Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Grass, More Sheep, More...




I have a book that is called More Grass, More Sheep, More Money. I think the word money could be interchanged with a few other words, one being work.  But we do have plenty of grass and it has been our goal to work our numbers back up to what they were long, long  ago, before the twins were born.

We have spent some of this year adding more sheep to our farm. Including adding a new breed of sheep, the Tunis. We are excited about the direction we are going but do have some changes that need to be made.

Having more sheep, does mean more work. At least initially. We have plans to put up new fencing to create more paddocks, so we can practice rotational grazing like we have done in the past. We need to finish our corral, that  is a MUST. It is not any fun wrestling sheep around. We have done it, and when you have a small number you can get away with it, but as the numbers grow the handling system we have  has to improve!

I remember some advice I read, when I was pouring over every sheep book I could find,  the first thing  you need before you buy sheep is good fencing, and a good handling system! I have never regretted taking that advice with our fencing, but we have not really spent much time with our handling system.  When I look at our biggest frustration with raising sheep, it comes down to handling.  Two people can get a lot done in a fairly quick amount of time if you have a good system. When you don't you can spend a lot of time chasing, being trampled on, cursing (not me) , you get the idea.

We are going to have to try to carve out some time this Fall to get it done! It is not as much fun as bringing  home new sheep, or having lambs but I know in the end it will keep us sane and help make sheep farming a little more enjoyable!


Speaking of buying sheep, did I mention we went on a road trip (yes, during fair week) and bought home more Tunis?   9 more lovely red heads (one being a ram). They also had these adorable sheep guardian dogs (Pyrenees) that almost made their way into our Jeep!  But we showed some restraint. Someday....







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12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. haha, I don't need any encouragement :)

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  2. Sandra,
    Good working facilities are a must. Expensive, but worth it. Sister and her Husband purchased a sheep working alley and tub system at a farm auction. She says it's amazing.

    Good Luck with your fall fencing and facilities improvement projects.

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    Replies
    1. Handling equipment can be expensive. We have built some of it but will need to purchase some of it.

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  3. Our Pyrenees is a great dog and a very good companion for our goats. I would highly recommend one. We got a livestock guardian book before we bought the dog to make sure we trained her correctly to live with and protect the goats. She is a very valuable asset to our farm.

    Fern

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    Replies
    1. They are in our plans if we move some pasture across the road by the woods. Wouldn't trust my animals over there without one.

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  4. I've never had a great Pyrenees and don't know very much about dogs, but the GP is my dream dog. :-)

    On the subject of fences I'd say you are very wise to put animal handling infrastructure in place first. I strongly believe it's more fair to you, and more fair to neighbours, and safer for livestock (whether it be big or small). I hope the new sheep are settling in well.

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    Replies
    1. They are fitting in nicely :) Thanks

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  5. Good advice. I used to have a good friend that showed GP. Her dogs were so beautiful and noble.

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    1. They are beautiful dogs! The puppies are so adorable.

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  6. Oh, You NEED one of those! Really! There are sheep eating creatures out there. I have a little fund going into a sock for just that purpose. Go look at http://www.lgdnevada.com/

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    Replies
    1. :)
      Thanks for posting the link! Its great to hear about peoples experiences with guardian dogs.

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