRONG-O!!! I'm not sure if it is because she's a hybrid (half hair sheep/half wool sheep), but it's the most horrible job ever. The lanolin and dirt and thick hair/wool just trash clipper blades quickly. It takes me three days as I clip her in thirds. It's not something she volunteers for.

    Next year, I'm hiring a professional sheep shearer.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,097

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horseshrink View Post
    OMG! OMG! I have body clipped horses all my life so I thought body clipping (shearing) the sheep pictured above would be piece of cake. After all, she's so much smaller.

    WRONG-O!!! I'm not sure if it is because she's a hybrid (half hair sheep/half wool sheep), but it's the most horrible job ever. The lanolin and dirt and thick hair/wool just trash clipper blades quickly. It takes me three days as I clip her in thirds. It's not something she volunteers for.

    Next year, I'm hiring a professional sheep shearer.
    You do want to use blades designed for the job. The blades used have a much coarser comb style, which traps less dirt. However, they also frequently nick the sheep so you have to be a bit more careful. Plus, the sheep are more squirmy than a been-there-done-that horse.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    198

    Default

    Take the sheep to the show too.



Similar Threads

  1. Tell me about sheep!!
    By chaos theory in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: Dec. 22, 2010, 08:59 PM
  2. Sheep
    By mroades in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Nov. 26, 2010, 05:09 PM
  3. Sheep????
    By FatPalomino in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Sep. 14, 2009, 10:47 PM
  4. Anyone work sheep? Extreme sheep herding...
    By twofatponies in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Aug. 31, 2009, 01:18 PM
  5. Fun with Sheep
    By Woodland in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: Mar. 21, 2009, 08:52 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness