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Old 08-16-2012, 12:40 PM
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~WelshStump~ ~WelshStump~ is offline
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Originally Posted by PWCorgi View Post
Sheep are the dumbest animals on the face of this earth.
Don't you dare say that to Nigel! Dang thing's smarter than the dogs in this house, that is so wrong. But I'll agree to a point, if you are speaking in context of A)how they're raised, and B)what breed, some sheep are dumb as mud! But you have to watch a lot of the wool breeds, they are far smarter than you would like to imagine or deal with, and it can create a real fencing issue.

More of mine

Sheep group photo by ~WelshStump~, on Flickr

The twins

Wilma by ~WelshStump~, on Flickr

I do have more after shearing photo's, but due to the issues of this computer right now haven't been able to get them edited for Flickr.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:54 PM
release the hounds release the hounds is offline
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I would love to have a huge flock on hundreds of acres and be able to spend the next 2 years just observing the dogs natural tendencies around the flock. I'm talking old school HGH herding. Not the chase 3 sheep around a pen herding.

I've been watching some vids and doing some reading, but that only takes you so far. I think it would give me much more insight into the dogs I work with and how to do it better. But alas, I could never take off that much time, not and maintaing a few hundred acres and a flock of sheep. My wife might have something to say about that. Plus I already give her brother a bunch of crap about his sheep. i'd hate to have those jokes turned back on me
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:53 PM
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We have Blue-Faced Liecesters and a couple Jacob's.

I don't know about dumb, but my sheep are herd animals and prey to the core (so they lack any sort of measurable intelligence).

We don't use dogs on the sheep for a couple of reasons, but I find that if you don't want to invest in a possibly unreliable sheepdog an ATV or even a dirtbike is a reasonable substitute once the animals are acclimated. Ours also come along quite calmly to a feed bucket (which I use when there is no need to rush).

I also keep beef cattle (Herefords), so my standards are possibly a little different, but I find flock-raised rams to be quite manageable most of the time. Take precautions as you would with any animal, but if you do your homework you won't be at risk of any really serious injury (except maybe the occasional bruised ego)

What do you plan to use the sheep for? Fiber? Meat?

Fence-wise, we've had the best luck with electric fences (like you would use for cattle). Along high-escape areas (spots where there are lots of tempting treats outside the fence), we have a double layer of fencing, with a more visible wooden fence just past the electric fence to reinforce the visual divider.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:20 PM
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Thanks everyone!

Well probably abit of both - fiber and meat (I might have a hard time parting with sheep that I've kept personally for my dinner though...). The ATV sounds like fun actually! I'll see how things go - if the flock expands to 15 + I may want a good border collie/corgi though. LGD wise perhaps another Kuvasz - but a Central Asian Shepherd, Pyr, or Caucasian O are possibilities too (unsure of the last choice for livestock work...).

Wow the painted sheep are beautiful! funky horns on the rams lol I think I want a couple of Ouessants too.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by PWCorgi View Post
Sheep are the dumbest animals on the face of this earth.
Rams can be nastier than cat crap, so yeah, neuter!

My mom's boyfriend has a hobby sheep farm, you couldn't pay me enough money. Not unless they come up with a breed that weighs like 25 pounds each
My mom's boyfriend's ram is a seriously scary animal, he'd LOVE to kill you if he could just get the chance. If Shelby his BC wasn't around he honestly would not be able to let the thing out of it's pen, he'd never get the stupid thing back in the barn!

That's how Moxiecollie's got her knee busted so bad. Never ever get Cheviots. To my understanding, their nickname is "kneebusters".

Did your mom's boyfriend bottlefeed that ram? Because that is a HUGE mistake. You never bottlefeed a ram, and if you have to hand raise an orphan ram lamb you'd better put him in the freezer or wether him because he'll turn into a douche otherwise.

My grandma had a giant dorset ram named Hammerhead. Yeah... He was a bottle lamb. Her other rams were raised by their mothers and they never had any issues with them threatening people.

I've heard from painted desert folks that they are much more like raising goats than sheep in terms of intelligence. Also, I have no interest in herding sheep. If I get sheep for my dog to work, it's going to be for a LGD.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Romy View Post
Those a pretty! Of course, they look like babies.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
And btw sheep may be dumb but so are beef cattle. And far less likely to kill you. I consider sheep a personal safety improvement lol.
Oh gawd no, sheep are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay stupider than cows. And waaaaaaaay more high maintenance IMO. I do like them, but omg.

