How often do you check your sheep if they're not on your homestead?

ajmrzf

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One of my mentors checks on her hair sheep once or twice a week. I'm reaching out here to see if anyone else has successfully raised sheep this way.

I'm considering purchasing a piece of property with 10 acres of pasture. I'm looking at raising sheep there, but the property is about 30 minutes from my home, and I'd probably only make it out there once per week, obviously more during lambing, bad weather, etc. The property would have:

- A reliable and constant water source (or 2 or 3 or 4 😅)
- LGDs. Predator pressure would be mostly from coyotes
- more than enough forage for the herd size I'd keep
- shelter from weather
- electric fence + a mostly decent perimeter fence that I'd fix up where needed
- the 10 acre pasture is in the middle of 40+ acres of woods, so them getting out and being a nuisance to neighbors would be minimal with the surrounding forest plus the topography.

Does anyone do something similar successfully?

I have a small flock of katahdin and barbados sheep at my home. They never need anything... If I didn't have to refill their small waterer everyday, I don't know that they would need anything more than once per week or even less. We have an LGD and predator pressure here, too.
 

Beekissed

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If it works where you live, it sounds okay. I don't know if I could do it, but I'm sure others have and it's been successful. My sheep are also that easy care and I've never had any weird surprises with the sheep...but I feel the need to get eyes on them every day for some reason.
 

ajmrzf

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If it works where you live, it sounds okay. I don't know if I could do it, but I'm sure others have and it's been successful. My sheep are also that easy care and I've never had any weird surprises with the sheep...but I feel the need to get eyes on them every day for som

How would you feed your LGD once a week? I'd be nervous not seeing them daily.
Great question! I heard about Pet Lodge dog feeders on Greg Judy's YT channel. They hold 25 lbs of food. He puts them in a cage that only the dogs can get into (apparently his sheep will eat dog food. Mine have not shown interest in that, but I'd still cage it to keep other smart creatures from getting into it.) The feeders are small pest proof, too.
 

ajmrzf

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Wow! My sheep come up to sniff it because it sounds like their snacks hitting the pan, but they all turn their noses up and go back to grass. My dog also doesn't like to share, so that helps. 😆
 

Beekissed

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My sheep will knock you down and trample you for dog food. I'll be building one of the jump pens soon for the dogs so they can eat in peace....don't know whether to build or buy a continuous feeder.
 

Bicoastal

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I don't know if I would try lambing with once a week visitation. I know range sheep do fine on their own, but few of us can replicate those conditions and some losses are expected on that scale.

Tasty lamb trapped in a ten acre field surrounded by 40 forested acres could ring a dinner bell depending on your area's predators. If it gets below freezing, how you will manage the water? In high summer, how does the water stay clean and full?

I would want storage for round bales and to keep my numbers low enough that the flock does not burn through an entire bale in one week in deep winter.

Visiting once a week, you may spend all of your time repairing and maintaining the property rather than enjoying your flock. We all do the best we can, and this arrangement may work for you. Just think out the details to set yourself up for success.
 

ajmrzf

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I don't know if I would try lambing with once a week visitation. I know range sheep do fine on their own, but few of us can replicate those conditions and some losses are expected on that scale.

Tasty lamb trapped in a ten acre field surrounded by 40 forested acres could ring a dinner bell depending on your area's predators. If it gets below freezing, how you will manage the water? In high summer, how does the water stay clean and full?

I would want storage for round bales and to keep my numbers low enough that the flock does not burn through an entire bale in one week in deep winter.

Visiting once a week, you may spend all of your time repairing and maintaining the property rather than enjoying your flock. We all do the best we can, and this arrangement may work for you. Just think out the details to set yourself up for success.
Thank you for the reply. There are definitely plenty of things to consider. Lambing season would be a time we'd be out there more. It's one of the more pleasant times of the year, so we'd be out there more anyway.

I've talked to several sheep farmers here who don't even buy hay. I bought some just in case it was a bad winter, but there's always something growing in the field. Our winters aren't very harsh, and I won't be packing them in or anything.

Our main predators are coyotes. Even in our relatively suburban homesite location, we've had loss due to coyotes. I'd have to have 2-3 LGDs out there for sure.
 
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