Howdy! from Texas

CentexSweetheart

Exploring the pasture
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(who didn't see my location coming?)
I kid. Not funny? That's okay.
Anyways, I'm Emilee, I don't actually have a herd (flock) at the moment. I plan to. Probably not for another year, because I don't have any land yet, but I'm working out the plan as I type. Basically I'm here to learn as much as I can from people who've actually done what I'm looking to do, before I go out and do it. That way, a year from now when I screw up everything that everyone told me not to screw up, I can log onto here and we can all get a good laugh provided I didn't kill anything.

So I'm hoping that last morbid thought didn't put anyone off, I'm a nice person, and I really would like to get along with y'all. I'm really excited and hopeful that I might learn the things I'd like to learn here.

I'm running on very little sleep these past forty eight, so I apologize if anything I said didn't make sense or was really weird or just dumb (like my howdy joke...but I really do say howdy...)

Best wishes.
 

kinder

Loving the herd life
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Well hi there ! What are you interested in ? I am new to all this also. welcome & good luck !!:frow
 

larryj57

Loving the herd life
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Welcome,
no matter what type livestock you get into, there is plenty of knowledge on this forum to assist with most issues. I think I've learned as much by reading here as I did growing up on a farm.
 

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Southern by choice

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Welcome to BYH! :)

What kind of livestock are you considering?
Goats are fun! ;)
Chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese are just a standard... got to have them.
 

animalmom

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Howdy right back atcha!

Texas is a big place, I'm in North Central Texas, about 2 hours west of the DFW metroplex. You'll find there are lots of us here... those lucky enough to be born here and those, like me, who got here as quick as we could.

I'm sure all of us could write a book... at least chapters in a book called "What I've done wrong, or things I wouldn't do if I could do over".

My advise: read, ask, re-read and keep asking until it makes sense to you.

Welcome!
 

CentexSweetheart

Exploring the pasture
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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. I'm sure I'll probably sound like a completely ignorant newbie when I tell you this, but I'm really interested in the small and/or miniature breeds of sheep. I realize the yield of the products are in direct correlation with the size of the animal, but I really don't need that much of anything, and smaller animals certainly make me feel more confident I can care for them on my own (or at least with less help than I would need for a 150 lb animal). Also, if I am to do the petting zoo thing I mentioned earlier, miniatures would also be easier to manage transport for, and I'd feel more confident about being able to subdue an animal in an emergency, especially one involving a child.

The breed that I'm most interested in learning more about at the moment is the miniature harlequin. I understand it's classified as a rare breed, but even so, I thought I'd be able to learn more about it than I have. Even the registry for the breed itself had very little information that I hadn't already found using google. If anyone has any helpful information on them I'd greatly appreciate it.

I've never had sheep before (my father had a pair when I was very young), but I've kept goats, chickens, and ducks. I kept two goats for FFA in high school, (one was actually to show and the other I took care of so my baby sisters could "raise" a goat too). I think raising goats would be more rewarding without all the pressures from the FFA teacher, so I would consider having goats again. My mother is very interested in Angoras, and this would be at least partly her project too, so I'll probably end up with some of those.

I'm still researching everything, but I think donkeys and llamas (alpacas?) as guardians are an interesting concept. I saw a video of a donkey that killed (or maimed, I can't remember) a mountain lion to protect it's owners dogs, and it was pretty intense, so no doubt they can do it, but I've much more experience with dogs. Even then, it's been made obvious to me that I may know a thing or two about dogs, I don't really know jack when it comes to LGD's. So either way I go is going to take some learning.
 

SheepGirl

Master of Sheep
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I think you should also consider larger breeds of sheep :D I am able to care for all of my sheep by myself, they weigh between 100 lbs and 200 lbs. The two 100-115 lb yearling ewes should mature to about 140-150 lbs. I have one mature ewe that is 142 lbs (3/4 Babydoll Southdown x 1/4 Montadale) and another (1/2 Babydoll Southdown x 1/2 Montadale) that is 187 lbs at their last weigh in. Earlier this year the 187 lb ewe weighed 199 lbs. I am young (19), short, don't weigh a lot, and have average strength, yet I am perfectly capable of handling and controlling the sheep by myself, with or without a halter on them.

All of my sheep except the 2013 lambs and my ram have been in petting zoo exhibits. They hitch a ride in the back of our truck and twice I have transported two 4 month old lambs in a dog cage in the back of my '94 Mercury Cougar :D

What are you looking to produce? Meat? Wool? Dairy? Choosing the breed you want based on what you are looking to produce and the quality/quantity of what you want to produce will give you the best experience with your sheep. Also--don't be afraid to crossbreed! If you are stuck on two breeds, don't forget that you are able to combine them! May I recommend checking out my Sheep Breed Selector? (Link in my signature.) The Harlequin is a just a crossbreed that a breeder tried to develop as a breed...to my knowledge, they still have yet to breed true (necessary for purebreeds) and the American Sheep Industry Association has yet to recognize them as a breed.

As for guardians--I am no help! I don't have a guardian for my flock because we have no predators (knock on wood). We have a pit bull next door that is allowed by my neighbors to run loose, but she has not tried to get to my sheep. But yes, we don't have coyotes, bears, mountain lions, or anything of the sort.

If you need any more information or help with sheep selection, sheep keeping, or planning for your sheep, just ask here! There are many experienced sheep keepers here on BYH. Don't forget to check out my Basic Sheep Care Guide (link in my signature) or you can check out some of my articles. (Link up top next to "Forum".)

Welcome to BYH!
 

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