Dairy Sheep on One acre/Icelandic Sheep

Aped

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Oka yI have a few new questions:

1. How many Icelandic sheep could one keep on 1 acre, for dairy purposes, if they were to get all of their diet from grazing?

2. Also what is the feasibility of buying a small herd of Icelandics, put them on a few acres, leaving them there and coming back for them when it is time to shear and process lambs? Like they do, or did, in Iceland.

2. Is there is mini sheep breed that is good for dairy? Or what is the smallest one that is? I'm not interested in being drowned in sheep milk. Just a couple good months of milking to make a bit of cheese.
 

mully

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I would think not more than 3-4 per acre. Also consider winter months when you would have to buy hay. If you have a good stream that is clean water and lots of pasture you could chance leaving them, but these sheep may not be used to these conditions. That is why it is sometime tough to raise wild animals
 

lupinfarm

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You won't have sheep for long if you just leave them, Coyotes...
 

Aped

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lupinfarm said:
You won't have sheep for long if you just leave them, Coyotes...
Yes I did consider that too. Iceland doesn't have any large predators.

I wouldn't be too worried about keeping a couple ewes on an acre, but if I want milk I also need a ram and then there would be lambs that I would either want to keep or have processed.

I wish I had more space. I am not sure how people ever end up with 100 acre farms. I guess it's a family thing.
 

SunnyD

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lupinfarm said:
You won't have sheep for long if you just leave them, Coyotes...
I had a situation when I had to leave my Florida Cracker Cattle alone on my farm for a several months at a time. To protect them and calves they would be having, I bought a young donkey to use as a "Guard Donkey." And she has lived up to that name! I now live on the farm and have seen my donkey chase large and small dogs off the pasture and I have never seen the same dogs back twice. Be aware, however, that your donkey will see your own dog the same way. In time my Boston Terrier has learned to stay away from the donkey as well as the Mallard duck by the gate;)
 

Aped

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I was thinking if they needed a guard it would be a dog but those are kind of high maintenance(food) to be left alone for any amount of time. Guard donkeys never even crossed my mind. I guess you could also have llamas,too. They'd make a great guard because they eat the same thing is the sheep but I am not sure of their hardiness compared to the Icelandics. Either way it would be a gamble leaving sheep to roam but talk about low maintenance!

I just like the idea that this is how these sheep came to be. All the sheep that couldn't take the extreme weather or available graze, died while the stronger sheep lived and passed on their genes.
 

lupinfarm

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Ehh.. Guard Dogs.. I'm wary of them now that in our area we have seen Coyotes distract the dogs and then attack the livestock. In a lot of cases the coyotes will also attack and kill the dogs. Same with the Donkeys. Your best bet to keep the Coy's out is to hotwire the entire place to hell.
 

lupinfarm

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Aped said:
lupinfarm said:
You won't have sheep for long if you just leave them, Coyotes...
Yes I did consider that too. Iceland doesn't have any large predators.

I wouldn't be too worried about keeping a couple ewes on an acre, but if I want milk I also need a ram and then there would be lambs that I would either want to keep or have processed.

I wish I had more space. I am not sure how people ever end up with 100 acre farms. I guess it's a family thing.
Or a lots of money thing. We have 8 acres, but for over $200,000 you can pick up a 100 acre farm. The only thing is, the level of maintenance that has been done on the place also impacts the pricetag on it. You could buy a run down, uninhabitable 100 acre farm for $100,000 ...
 

Eliza

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go to the Wool and feathers website and ask them. they are a small farm in VT that raises icelandics. I bet they would be a great resource.
 
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