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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Re: How about sheep?

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04-28-2013 05:50:18

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Sheep aren't dumb, they just aren't like cattle, horses, or dogs. Actually, cattle can be pretty stupid when you come down to it. I'm in the middle of lambing right now. 32 live lambs on the ground from 16 ewes, 5 in in the bummer pen that were extras (I won't put more than 2 lambs on a ewe anymore and some of mine have 4 lambs so they go in the bummer pen) lost one still born from a ewe I had to pull the first of 2 lambs on and later lost that lamb and the ewe too, lost one that just went down hill from the 2nd morning on and one I just found dead, might have got stepped on of something. I still have 40 some ewes to lamb. In the late summer or fall I'll sell the ram lambs and any unwanted ewe lambs. I know I'll get at least $100.00 a head, I averaged $1.66 a lbs last year, $2.33 the year before. My overhead is in fencing. I bought 4 sections of Premier electronet last year, best thing since sliced bread. Other than that I give the fresh ewes a little grain to give them a boost. The rest of it is simple stuff like BoSe shots, tags, etc. Worming in minimal with katahdin/Dorper crosses I have, but it still pays to rotate the pastures. That's my biggest issue since moving them is a nightmare at present. I've been "bucket training" them for a year now and they follow much better. It's keeping them where I want them that is difficult and that's where the electronet comes in. I also lost about 50 lambs and ewes to coyotes last year, but have Pyrenees guard dogs in with the sheep now. I hope to build up to a flock of 150-200 ewes, depends on what my land will support and how much brush I can beat back. Coyotes thrive on lamb and brush is a hunting coyotes best friend.

Funny/cute story from last week. We got the guard dogs this winter. The female is fine with the sheep but doesn't care much about the lambs. The male OTOH, he adores the lambs. Went out last week to find Sam with 3 lambs, cleaning them off, while they climbed all over him. The lambs ewe was going nuts because Sam had kidnapped her "babies". Had to put same in the crate or he'll take all the lambs! It's funny to see that big 100 lbs dog mothering the little lambs.
This post was edited by Bret4207 at 05:51:12 04/28/13.

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