Larsen Poultry Ranch - homesteading journey

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See? You’ve already got the fencing and housing available, just need to put it together 😉
Around here, bred ewes go for around $5-600 each for non-registered whatevers, but that’s up here in Canada. I would check prices on Kijiji or Craigslist and ask him what he wants for them — see if it’s comparable or maybe even a great deal.
You could also get the friendly one and one other to keep the price down and still have starter stock…if they lamb, keep one or two for yourselves and sell the others for your ram/hay money.
 

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I agree that you should think carefully about buying these sheep. If they lamb, you will have meat for the freezer. Lots of good lamb recipes on line - just don't overcook it.

I don't think you would have to pay that much. The ewes are cross breds so no value in breeding stock. Although they have been exposed to the ram there is no guarantee they are bred. If the weather has been very hot, the ram might be temporarily sterile - high heat does that to breeds that don't breed out of season. Hamps and Suffolks only breed once a year. Normal breeding time for those breeds is in September through December when the temperatures start to fall. Since you don't know that they are bred for sure you shouldn't pay a higher price on the chance they are bred. If they don't lamb you have lost a year breeding. These are not Dorpers or Katahdins that remain fertile and breed all year round.

Also, how old are the ewes? If they are 4 years old they are getting past their reproductive life. If they are yearlings or 2 year olds they would be more valuable. Unless he has a reputation for good Fair lambs, this cross won't produce more than freezer meat for anyone. However, you could get some good meat for your freezer.

Don't bother with the ram. Instead keep a large meaty ram lamb to breed next year to the ewes. Inbreeding for terminal freezer lambs is not a problem. Once the lambs are born you can sell any ewes that don't produce, or sell the entire flock at the auction after weaning the lambs.

Hay prices are astronomical, a lot of people won't buy now with the drought and hay prices. If you could keep them on his property in his pasture, and just cross the road to feed and water, it might be a good investment. Like I say, you would only have to keep them for about 7-8 months until their lambs are weaned and then if you don't like them sell them.

Unless there is a lot of green pasture available in your area, there may not be many people willing to buy. If there is a livestock auction near you, call and ask what sheep are selling for at the moment. Specify Hampshire/Suffolk crosses since Dorpers bring ore $$. Then ask what he wants for them. Remember the sale yard charges the seller 10% of the price plus a couple dollars per head yardage. If the price sounds right, offer a little less. He would have to load them up and take them to the auction so if you can just keep them on his property, he is better off than wasting gas. He can always say "no". And since you were not in the market right now anyway, if he refuses no problem.
 

Ridgetop

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By the way, you might be able to sweeten the deal by offering a lamb in the spring as part of the purchase. I would keep the ram with the ewes for another month to make sure they are bred but don't buy the ram. Rams are not nice and can be dangerous to children. Instead keep a ram lamb and use him unti the ewes are settled then put him in your freezer.
 

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Still no budging from hubby about the sheep. Maybe next year if things haven't gone to heck by then.

Saturday hubby helped at my parent's house with getting the foundation poured for a garage. It turned out well and looked really nice. Sunday we got up early and took chickens to auction. All the leghorn project cockerels went, as well as all the silkies I had hatched at the same time. I was just done with them spilling food and fighting and crowing and didn't want to deal with craigslist craziness trying to get them sold. The auction will be mailing a check so I have no clue how much I will be getting. Hopefully enough to cover the 3+ bags of food it took to get them this big.

All of the project leghorns looked the same: white with intermittent splashes of black feathers. Boys had red color leakage on the wings. All had muffs/beards. It was interesting to see that all the boys had yellow legs like their mothers, while the hens appear to have the grayish legs like a lighter version of their father. Since only FOUR of them were girls I am planning to do another hatch to get more hens so I can continue the project. I don't know if the leg color difference is visible when they are younger, if so that would help determine keepers a lot earlier and I can take the boys to auction before they eat a ton of food.

Sunday afternoon we processed a bunch of peaches. The in-laws tree was loaded and they sent us home with several boxes and bags of peaches. We cut them up and put them in the dehydrator and trying to do the freeze dryer but it is having trouble keeping the vacuum in order to turn on. I plan to make peach powder with the dehydrated peaches. There's still about half the peaches left to process. I think I might try a cobbler or mini pies tonight.
 

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Larsen Poultry Ranch

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Freeze dryer still broken. Peaches in the fridge look dark, not sure if because they are bad or because they were frozen and thawed multiple times. Need to bag them up and throw in the freezer. Or make pies. Or turnovers. Or smoothies. I'm getting hungry now.
 

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Managed to gather 7 eggs this morning! 2 from the leghorns!! Going to try to get close to a dozen if I can continue getting them daily and then set. TSC is still doing chick days so I might order some chicks to arrive when this batch should hatch and raise them altogether.

I'd like to get some meat birds, it looked like I could order 10 Cornish cross females for about $29. Seemed like a decent price even if they won't get as big as the boys. I could let them go a bit longer and end up bigger, but they get angry when they run out of food. Or I could check them each week and see if they have any on sale. Last year in store they had mixed leghorns and meat birds marked down heavily because someone put them together by accident. I wish I hadn't been so close to my due date then, hubby wouldn't let me get them. Maybe this year it'll happen again.
 

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