A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE OLD RAM

Bruce

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140,000 acres! Don't even need to translate that from English/Australian to American ;)
That is a LOT of land!!!!

Huge change for them going from wool sheep to meat goats. Going to be some learning to do.
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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Hi Bay, I was
Exclusion fencing. Haven’t looked it up yet, but I bet it’s the same as high wire fencing or game fencing, in Texas. It keeps all the exotic animals IN and coyotes and hogs, etc. OUT. Game fencing is priced by the mile, it ain’t cheap!

10,000 breeders. I can’t even begin to comprehend. Shearing 10,000 sheep! Boggles the mind.

YOU saw the writing on the wall and are way ahead of the game. When I decided on sheep, I studied hair versus wool and hair sheep won.
thinking about that fence last night So I re-visited the item again this morning and yes ,it surround's a farm of 140.000 acs..I saw this type of fencing a number of years ago and it was $10.00 a foot. .T.O.R.
 

Ridgetop

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High tensile woven wire 7' high is what we are pricing for our new place in Texas. Game fencing. In our case we are fencing it like that to keep our LGDs in since the ranch is o a highway. Originally going to do the entire 45 acres but now re considering starting with just 14 acres including the house and barn then adding ore perimeter fencing later.

Huge change for them going from wool sheep to meat goats. Going to be some learning to do.

Actually, switching from wool sheep to meat goats will not be a big learning curve since with that much acreage they are on pasture, and they are similar to sheep in husbandry. And they will be saving on shearing costs. There is minimal return these days in wool prices. Even though I understand that Australia pays extra payments per head to wool raisers. Also depending on the type of wool, many raisers are under government contract. That may have changed in the past years.

Switching to meat goats, particularly if they switch to Boers and breed for 3 kiddings in 2 years, can raise their production by an average of 1 additional kid per year. Boers are bred to be more disease resistant in hot dry climates. Goat prices are higher than lamb in ethnic markets. When you figure 10,000 breeding animals the addition of 1 additional kid per breeding doe per ewe is huge, even if you drop it to 75% of the does producing the extra kid.
 

Bruce

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But don't goats need copper? Seems just the requirement to dose "x" number of goats would be lot more work than sheep.

10.00 a foot.
:ep
:th
I cannot even imagine enough money to fence 140,000 acres at $10 a foot. By my calculation that is an perimeter of 313,000 linear feet or $3.13 Million! How is that even minimally affordable on an ROI basis?
 

Ridgetop

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Yes, goats need more copper than sheep. However, copper is in the soil and depending on the soil mineral level you should have enough in your forage. If your soil is copper deficient, you will need to supplement with copper. Some areas of the country have more copper than others. You need to know the mineral levels of the areas your hay and forage are grown. Supplementing with copper is easier than making sure sheep don't get too much. You can use loose minerals or mineral blocks that have copper in them. We used to use cattle grain for our dairy milkers. Got can eat sheep and cattle feed, while cattle and goat feed are often forbidden to sheep because of the fear of excess copper. Feed and supplements with copper are more readily available than ones without copper.

Not sure what the copper levels are in Australia.
 

farmerjan

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We have found that the "limited copper" thing with sheep may actually mean they are deficient... we use our cattle feed for the sheep.... they do not run with the cattle... and they do get their own mineral... The "colored" sheep often would have that reddish tinge to the black coloring and that is almost always a copper deficiency. So, I am not saying it isn't something to consider, but there are times that the strict guidelines may just not apply.
 

Cecilia's-herd

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We have found that the "limited copper" thing with sheep may actually mean they are deficient... we use our cattle feed for the sheep.... they do not run with the cattle... and they do get their own mineral... The "colored" sheep often would have that reddish tinge to the black coloring and that is almost always a copper deficiency. So, I am not saying it isn't something to consider, but there are times that the strict guidelines may just not apply.
You are just a well of knowledge!
 

Ridgetop

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Sheep are much less susceptible to copper poisoning than people think. Dorpers and Katahdins have a higher tolerance to copper, possibly a higher need for it. It's possible that all hair sheep are like that since Farmerjan's Dalls also tolerate copper. The majority of copper poisoning in sheep could be due to choosing the wrong mineral supplements. Has anyone actually had any sheep die from copper poisoning? As shown by a necropsy?
 

