Keeping Sheep - what breed

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John

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Keeping Sheep - what breed
« on: September 07, 2010, 14:13 »
We're taking on a smallholding with 4 acres of grassland in N Wales. It's about 600 feet high and quite windy being just 5 miles from the sea. The neighbouring farmer is running sheep on the land but we fancy putting our own on eventually.

I wondered about keeping a rare breed, perhaps Soay sheep and wondered if anyone has any thoughts on the subject.
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tosca100

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2010, 16:04 »
It's a lovely idea to keep a rare breed like soay, but they can be quite difficult. They don't herd like other sheep, quite independent natured, very agile too. You would need to do a bit of research, I'm sure someone on here may know something about them. Will you be living at the smallholding? :)

If so....I'm jealous! :lol:

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John

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2010, 16:23 »
Oh yes, we'll be living there. I intend only leaving in a pine box :)

Lots to research for us!

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2010, 16:34 »
There's a Soay Sheep Society.  Their web site contains a lot of good information.

http://www.soaysheep.org/
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noshed

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2010, 17:12 »
I saw some at a rare breeds show which were the size of small poodles and ate seaweed. They were great.
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arugula

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 17:24 »
I saw some at a rare breeds show which were the size of small poodles and ate seaweed. They were great.

That sounds like the Soay. :) I'm wondering if Blackface or something more hill-like would be good. How about Herdwick?

:)
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John

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 17:45 »
My vet warned me that some sheep are 'designed' for poor grazing and get 'bloat?' if they go onto land that's too good. However, we're going to be at 600 feet so not too lush. Not as bad as at 1000 feet though :)

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Trillium

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 19:15 »
Whatever variety you get, make sure those fences are hog-tight as we say over here. I've chased more than my share of those stupid wool-heads who spend the day figuring how to get out of the field and when they do they moan about wanting back in and run off when you try to get them back. >:(

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joyfull

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 19:47 »
at least being hillside sheep you won't have to dock their tails, they need them to keep their bits warm, however you will have to keep a check for blo fly  :(
Staffies are softer than you think.

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tedsdad

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2010, 09:49 »
B----y sheep they spend their life trying to get out,then die trying to get back in. Good luck Personally i'd keep a couple of nice Welsh Black cattle,better looking,more fun and far tastier,and loads of your neighbour will sell you a sheep for your freezer.

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Yorkie

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2010, 10:19 »
If they're going to be hillside sheep as Joy says, make sure you go for the breed with legs shorter on one side than the other, so they don't fall over  ;)
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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joyfull

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2010, 10:20 »
If they're going to be hillside sheep as Joy says, make sure you go for the breed with legs shorter on one side than the other, so they don't fall over  ;)

thats fine so long as they don't turn around  :lol:

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Yorkie

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 10:21 »
Knew there had to be a snag  :lol:

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joyfull

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2010, 10:23 »
have to teach them all reverse for when they get to the top of the hill and want to come down again - I have some spare lorry reversing bleepers and mirrors John if you are interested  ;) :lol:

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animal mad

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Re: Keeping Sheep - what breed
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2010, 13:40 »
i keep herdwicks and they are lovely sheep, would love the space, although mine escape from padocks really easy, can jump over normal stock fencing.



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