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ENSJ

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Hi all,

I registered on backyardchickens and found this forum through there. I don't have any animals yet (save for cats and dogs), but I dream of one day owning and running a farm based on syntropic and permaculure principles. I'd love to have all kinds of animals, though smaller sized versions than current standards, as well as fruit and vegetables.

I'm on this forum to find out more and see how people deal with housing, managment and any problems that may arise. Even if the chance is small that I get my hands on agricultural land, I like to be prepared for when I do.

Currently my hobbies are: Taking care of my pets (which includes hiking with my dogs), sports (weight lifting and cardio, though I'd like to do some yoga and krav maga as well), cooking and baking, reading and writing (I prefer both in English), and making business plans and creating excel files for my dream farm (and scaling it down to realistic proportions).

Kind regards
 

Baymule

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Hey! Welcome to BYH! I joined BYH 5 years before I got sheep. I used that time to study the forums. First I studied goats, meat and dairy goats. Then I studied sheep and found out there is such a thing as hair sheep! No wool to shear, who knew? I didn’t, but thanks to BYH I learned a lot about hair sheep and decided they were for me!

I raise Katahdin hair sheep. I have 30 ewes and 3 rams. Dreams do come true!
 

ENSJ

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Hey! Welcome to BYH! I joined BYH 5 years before I got sheep. I used that time to study the forums. First I studied goats, meat and dairy goats. Then I studied sheep and found out there is such a thing as hair sheep! No wool to shear, who knew? I didn’t, but thanks to BYH I learned a lot about hair sheep and decided they were for me!

I raise Katahdin hair sheep. I have 30 ewes and 3 rams. Dreams do come true!
I think I already read your thread about the Hereford pigs and their pig palace ^^

Been studying up like crazy on different breeds and what would work for me (I'd like to take my farm commercial if I ever manage to start it, so it's a different take from a hobby farm). Though I'd prefer smaller sizes of almost any animal (mini goats, mini sheep, small cattle) for easier handling I know that would not really work commercially. Though then again, I wouldn't focus on meat and dairy, it would be a bonus product that I get while using the animals in a biodynamic way.

I'd probably want to start with poultry (either ducks or chickens and some quail) and rabbits. Then move up to goats, then pigs. Sheep, horses and cattle are really only for when I would have people helping out and a bigger place. Same with other poultry (pheasants, partridges, guinea fowl, geese) I'd need a lot of space to give them the quality of life they deserve.
So realistically I'd stick to rabbits, ducks, quail, chickens and bees if I get my hands on small farm.
 

Baymule

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Don’t discount yourself. I’m 68 and by myself. I handle my sheep just fine. Occasionally I get help, but for the most part, I can handle them. I’ve had cattle, I like cattle, but don’t want to wrangle a 2,000 pound bull anymore. I had a Longhorn bull that could jump the fence like a deer and he was always trying to run me down. In honor of stacking up birthdays, I just don’t want to do that anymore.

I have a working chute for the sheep, that helps a lot. It needs improvement but it’s a great help. I would love a tilt table, maybe in the future.

Yes, that was me with the Hereford hogs and pig palace. I like heritage breeds and Herefords are eye candy. Might as well have something to look at.

My husband died and I sold that 8 acre farm and bought 25 acres. I have 30 ewes and my goal is 50. If the land and I can handle 50, well and good. If not I can always scale it back to a manageable number.

Right now I’m getting another field fenced and will start on a 3 sided barn. Plenty to do around here.
 

purplequeenvt

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Anyone selling “mini sheep” is selling 💩.

There are small breeds, but there are no actual mini breeds. Some of the smaller breeds would be the Ouessant (not sure if there are any/many in the US), the Soay (shedding wool breed, basically feral), the Babydoll Southdown, and the Shetland.

There’s something called a Harlequin that claims to be a “miniature” but even that breed can get to around 150lbs. They are also really rare which = very expensive.
 

ENSJ

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Anyone selling “mini sheep” is selling 💩.

There are small breeds, but there are no actual mini breeds. Some of the smaller breeds would be the Ouessant (not sure if there are any/many in the US), the Soay (shedding wool breed, basically feral), the Babydoll Southdown, and the Shetland.

There’s something called a Harlequin that claims to be a “miniature” but even that breed can get to around 150lbs. They are also really rare which = very expensive.
When I say smaller sheep I'm thinking of Brecknock Hill Cheviot and Black Welsh Mountain sheep. They are not as small as the Ouessant or Soay, but not as big as some other breeds. It'd be a happy medium.

For goats, I like a lot of breeds, but for dairy I'd lean to Nigerian Dwarf (for the high butterfat), Nubian, Oberhalsi and Saanen. I know standard sizes are better than the mini's that are still in experimental stages and don't breed true.

Only with cows would I like the smaller original types. So not the recent miniature Jerseys. But the Jerseys as they were before they sized them up through breeding. Same with Belted Galloway. And I think the JerseyxDexter cross (Belfair or Belmont) are neat for dual purpose breeds.
 

purplequeenvt

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When I say smaller sheep I'm thinking of Brecknock Hill Cheviot and Black Welsh Mountain sheep. They are not as small as the Ouessant or Soay, but not as big as some other breeds. It'd be a happy medium.

For goats, I like a lot of breeds, but for dairy I'd lean to Nigerian Dwarf (for the high butterfat), Nubian, Oberhalsi and Saanen. I know standard sizes are better than the mini's that are still in experimental stages and don't breed true.

Only with cows would I like the smaller original types. So not the recent miniature Jerseys. But the Jerseys as they were before they sized them up through breeding. Same with Belted Galloway. And I think the JerseyxDexter cross (Belfair or Belmont) are neat for dual purpose breeds.

That’s good. I just get concerned when new livestock people start talking about miniature livestock because, in my opinion at least, minis are a fad and new people often get into them because they’re cute or they think that they’ll be easier to handle. The exception would be the miniature dairy goats.

Sounds like you might be interested in heritage breeds. Have you looked at the Livestock Conservancy website?
 

ENSJ

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Sounds like you might be interested in heritage breeds. Have you looked at the Livestock Conservancy website?

I have and have a ton of heritage breeds I'm interested in.

With sheep I like the Brecknock Hill Cheviot, Black Welsh Mountain Sheep and Icelandic sheep.

You already know my goat preferences, though I also like Gottenburg and British Alpine (for the swiss style cheeses, not for milk). Edit: For meat only I'd go for Kinder goats I think.

Rabbits... Champagne d'Argent, Beveren, Stone rabbit, Belgian Hare (I also like Harlequins but they aren't considered heritage I believe)

Ducks: Aylesbury, Saxony, Welsh Harlequin, Cayuga, Appleyard, Orpington, Ancona. Out of these the Aylesbury and Ancona are going to be most difficult to find where I'm from.

Geese: Pilgrim and Roman (I also like my endemic Flemish goose that looks a bit like a Pomeranian saddleback and the Brecon Buff)

Chickens: too many, though my top five would be Barred Plymouth Rock, Welsummer (considered a heritage breed here in Europe), Australorp, Wyandotte and Sussex. Now the Deathlayer is quite rare and endangered so if I were to try and breed any chicken it'd be the Deathlayers.

Oh and for pigs. Tamworth and Berkshire definitely. Though if I were to try breeding them I'd go for Kunekunes since they are smaller and have an overal friendly temperament.
 
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