Legamin

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G'day to you all.After almost 20 years breeding our line of Suffolk’s we will over the next 12 months sell almost all of the flock and transition to a composite Hair flock. Starting from “scratch “by purchasing small lines of ewes and suitable rams along with some genes of our Suffolk’s we will begin to breed up a suitable type of slaughter lamb which has the ease of production (i.e. no shearing or crutching)but with the eating qualities of the English Shortwools.

I guess some of you are Hair Sheep Breeders, have you found any adverse comment about the “denseness “of the meat or a taste they dislike? Down here the supermarkets present the two types quite differently, but perhaps you all have taken the trouble to target them properly?

I have observed some “consumer pushback” to the eating qualities of the Hair or Tribal breeds and the prices at the saleyards “reflect this”, but if we apply the production methods we use with the Suffolk’s the lower prices we receive for breeding females and production rams will be off- set by the reduced workload and we will be able to continue to farm sheep for a number of years into the future.( I'm now 75)

Buying in the sale yard is a “risky” business” as in the main the stock has some sort of “fault” but with careful breeding these initial problems will be overcome, buying in the private market results in mainly small lines (maybe even just one or two ewes at an exorbitant price)for which you have to travel for hours to look at. Our regional sale is a 200 km round trip but there are times when you will be able to purchase some very good lines as an average sale is over 6000 head on a weekly basis(small I know by the numbers some sales attract), you just have to turn up each week and because we wish to start with about 100 ewes with as big a genetic pool as possible it seems the way to go.

The introduction of the Australian White is such a breed, but the path they took seems to be a “well kept secret”, although I did miss out on a “run” of their young ewes recently because I did not “have my wits about me” and realized too late what they were.

So this week we purchased our first ewes, they were within budget and all looked to be “in-lamb” (14 in all). They are a mixed lot of BH and White Headed Dorpers; some are pretty “scruffy” and need to be cleaned up. I don’t think the traditional method of sheep shearing is the way to go as on the first side you are shearing against the way the hair lays, so I think I will try a shear down method like the way you finish on the second side in normal shearing. If you clear around the tail and up to the “pin”, then start at the “poll” and go down the neck across the shoulder and finish the “first side” turn the sheep over and do the second side as normal will result in a “cleaner “ looking job.

I would be interested in any of “your” experiences in this type of breeding; I will resist the use of Poll Dorset’s but may try a Texel, Wiltipoll, White Suffolk or even a Border Leicester, but I fear it may put too much “leg” under the lambs.....T.O.R.View attachment 37754
I selecting the breed of our sheep one of the first things was to start finding breeders and ordering samples of product. The primary difference that I found was that the hair breeds seems to need to be slaughtered at the point that they are not recovering hair from the Spring drop. In the end I went a different way in trying to help bring a rare breed back from the edge of extinction. The fact that they are enormous, calm demeanored and delicious was a delightful bonus. I will say I found a distinction between lamb that comes from Australia/New Zealand and it is a stronger flavored meat than the average similar breed sheep in the US. Of course this depends on feed largely and I am not knowledgeable of all that you feed your sheep but the majority of sheep in the US are organic lush green grass fed, some Winter hay supplement in colder climates and the tendency to avoid almost all medical intervention and vaccines in the sheep headed for market. There will be higher losses but the meat is fork-cut tender and the flavor is ‘sweet’ and very unlike the New Zealand lamb at Costco. My average customer will pay up to $6.50lb on the hoof for a 180lb 6 month old lamb. It is definitely a high demand niche market and I’m sure if I talk about it too much it will vanish. But my wool bearing sheep have worked out well. The down side is that the breed produces too much wool! I have to shear twice a year and get a 7” coat each time. However…lemons to lemonade..I found a cleaner and processor that can turn this into specialized roving and yard that sells for $22.00 per ounce and costs about that much per pound to get it processed and shipped back. That’s my .02 worth. I do know that dealing with a hundred sheep and dealing with thousands is a whole different world and it moves and different speed…one that I can’t keep up with anymore. I’m just trying to turn my retirement into an profitable and enjoyable lifestyle for my children and grandchildren. My last thought would be if the import meat here is stronger because it is in refrigerated shipping for much longer than the local product?
 
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