hair sheep compared to goats?

AMT15

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can hair sheep survive off of forage alone better than goats? Do they do good on forage other than pasture? And do they need more care than goats, hoof trimming, worming/parasites, ect.

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AMT15

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and also their personality and intelligence? I am kinda bias against sheep and I'm trying to get over it, lol.
 

SheepGirl

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Well sheep are more of grazers while goats are more of browsers...so if you don't have pasture, I'd recommend goats. Sheep hooves need to be trimmed 1-2x a year and hair sheep seem to be more parasite tolerant than wool breeds. But you can always select for these traits, too--just let the ones that get high parasite loads die on their own.

Sheep...as for personality and intelligence...these are the personalities I've noted among mine: annoying (baaing too much lol), pushy (can't wait an extra second to be fed), stand-offish (they don't come up to you as willingly as other sheep). I would say they're moderately intelligent. It took them 2 feedings to recognize that the big black trash bag I was carrying holds their hay and they were no longer afraid of it. My oldest ewe has realized that halter = me touching her, trimming her hooves, leading her around, having her do what I want, etc. The younger sheep haven't quite figured it out yet :D But then again I've seen some sheep try to jump through solid walls to get away when you catch them (even when the others are going the opposite way). So some can be downright dumb lol
 

boykin2010

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In my experience, I only trim sheep hooves once every couple of years. But not everyone gets trimmed because not all of them need it. I know a lot of people trim a lot more than me. I hate trimming and my sheep's hooves never seem to be that bad. I have noticed that sheep with black hooves (mainly what I have) do not need to be trimmed as often. I have hair sheep and have never wormed mine. Also, never had a problem with worms.

They do well on pasture but I do not have any browse for them so I don't know how they would react.

Mine are pretty smart. They respect the fencing, and they know what time I feed them. They are waiting on me at 5:00 every day at the front of the pasture. They know me and are very friendly. When we have guests they act skittish because they aren't used to them. So I know they realize who is who and trust me.
 

boothcreek

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Compared to the 2 goats I own and the dozens I've met so far my Barbado are about 10 times smarter then them, the goats just drive me plain and simply nuts with their dumbness right now. like twice a day one of them get the awesome idea that he wants to chew on the stallions e-fence(supposed to be strong enough to stop a raging bull) and gets zapped a good one(that fence downed me for a second, should put a goat in a coma) and run away screaming, just to then come back and do it again(if they werent castrated I would think they get some sort of turn on from that, who knows)...
the sheep touched it once and now avoid any suspended wire cause it may be charged and check it by going close with the nose WITHOUT touching it to see if its on(you can feel the static).
Even the 3 wooly lambs figured that one altho they are almost on the same level on the dumb scale as the goats. They graze on a slight hill and walk a few feet over the top so they cant see the rest of the herd and then freak out thinking they are alone while my barbados look on with a "whats wrong with them?" expression.

My barbados free range, so I dont have to feed anything all summer, I do trim feet in the spring cause 5 months of snow they dont get their feet worked down at all. They brows quite a bit but are much more selective in their browse(we love evergreens, any branch in standing-on-hindlegs-height is bare), eat the flowers off of thistles too but other then that mainly graze.

They come when they see me with a bucket and are easy to catch and handle(once they are use to the system it works awesome). I think most hair sheep arent much different in character then woolies, the more primitive breeds(texas dahl, barbados, painted deserts etc) have still the wild sheep smarts and quick thinking tho. Some people find those infuriating, but I find the wild instincts a whole lot more predictable/workable then the domestic one.

They dont trust strangers which is fine by me, but once you are in the good books you get mugged for treats just like me.
 

AMT15

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Thanks for all the replies, and the great info! I was also wondering about aggression in the rams?

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SheepGirl

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My ram rams into me whenever I go in his pen. He just gave me a bruise the other day the size of a 50 cent coin on my leg (which still hurts :(). But usually as soon as I enter the pen I choke him (I know it sounds mean, but it lets him know what I'm capable of :p) and that usually reminds him not to bother me for the rest of the time I'm out there. But through the fence, when I'm NOT in the pen, he is a complete doll and will walk up to you and will let you pet him (but we don't ever pet him on the top of his head!) and everything.
 

boothcreek

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My rams never showed any agression towards people, but I never tried to make pets out of them, if they get tame enough for a quick pet over the back(or in the winter hold onto his haunches so he can drag me up the icy hill to their pen :lol:) or scratch on the chin fine but nothing is encouraged and never any touching on the forehead/face.
They get to eat out of my hand and personal space is totally forgotten by my one Ram Jason when I have a bucket of grain in my hands. Because of him I have to carry the bucket on my shoulder now, otherwise he will walk beside me on his hind legs trying to get his head in the bucket(and his horns are too big so he doesnt fit but still tries to lean in with all his body weight... :rolleyes: he's a dork).
He tried once to lean on me with his front legs to reach the bucket on my shoulder and got hell (1 well placed back-kick in the gut), hasnt tried it since. The goats I have to beat up twice a day so they dont jump up on you, who is the smart one in terms of learning here? The Sheep also know if they go past the one building in the yard they get in trouble since that is the "garden" territory which is off-limits, the goats dont get that rule either....

Jason only ever gave me 1 bruise and that was by walking past me trying to get into the feeding paddock before me and hooking me behind the knee with the tip of his horn cause he passed too close(hes got no idea how wide his headgear is).
Now when i go to feed I have trained him that if he walks beside me(ever seen a sheep heel, kinda like that) and I have my hand in front of his face with fingers spread that means -move over you're too close- and he seriously moves over about a foot so he cannot accidentally hook me. Dunno when I taught him that but we just kinda worked that sign out at some point.

Rams really vary in personality, just like people.
One thing I have noticed tho is that the fathers personality really get passed along. My super mellow, mindful rams Sons have been absolutely carboncopies of their dad character wise and so have the ewe lambs, even with flighty moms out of that ram any lamb is like him in character.
So if you go to buy a ram lamb for breeding, go check out the sire if you can and if you like his character chances are the sons will be a lot like him.

Thought I better add that we own 5 rams right now, never had any issues and none ever even gave the hint of any agression.
 

AMT15

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lol. And to You who breed both sheep and goats, who is easier? matures faster? ect.

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boothcreek

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Sheep hands down. They are easier to keep penned, the goats get out of everything and respect no boundaries of any sort. Also the sheep(even my slow maturing Barbados) mature faster then the goats have on the identical care/feed etc.
 
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