My parent's have between about 75 ewes at any given time. Sometimes its more like 80-85 girls. My stepdad has kept a flock his whole life. Our girls (we keep back all our good white face ewe lambs for replacements as they get old or have accidents, etc.) are Dorset/Columbia cross which gives us some really nice ewes. We have some pretty tall girls because of the Columbia. The lady who cuts my hair that lives out in the same area as my parents has purebred Dorset ewes and the last few years she's leased one of our rams. reason we keep all good wool ewes is for selling the wool when we shear... and its a pretty big to-do to shear that many, usually takes all day. Though not as big as when the one guy who does most of the shearing in ID has to shear the bands (1,000 ewes to a band...) owned by Shirts. They also run primarily Dorset/Columbia cross ewes.

We usually have two to three rams at any given time. They are in their own area aside from the month of September when they are with the girls doing their job. We've always had really nice rams and are able to work around them fine. I think if you treat them like you are scared of them or try to make them pets I think is where you run into issues and of course part is temperament too so look at temperaments of stock already produced by where you want to get your ram. The time I went up to N ID with my parent's to visit family and we stayed with the folks that raise Columbia sheep, I remember they took us to the pasture where they were keeping their young rams. We could walk freely among them no problem.

Our Hampshire boy Dobe got old and sick and had to be put down (my brother did it) this spring, but my stepdad plans on getting another young Hamp boy from the same people. We get our Columbia rams from some people in North Idaho that do a lot of showing and stuff with their sheep. In the past we've had a few Suffolk rams/ewes... I personally don't care for Suffolks as a breed. Not a big fan of hair sheep either, but thats just me. They seem to be extremely popular with dog people though.

Its a lot of work, but I don't really mind it. Lambing is fun with all the cute babies and I actually enjoy the huge time commitment of feeding morning and night more than my "real" job lol. That said, you can't be sqeamish about making the best choices for the health of the animals. My stepdad has tried to nurse some along that needed put down long before he did because he loves those **** sheep.

My parent's BC is pretty worthless, but we love him anyway. I think its mostly a handler problem...
He will not stand his ground to a ewe that wants to take him at all and forget working the cows, no way in hell he'd work the cows. They should've bought a ranch bred BC and not a trial bred BC. Oh well, he's a super sweet dog and we like him anyway!

We keep a llama with the sheep. The last two were great at their job, but our current one is a big fat fail, so the sheep just come in the lot every night so they are safe. They're so used to the habit they basically put themselves up. Liberty (the Llama) was free from some people who raise llamas and wasn't raised with sheep and is solidly middle aged so I'm betting thats the issue. Our last two (King and Henry respectively) were male llamas. King was pretty standoffish to people for the most part and killed one of my stepdad's dogs, but Henry was just really awesome.

We've got 35 head of cows too. Maybe more, I'm not sure... I think we kept back some more heifers this year. Its more a pain in the ass when something goes wrong with calving... usually you get them in the head catch at the cow barn and call a neighbor (lotta ranching out here in the boondocks), BUT I have to say we have a lot less instances of stuff going wrong with the cows and them needing help than the sheep do. They are so well fed and cared for that we get a lot of twins too, again usually with no issues. All our girls are fine during calving and other times, except one. We got her from a neighbor down the road and she's a different breed (Solaire)... Pie needs sold or turned to burger, she is no bueno.

All our other cows are Simmental/Angus cross mostly. We have one Hereford (used to have her mom as well, but she got cancer by her eye on the white marking and it went to her brain before we could do anything) and we've kept back a few heifers over the years from them, so Muzzy and a couple other girls are part Hereford. Muzzy is black with a white muzzle. She was so cute the day she was born. I was in high school and got to pick her up.

Our bulls are real well mannered too. They are big, especially Bob our Simmental boy, so obviously you have to be conscious of the power there, but overal just really good bulls. Our red Angus boy SS is younger, but he's been great so far.

They are smart enough to peel back the tin on the barn and get to the hay, whereas the sheep are not lol.

I much prefer the cows tbh. Even if my parent's herding dog is totally useless and I'm always the cowdog lol.

I will post some pics when photobucket decides its going to work.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:27 PM
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Sounds like more hobby than real production so here is my advice. Find out who is raising what in your area and find out why they are raising it. Here Romney and suffolk tends to be the dominant breeds. Why? Well our weather allows for a good wool length in romneys and they don't tend to suffer from hoofrot like other breeds do in our always wet pastures and Suffolk are a fast growing meat sheep - usually at the butcher before disease related to wet weather causes an issue.

Good fences are a great investment. Plan fences with the idea of keeping out the bad things and keeping in the good things. Coyotes, eagles, crows, bears, dogs, etc love to kill maim and eat sheep - especially lambs. One of the better fences I've seen for sheep was hog fence with hot wire running on both sides - then it just left you with crows, people, and eagles to worry about during lambing.
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