New Homestead in Montana

Baymule

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I LOVE my sheep! I started with 4 bred ewes 4 years ago. They are Katahdin and Dorper cross. I thought I wanted Dorpers until I found out how nasty they can be. More than one breeder told me of bent pipe pens and gates. I bought a black head Dorper ram whose sire would "take your kneecap off" per the breeder. My ram was an untrustworthy brat that liked to wham into me. Since I am always in the pastures and sheep lot, having an aggressive ram did not appeal to me. Plus we have 3 grand daughters and I will not tolerate a mean animal. Even the littlest (just turned 3) loves MEAN rooster soup! So that ram went to slaughter, I kept his son for one breeding and took him to slaughter.

We had arranged to buy Ringo from @Mike CHS and went to Tennessee the end of March to get him. He is a registered Katahdin. I am moving in the direction of Katahdins. MUCH calmer! His first lambs should be born in mid to late October. I can't wait. As I cull my flock, I will replace them with registered Katahdin ewes.

https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/ringo-has-moved-to-texas.39396/

I like polled sheep. Since I am in close contact with them daily, I like it that they don't have horns. I believe that horns or scurs are allowed, Mike can correct me if I am wrong. If I was to go for horned sheep, it would have to be Jacob sheep, those are some cool horns. But the Katahdins are the winers hands down for me.
 

MtViking

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Polled is preferred but horns or scurs are allowed and they are noted on the registration papers. That is one of those regressive gene things that shows up. Like we had a bunch of colors show up in sheep this year from all white sheep. :)
What does polled mean? Is that with out horns?
 

Pastor Dave

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Welcome to BYH from Indiana:frow
I am doing similar on the place we just bought. It's a lot smaller than your place by abt 10 acres, but doable for what we want: already have meat rabbits. Nice chicken house will have Layers hopefully sooner than later, and the couple of mini or dwarf milk goat does will come along once I get barn renovated some and some fencing put up.

Glad you came along, and now I will watch your progress and compare notes. I would like to process the offspring from our milk goats. Since I'm comfortable with doing Whitetails, should be a bit smaller and comparable when the time comes.
 

MtViking

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Welcome to BYH from Indiana:frow
I am doing similar on the place we just bought. It's a lot smaller than your place by abt 10 acres, but doable for what we want: already have meat rabbits. Nice chicken house will have Layers hopefully sooner than later, and the couple of mini or dwarf milk goat does will come along once I get barn renovated some and some fencing put up.

Glad you came along, and now I will watch your progress and compare notes. I would like to process the offspring from our milk goats. Since I'm comfortable with doing Whitetails, should be a bit smaller and comparable when the time comes.
That’s great it will be really neat to grow our farms together. We also want to get milk goats, and either meat goats or meat sheep. Those are probably 2-3 years down the road, I don’t have any out building to support the bigger animals yet so a barn is a big to do on the list. I can build shelters to start with, but yeah we are definitely on the same path. I can tell already that this is page is going to be a serious asset to getting things started.
 

farmerjan

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It is great hearing about your plans....OH TO BE 30 again........

I am glad that my thoughts did not scare you off. Since there are breeders closeby, that is great. You might want to go meet them, and if you find someone you "hit it off with" ask if you could help a bit so you can learn. Offer to help on a day they are catching them up to check for worms, or move them from one pasture to another, or anything that will get you out there with them. The owners may have a whole different "group" in relation to disposition and attitude.
They are pretty no doubt about it.

Here in Va they have passed laws about raising deer... Fallow deer were popular but getting into the wild populations were causing some major problems. Anyone that was "grandfathered in" could keep them, but the requirements were unbelievable.
Fences had to be 8 or 10 ft tall, no access to natural running water so no diseases could be spread like a creek or stream.... And I do understand. There are not the same rules for the different breeds of sheep; YET. But who knows down the road.
We had some Barbados BB get loose, and after 3 weeks of roaming the neighborhood and not being able to get them back in, finally shot them. They were just too feral to catch.

I have heard of some people having Dorper sheep and the rams being aggressive. But I also know a family that has them, and a special needs daughter ( she has downs but is pretty high functioning) and has shown them and helps her dad all the time with them. I have some friends that have added Kathadins and the one male is the worst dispositioned thing I have ever been around. I farm sit for them on occasion. I have to be careful as I have major issues with my joints and am going to have an ankle replacement this winter. Not going to deal with a ram that can hurt me. So there are bad apples in every breed but some tend to be more aggressive than others.

