Sheep on 1/2 acre?

eden

Herd lurker
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
2
Is it realistic to have 2 milk sheep on 1/2 acre? There's already chain link all around. If the space is adequate, how would the fence need to be modified to keep them in? Thanks!
 

Mike CHS

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
8,756
Reaction score
28,807
Points
743
Location
Southern Middle TN
I answered your other post so I'm glad you started your own. What kind of neighborhood is your property situated in? The reason I ask is referring to neighborhood dogs. They can be your worst problem and among the hardest to deal with. You can keep sheep on any amount of acreage but with that small of a property you will be supplementing with feed and hay (a lot) since they will have any grass gone in short order. I think @Baymule or @Devonviolet had at some point some chain link so I assume they will be along at some point to confirm or deny. :)
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
20,303
Reaction score
50,513
Points
823
Location
Northeast Texas
The chain link fence should keep them in. Your problem will be in keeping dogs OUT. A hot wire ran at the top and at the bottom will take care of that.
 

Niele da Kine

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
148
Reaction score
214
Points
93
Location
Moku Nui Hawaii

This is two sheep on a quarter acre, but we have high rainfall, lots of grass and are willing to feed sheep instead of mowing. We started fencing for sheep before the new neighbors moved in and they brought a young pit bull. I was really worried about the dog eating the sheep, but they actually get along really well with each other. I've since removed the tin roofing I'd put there to keep the dog from looking at the sheep. They like to hang out near each other and occasionally they bump heads through the fence.

Their pit bull friend will hopefully do a lot towards keeping other dogs away.
 

Beekissed

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
3,069
Reaction score
3,755
Points
413
Location
mountains of WV
Depending on your climate, you'll soon be out of grass for them...they are voracious eaters. You'll also have a lot of impact on the soils, so the chances for parasites and coccidia may increase with time, as well as other soil born bacteria and fungi. If none of that bothers you and you'll be prepared for those things, then it's definitely doable.
 

Niele da Kine

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
148
Reaction score
214
Points
93
Location
Moku Nui Hawaii
Our neighbor has 5 pit bulls (all rescues) that are as sweet as I have ever seen.
I don't like pit bulls, but there are some very good ones out there. Our neighbor has 2 that are terrific dogs. It sounds like your neighbors have one of the good ones.
Yeah, there's some 'good' pitbulls, but any dog will bite at some point over it's lifetime and when a pit bull bites, it's got a jaw structure that can do some serious damage. They're bred to 'maul' instead of just bite and let go like a wolf type dog. Kinda like the difference between a really sweet shark and a grumpy goldfish, maybe the sweet shark won't bite but if it does you'll really notice it. The neighbors also have small children, I kinda worry that they will get bit at some point. The dog is very friendly, but it still has scary abilities. Maybe I'm just worrying about nothing, though, the sheep and the dog do seem to get along amazingly well, although I had very low expectations so as long as the sheep don't get eaten that's in the 'amazing' category for me.

A chain link fence should keep out neighborhood dogs if they can't climb over it so maybe a line of electric fence at the top or a line of barbed wire at the top would be useful? Around here we have feral pigs so the farmers who want to fence them out of their fields put a line of barb at the base of the fence, if there's digging dogs, that may be something to do. Barb wire isn't that expensive.
 

Niele da Kine

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
148
Reaction score
214
Points
93
Location
Moku Nui Hawaii
Depending on your climate, you'll soon be out of grass for them...they are voracious eaters. You'll also have a lot of impact on the soils, so the chances for parasites and coccidia may increase with time, as well as other soil born bacteria and fungi. If none of that bothers you and you'll be prepared for those things, then it's definitely doable.
If there's not enough room for cross fencing, what are the best practices for combating parasites and coccidia? Periodic worming medicine?

Since we fenced our back yard and got two sheep, the neighbors also fenced their's and got two sheep. We may try to talk the next neighbor over into fencing her back yard and let us move our four sheep from yard to yard to yard to keep all three back yards mowed. That would allow for us to do rotational grazing, but until the sheep get the grass flat in the back yard here, we want them to keep on task if possible. Guess I should ask the shepherdess we got our two sheep from what worming medicine she uses and how often. She has rotational grazing, though, so we would possibly need to medicate more often?

How different are 'herd management' practices when one's herd is all of two sheep?
 

Beekissed

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
3,069
Reaction score
3,755
Points
413
Location
mountains of WV
If there's not enough room for cross fencing, what are the best practices for combating parasites and coccidia? Periodic worming medicine?

Since we fenced our back yard and got two sheep, the neighbors also fenced their's and got two sheep. We may try to talk the next neighbor over into fencing her back yard and let us move our four sheep from yard to yard to yard to keep all three back yards mowed. That would allow for us to do rotational grazing, but until the sheep get the grass flat in the back yard here, we want them to keep on task if possible. Guess I should ask the shepherdess we got our two sheep from what worming medicine she uses and how often. She has rotational grazing, though, so we would possibly need to medicate more often?

How different are 'herd management' practices when one's herd is all of two sheep?
It's a good idea to do rotational grazing with the neighbor but if they too have the same sort of acreage size and same number of sheep, you are back where you started....too many sheep on too little land. Be aware that they may not eat ALL the grass you have as they can be picky about what they eat, so leaving them on it until it's all gone will likely result in them overeating the good stuff right down to the soil....that destroys all the good grass and it won't really recover after awhile. It also has them eating grass down to where the parasites live.

Parasites complete their life cycle~they say~on grass 3 in or shorter, so keeping grass taller than 3 in. may help decrease parasite loads....but nigh impossible on 1/2 acre and 2 sheep.

I wouldn't worm on a schedule as you will likely just develop resistant worms that no longer respond to dewormers. You can do a fecal on them to determine worm loads and only worm if they are heavily infested.

Herd management is easier with less stock but it also depends on the type of sheep you are getting...wool breed management is different than hair breeds.
 
Top