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tortoise

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Katahdin sheep is what we are considering in our future.
Sheep are pretty easy if your pasture is adequate (including when there is a drought). I just wrote out farmsitter instructions. "Check the water trough and refill if necessary." That is all. The farmsitter will probably turn on the hose to fill it once in a week. I wouldnt even ask them to come out daily except my barn cat is at least 10 years old and doesnt hunt much anymore - she needs her snacks and cuddles.

I have commercial crossbred wool sheep. DH and I shear - its too much hassle to get a shearer for a small flock. The one good (skilled) shearer is misogynist and racist so I'll never have him back at my farm.

Fencing is pretty easy. I mean, it's WORK to put fence in. But sheep are not like goats 😅 I have old beat up woven wire fence. But, if you ever have more than one ram, you need lots of space between them (never share a fenceline) or exceptionally tough gates. They'll ram each other with the gate between them and destroy the gate. 🙄

I am definitely a livestock enabler. Team sheep! And I'm shopping for goats too 😅
 

chanceosunshine

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Sheep are pretty easy if your pasture is adequate (including when there is a drought). I just wrote out farmsitter instructions. "Check the water trough and refill if necessary." That is all. The farmsitter will probably turn on the hose to fill it once in a week. I wouldnt even ask them to come out daily except my barn cat is at least 10 years old and doesnt hunt much anymore - she needs her snacks and cuddles.

I have commercial crossbred wool sheep. DH and I shear - its too much hassle to get a shearer for a small flock. The one good (skilled) shearer is misogynist and racist so I'll never have him back at my farm.

Fencing is pretty easy. I mean, it's WORK to put fence in. But sheep are not like goats 😅 I have old beat up woven wire fence. But, if you ever have more than one ram, you need lots of space between them (never share a fenceline) or exceptionally tough gates. They'll ram each other with the gate between them and destroy the gate. 🙄

I am definitely a livestock enabler. Team sheep! And I'm shopping for goats too 😅
Yes, the ease of sheep is alluring and we definitely want to get into them. But, since I’m always looking for trouble I’d like some goats as well! Personally, I prefer goat meat to lamb, but I also want dairy animals as well.

If we chose wool breeds I would want to learn to shear them myself. I used to groom dogs and I always got the big unruly ones.
 

tortoise

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If we chose wool breeds I would want to learn to shear them myself. I used to groom dogs and I always got the big unruly ones.
I'm a former pet groomer too. I shear sheep standing. It takes a few minutes more, but is less physically demanding. I use an Andis Excel 5 speed with a medium blending or 10 blade. DH uses sheep shears, but they're too heavy for me - and not faster for me either. However, the Andis blades can have a hard time with lanolin. When my son showed sheep this summer, we bathed them and wet clipped. Very easy, but doesnt work if you want to send wool out for processing. Okay if you wash/process fleeces the same day.

Sheep are very trainable and are generally easier to shave than big dogs. 😁
 

baymule

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Why would neighbors give you flack for putting up fence? Good fences make for good neighbors. I want all my animals IN and everybody else’s OUT.
 

chanceosunshine

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Why would neighbors give you flack for putting up fence? Good fences make for good neighbors. I want all my animals IN and everybody else’s OUT.
My neighbors have opinions about everything and have no problem making sure I know what they are. The fence would mar their perfect view.
 

chanceosunshine

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I'm a former pet groomer too. I shear sheep standing. It takes a few minutes more, but is less physically demanding. I use an Andis Excel 5 speed with a medium blending or 10 blade. DH uses sheep shears, but they're too heavy for me - and not faster for me either. However, the Andis blades can have a hard time with lanolin. When my son showed sheep this summer, we bathed them and wet clipped. Very easy, but doesnt work if you want to send wool out for processing. Okay if you wash/process fleeces the same day.

Sheep are very trainable and are generally easier to shave than big dogs. 😁
What do you do with the wool?

They say the wool meats taste stronger. Do you find that the case?

Nothing better than shaving an un neutered doodle that hasn’t seen a groomer in a year. Lol it would definitely give you a good foundation for learning how to shave sheep!
 

tortoise

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What do you do with the wool?

They say the wool meats taste stronger. Do you find that the case?

Nothing better than shaving an un neutered doodle that hasn’t seen a groomer in a year. Lol it would definitely give you a good foundation for learning how to shave sheep!
The fiber mill in my area closed. I havent been willing to mail fleeces elsewhere, so I have been using it to suppress weeds or DH burns it. 🙈

I am considering getting a hair sheep lamb to grow out and butcher to see if we like it better. I only use lamb as ground, in foods with a lot of flavor/spice, like tacos. I used to be more tolerant of the flavor, but I strongly prefer venison to lamb. My lambs tend to get overly fat (on pasture!), which doesnt help the flavor situation.

Everytime I shear a sheep I laugh at my previous comparisons between shearing sheep and shaving a matted doodle. Sheep wool is only tangled at the tips, so the clippers glide right through. It takes some getting used to where sheep skin wrinkles, and to get used to dealing with lanolin on blades, but otherwise its not too hard!
 

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