That said, we mostly raise beef cattle, run between 150-200 head brood cows on a cow/calf operation and both my son and I work full time jobs. I am working on the retirement part.... been a milk tester for nearly 30 years on dairy farms and have milked cows also. We make our own hay to feed too. So having "quiet calm animals" is important. Have sold a few bulls over the years because I did not like their attitudes, and that was when I could "run faster" than I can now!!!!

I have heard about the elk out there and the hay problems, but don't know if it is in your area. We deal with coyotes here and they can be bad. Many people have LGD's, we don't, but we do run llamas with the sheep and have also used donkeys in the past. Both have done well for us as "protectors". Gotta have very good fences for guardian dogs. But many swear by them.
We also have black bears, they only seem to want to be problems with feed and bird feeders, but there are several in our area.
They have reintroduced elk into the southwestern portion of Va and I hear the farmers are already hating them.....We have enough problem with the white-tailed deer population.

I have some purebred show chickens that also lay decent and raise up cornish x for meat. Normally have a garden, and the ground hogs are a pain in that. We called them woodchucks up in the New England states where I am originally from. PITA!

Great to have you here, the pictures are real nice.
 

MtViking

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It is great hearing about your plans....OH TO BE 30 again........

I am glad that my thoughts did not scare you off. Since there are breeders closeby, that is great. You might want to go meet them, and if you find someone you "hit it off with" ask if you could help a bit so you can learn. Offer to help on a day they are catching them up to check for worms, or move them from one pasture to another, or anything that will get you out there with them. The owners may have a whole different "group" in relation to disposition and attitude.
They are pretty no doubt about it.

Here in Va they have passed laws about raising deer... Fallow deer were popular but getting into the wild populations were causing some major problems. Anyone that was "grandfathered in" could keep them, but the requirements were unbelievable.
Fences had to be 8 or 10 ft tall, no access to natural running water so no diseases could be spread like a creek or stream.... And I do understand. There are not the same rules for the different breeds of sheep; YET. But who knows down the road.
We had some Barbados BB get loose, and after 3 weeks of roaming the neighborhood and not being able to get them back in, finally shot them. They were just too feral to catch.

I have heard of some people having Dorper sheep and the rams being aggressive. But I also know a family that has them, and a special needs daughter ( she has downs but is pretty high functioning) and has shown them and helps her dad all the time with them. I have some friends that have added Kathadins and the one male is the worst dispositioned thing I have ever been around. I farm sit for them on occasion. I have to be careful as I have major issues with my joints and am going to have an ankle replacement this winter. Not going to deal with a ram that can hurt me. So there are bad apples in every breed but some tend to be more aggressive than others.

That said, we mostly raise beef cattle, run between 150-200 head brood cows on a cow/calf operation and both my son and I work full time jobs. I am working on the retirement part.... been a milk tester for nearly 30 years on dairy farms and have milked cows also. We make our own hay to feed too. So having "quiet calm animals" is important. Have sold a few bulls over the years because I did not like their attitudes, and that was when I could "run faster" than I can now!!!!

I have heard about the elk out there and the hay problems, but don't know if it is in your area. We deal with coyotes here and they can be bad. Many people have LGD's, we don't, but we do run llamas with the sheep and have also used donkeys in the past. Both have done well for us as "protectors". Gotta have very good fences for guardian dogs. But many swear by them.
We also have black bears, they only seem to want to be problems with feed and bird feeders, but there are several in our area.
They have reintroduced elk into the southwestern portion of Va and I hear the farmers are already hating them.....We have enough problem with the white-tailed deer population.

I have some purebred show chickens that also lay decent and raise up cornish x for meat. Normally have a garden, and the ground hogs are a pain in that. We called them woodchucks up in the New England states where I am originally from. PITA!

Great to have you here, the pictures are real nice.
Yeah we have elk here they come down to the pasture in the fall and early spring it’s been a pretty wet year for us so they’ve stayed up high so far. I don’t have any hay planted yet just the wild grasses and weeds so I don’t mind sharing. Plus hunting season could be really easy if the elk come right to the front yard coyotes and mountain lions are going to be our biggest worries as far as predators go. I’ve got a 200 lb mastiff that will help with that although he’s a spoiled baby so he wouldn’t sleep outside like some sort of animal lol.
 
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