Aussies Living Simply

Very Small Flock

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  • #255186
    ahning
    Member

    Our Very Small Farm (5 acres) supports a Very Small Flock of sheep (4 animals): 2 old Merinos, 1 Dorper of undetermined age, and 1 Dorper X Merino about 7.5 months. I’d like to consult the ALS Sheep Gurus about their (that’s the sheep’s, not the gurus’) feed.

    Since the end of March they’ve been in an orchard paddock, about a third of an acre, which had been unmown all summer and had a huge amount of feed. They ate a lot of that and what’s left is now pretty well dried off – there’s just a little bit of green pick in there. We have another paddock with good pasture, but we’re trying to keep them off it until late summer because we know it has barber pole worm.

    We started hand feeding them last week with about half a biscuit of lucerne hay between the four of them. That made it easy to lead them through the garden to and from the driveway, which has good feed on either side. We can do that most days for the next couple of months, but I think we’ll need a supplementary feed for those days when we have to leave them in the paddock.

    We’re in the NSW Southern Highlands. There won’t be much pasture growth now till September or later.

    My questions are:

    1. What supplementary feed do you (and you sheep) prefer and why?

    2. How much do you feed them?

    3. Are we right to think the the Merinos need more feed than the Dorpers, and if so how do we ensure that they get it?

    4. Is it embarrassingly unaustralian to be leading 4 sheep through a garden like Little BoPeep instead of driving 4000 sheep through a paddock with a horse and 3 Kelpies? 🙂

    Thanks people.

    Ahning

    #498768
    bushy
    Member

    Unless any of them are heavily in lamb its unnesessary to suppliment feed them. The dry feed and green pick at this time of year will be sufficent.

    Sheep will do well off dry feed. Just because they enjoy the lucerne doesnt mean they’re starving…sheep always like something different….or on the other side of the fence.

    #498769
    ahning
    Member

    Thanks Bushy. It’s fun having such a tiny flock – the personalities show up.

    #498770
    Survegalist
    Member

    Gee you are lucky to have seperate paddocks,we have 1 of 2ac for 4 sheep and just let them eat where and what they want.I would so love to have internal fencing so we could manage them better.We supplement them with bales of luceren and some sort of spindly grass that comes in bales also.I got some “Nuts” as they are called yesterday after advice on another thread and they love it.Haven’t got any worm problems(Touch wood),had the poo checked by the vet.

    #498771
    ahning
    Member

    Please stay in touch. We’re investigating, in odd moments, options for temporary or moveable fencing for the same reason. sort of mini-cell grazing.

    We also want to put in lane so they don’t have to travel through the garden – it’s all very well in winter, but they’d enjoy that fresh new Spring growth far too much if they get the chance 🙂

    So much to learn…

    #498772
    penny
    Member

    We have 37 pet sheep which we had to feed this summer because we had no rain. I have heard of nuts for feeding them but what are they. I’ve asked at a couple of feed places but they look blank. Can you give me more info please

    #498773
    bushy
    Member

    they are made the same way as your chook pellets only cubed about 2cmx2cmx2cm, hence looking a little like a nut (bolt) nothing to do with things growing on trees.

    The composition will vary, but mainly mixed ground grains and lucerne, prolly a bit of salt/minerals.

    #498774
    Bobbee
    Member

    :wave:

    I don’t have any sheep but I like the thread. Will keep checking in.

    Bobbs :hug:

    #498775
    penny
    Member

    Thanks for the info

    #498776
    karyn26
    Member

    ahning we are down to 3 sheep ATM they are moved between one paddock through the house yard to a small paddock to the back paddock quite easily as the eldest female is the lead sheep.Due to them going the same way all the time they know where we want them to go.

    #498777
    Survegalist
    Member

    ahning post=315157 wrote: Please stay in touch. We’re investigating, in odd moments, options for temporary or moveable fencing for the same reason. sort of mini-cell grazing.

    We also want to put in lane so they don’t have to travel through the garden – it’s all very well in winter, but they’d enjoy that fresh new Spring growth far too much if they get the chance 🙂

    So much to learn…

    We thought of getting strip electric fencing but I read somewhere they wern’t good for sheep on account of their wool stops the shock.We had a few new arrivals this week (lambs)yehar..lovely damara cross’s.The poor little buggers came two days befor our first real frost but I put them in the lambing pens to keep ’em safe and warm.We have been cracking up cause they look like goats.

    #498778
    darls
    Member

    Thanks – we’re still looking at getting a small flock of sheep so it’s nice to know there are others doing it already. We have about an acre of grass divided in two areas with fence however one area would need to have a portable fencing system to contain sheep as well so this is what stopping us from getting any.

    So you know what type of grass you’ve got there? Are they fussy with types of grass? How bad are they with other plants and fruit trees?

    Cheers!

    #498779
    bushy
    Member

    Sheep will eat just about any grass, but of course have their preferences.

    No plant or tree is safe, they will pull down limbs as high as they can reach, and this means by standing on their back legs also they like to eat the bark. Dont assume that there is nice green grass for them they wont touch your vegies or young trees…they like variety.

    #498780
    chooken
    Member

    A really good supplement for sheep is about two double handfuls of lucerne chaff and a handful of barley and lupins per day. I’d also make sure they have a mineral lick if you live in an area with high rainfall (which leaches soils of minerals like copper and cobalt).

    cheers

    Chooken

    #498781
    ahning
    Member

    Our not noticeably fussy flock is getting a sheep lick next time we get into the sheep lick shop. The sheep man didn’t tell me what’s in it apart from molasses and urea; he just said to tell the co-op they’re not lactating and take what they sell me.

    I can’t believe how ignorant I am about these animals, and I keep getting the giggles at their behaviour and not concentrating on what I need to know. One of the things that really made me giggle was watching the merinos practically climb a fig tree. I can tell you they like the fruit, the leaves, and the bark.

    The tree is still alive and scheduled for protective fencing next week, even before it gets pruned.

    I think someone mentioned apple cider vinegar as a protection against parasites. Do you have more detailed information?

    Animals really can make a person feel stupid can’t they 😀

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