Keeping multiple breeds?

thylacinu

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Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I can't seem to find much information on this particular situation, and I'm brand new to this world.

Are there any issues that can come from keeping different breeds of sheep with each other? I'm curious about any considerations for husbandry or behavior.

I'm not looking to raise or breed sheep for milk, meat, or fiber (though I'm not opposed to shearing and working with wool for breeds that produce it). I'm just considering a small "herd" of three or four sheep (ewes or wethers only--I'm not interested in dealing with intact males on ANY non-humam species :p) and keeping them as pets.

So: is it smarter to have only one breed, or is it practical to keep one sheep each of a couple different breeds?

I would think that it also depends on WHICH sheep breeds are being kept—if so, are there any breeds that would do particularly well mingling?

It just seems like owning one Shetland and one Babydoll and one Jacob is a silly idea—but is it a BAD one?
 

frustratedearthmother

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I'm not a sheep person, but I can't see anything wrong with the idea. Some things you might want to watch for if you have sheep that are much different in size is if you have a bully. A big one might bully a smaller one away from feed. Or horned sheep picking on unhorned sheep.

I have little goats, medium goats and large goats that run together. While the smaller goats might end up getting a little less feed - they're smaller and they don't actually need as much.

Good luck with getting your dream sheep!
 

cjc

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Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I can't seem to find much information on this particular situation, and I'm brand new to this world.

Are there any issues that can come from keeping different breeds of sheep with each other? I'm curious about any considerations for husbandry or behavior.

I'm not looking to raise or breed sheep for milk, meat, or fiber (though I'm not opposed to shearing and working with wool for breeds that produce it). I'm just considering a small "herd" of three or four sheep (ewes or wethers only--I'm not interested in dealing with intact males on ANY non-humam species :p) and keeping them as pets.

So: is it smarter to have only one breed, or is it practical to keep one sheep each of a couple different breeds?

I would think that it also depends on WHICH sheep breeds are being kept—if so, are there any breeds that would do particularly well mingling?

It just seems like owning one Shetland and one Babydoll and one Jacob is a silly idea—but is it a BAD one?
We have kept sheep of different breeds. The only concern I can personally see is a size thing. Just like any animal the small ones always get picked on. So when it comes to feeding time its something to consider I suppose.

This year my entire herd of sheep got taken out by coyotoes. One after one :mad:
 

secuono

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These would be what I'd worry aboyt- small vs giant, horns vs polled, type that needs a little copper vs type that's ultra sensitive.

I have a Corriedale in with my tiny Babydolls, she's super submissive, so no threat to them.
 

Roving Jacobs

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I've run up to 4 different breeds (jacobs, cormos, cvm/romeldales, longwools) plus angora goats together and they're all fine. Lots of people have spinners flocks comprised of different breeds. It only gets tricky when you're trying to breed them and get purebred lambs which sounds like it isn't an issue for you.
 

Sheepshape

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No problem with sheep breeds being mixed together (unless you want pure strains and have a mix or rams and ewes, which is not your objective).
Unexpectedly, the smaller breeds can sometimes be more aggressive than the larger. I'd go for polled (hornless) varieties which are known to have placid temperaments if I were in your shoes.
If you're having a Jacob, I'd go for the less common two curly-horned type. Even the ewes of the 4 horned type can have nasty spikes little 'front' horns. Jacob rams = horrendous horns. Shetland ewes can have horns, though usually don't.
Though ewes usually recognise and actively seek their own breed (especially at mating time), this isn't a problem with a few sheep and you aren't after keeping rams in any case. Rams will, not to put too fine a point on this, mate with any ewe that lets him.:pop;)
Throughout the year I run my flock of 3 different breeds of sheep together, only separating them off at mating time.
So, in short, sheep are happy to have other breeds of sheep as their companions, but sheep are not happy to be kept alone. If your neighbours have rams, you will need to keep ewes as far away as possible from them when they start to cycle (I'm just trying to locate an intact ram of mine who has disappeared overnight across at least two high fences looking for a neighbours ewes.......and he won't be fussy, any breed will do.
 

WolfeMomma

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I don't see anything wrong with it other then maybe different management practice. We raise katahdins and my son is going to raise shetlands, which will need a different fence and bedding. But if your are just pets then yeah I would just keep them all together and watching for bullying .
 

Baymule

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Since you will not be breeding, why not just have wethers. Then you won't have to deal with ewes that are looking for a boyfriend and no boyfriend will come calling.
 

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