Selling Qs & Paddock Layout Help.

secuono

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I'm wondering if I should change how I sell.

Right now, I'm doing a reservation list, where people send in a deposit with what they want and when a lamb is born that fits their needs, they can accept it or pass and wait for another.

But I'm thinking of getting rid of the list and doing it a bit differently.

Once all lambs are born, I then choose who I'm wanting to keep and post the rest as available.

It would be strictly first deposit, first served. No holds, no maybes, no nothing. Sending a message about a lamb, showing interest, would not reserve it for you and anyone else could "swoop in" or "steal" and claim it as some might say.

I feel like I try harder to get people their lambs instead of working on keeping lambs and growing the flock by having the list.

I have one ewe who is reserved and she is making me rethink it. I like how black her wool is staying, I like her natural curiosity that is starting to show and I like her build. These are things I can't see at birth and that makes the list troublesome.

Yes, I could keep both. But I feel like people want to secure lambs as soon as they are born and not wait longer into the season to know who they are getting or if one that fits their needs is available or not. And I get that, too. I also want to quickly pick out who I am getting, from whom and when, so I can coordinate other purchases and plan out the roadtrips. But I need to grow the flock.

I am even considering keeping the 2 adult rams if they do not sell and use them again and keep all ewes from them next year. But that would put me at 5 breeding rams, one a fence climber and only 4 paddocks. It's best to have the rams separate by an empty paddock, as they like to fight through the fence and they can do some serious damage in no time.
I could split two of the paddocks further, and I am wanting to do that. But that is a ton of fencing for only 4 usable paddocks.

It seems to be an even split of those who want to be on a secure list and those who want to wait and pick once they're born w/o the concrete commitment.

I feel like I'm answering my own questions, but still want opinions.

What do you guys think?
What do you do?


Green dot for active paddock.
Red dot for empty buffer paddock.
Right now, it would have to consider the horses' track system.
Screenshot_2017-04-08-14-00-45-1.png

I've thought of making the track around most of the land and having the sheep paddocks within it. It would make moving them easier. But still just 4 possible breeding paddocks. I could probably cut # 7 & 8 area into thirds to have a 9th. If I do 9, I can have 5 groups.
Like so-
Screenshot_2017-04-08-14-12-55-1.png

Red are horse gates. Can be opened to complete the track and allow use of barn.
Orange would be main sheep gates. Can use the track to shuttle the sheep to any pasture easily.
Yellow are gates that may or may not be installed. It would make mowing easier, but moving sheep through would only work if no one is using the paddocks in between.

If I use pallets on the # 1 & 2 fenceline, then I can use # 2 for a breeding paddock. It is a short line of fence and all wood posts.
So then with 8 paddocks, I can use 5 of them or with 9 paddocks, I can use 6.
Screenshot_2017-04-08-14-28-53-1.png


*Nothing to scale!
 

Cloverleaf Farm

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This is my first year with sheep, but I've bred chickens for years, and one lesson I learned pretty quickly is that you have to come first. If you sell everything everyone else wants first, you'll end up with nothing, and regret some of your sales.
As far as the paddocks go, could you double some of the fences with just a few feet in between? Seems like you have a lot of wasted space with an entire empty paddock in between each one....??
 

secuono

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It's only for a short while in the fall, Oct 15 until the end of December. So it's not too bad. But it would be far easier and cheaper to just double up the current fences...hmm, more options to think about. Thanks
 

Roving Jacobs

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From the sounds of your posts it seems like you have plenty of demand so I would have a waiting list and let them choose once you've made your decisions. Especially if you aren't selling them as bottle lambs they're going to have to wait until weaning anyway. Who wants wishy washy customers anyway? Things are a little different for me though, I can't even submit my jacobs for registration until at least 4 months for ewes and 6 months for rams so there's no way I can reserve someone a ram at birth that might not turn out to be registerable by weaning.

I run a lot of rams and if it were my property I would just get rid of the fence climber and not have to worry about needing more paddocks :p I don't like making accommodations for one animal with bad habits.
 

secuono

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They still headbutt through the fence and popped all the fasteners off a couple wood posts. So one climbing isn't that bad.
I can add a temporary hotwire to his section of fencing right at the top, so when he climbs, feet securely on the fence, his nose touches the wire and he gets a very crisp zap.
Electric fence doesn't work any other way on them, lol.
Oh, actually have a video of it somewhere.
 

Goat Whisperer

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We do an interest list.
People can have their name on a list and will be notified if the kid becomes available.

Less hurt feelings if/when you retain kids.
 

misfitmorgan

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So late to the party.

When i bred dogs, i had a waiting list. They were NOT allowed to pick sex, color, etc...just a name and contact on a list.

Puppies would be born, I would notify them we had a litter and 6 weeks later I would pick any keepers. Then I would call/email whatever the top person on the list. Let them know they were first to pick and i would ask them what they were interested in? If i had a puppy that fit the bill i would tell them, if not i would tell them they would need to wait longer....on to the next and so on until puppies were all spoken for. They had 2 weeks to get me a deposit, I kept my puppies until 12 weeks old. It seemed to work out well, no one ever knew how many puppies i did or did not have, no one got upset. They didnt know if i had a litter of 5 puppies all males or 8 puppies 5 male/3 female.

Worked well for puppies and i imagine it would work well for most critters.
 

secuono

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Haha, late is better than never.
I finally decided what I'll do about lambs. Still working out kinks for new paddocks, but may have it figured out for the most part though.

I'm keeping a list of interested people. Their lamb requirements under their name, as I don't want to keep a million people waiting around when they could go elsewhere and it's terrible when people just vanish and not tell you or get pissy at you because they missed out on other lambs because I may or may not have what they want. Dealing with the public is a delicate and stressful thing! Lots of people to contact and weed out right when they are ready to go will only delay pickup and people want them as young as possible to get to befriending them.

I've only ever kept back one ram, so those are available to be chosen at birth. The likelihood of keeping another is slim and the numbers to choose from great.

All ewe lambs will be waiting until they are 10wks old at the earliest, then I'll decide if their wool, conformation and/or personality makes them a keeper. Though, certain ones will be chosen to be kept from the moment they are born, unless there's a glaring fault.

I'm getting 5 ewe lambs from across the country and that should help a lot with diversity and being able to sell unrelated breeding groups.

My flock will nearly double this spring, if enough keeper ewe lambs are born! Waiting on price quotes for wood post install for this project-
20171215_135549.jpg
This kicks out the horses to the new land, but it also makes the paddocks cheaper.

So then the horses will have a long lane out along the new land's fence line, in orange. Or I may also include that D shaped area and trees, in blue, so that they can clean up brush under the trees and beat down weeds while I try to keep them mowed. Won't be for awhile that the D area will be worth cutting for hay, so I have time to further plan and expand the horse track. I may add a thin lane up the center, in purple. That will complete the loop and keep them away from the neighbors. Though, I may just have it run the whole fence line, in green, and hope neighbors leave them alone....then I don't need to take the fence down for hay cutting...hmmm.
20171215_140624.jpg
 
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