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U S A: SHEEP INDUSTRY. Revive it or just let it slowly die?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Sheep' started by The Old Ram-Australia, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Aug 9, 2018 at 5:38 PM
    The Old Ram-Australia

    The Old Ram-Australia Loving the herd life

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    G'day,I think you folks are having "way to much fun" with this topic?:)...T.O.R.
     
    Latestarter and Baymule like this.
  2. Aug 9, 2018 at 7:28 PM
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Are we not supposed to have fun? OK, we'll stop :rolleyes:

    That dairy thing. Seems to me it is a good thing we do dairy. Without it there would be no ice cream, no eggnog, no butter, no lots of things! And no sheep milk cheese.
     
  3. Aug 9, 2018 at 7:55 PM
    The Old Ram-Australia

    The Old Ram-Australia Loving the herd life

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    G'day ,of course its about having "fun".I'm so glad that it has generated the posts it has had.:thumbsup.T.o.R.
     
  4. Aug 9, 2018 at 9:15 PM
    High Desert Cowboy

    High Desert Cowboy Loving the herd life

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    I have a question TOR. In my area the sheep ranchers hold pretty strong to wool breeds of sheep, with most “range” sheep being some parts hamp/Suffolk cross. I bought a hair ram and the old boys act like I bought a bright pink Prius while I was at it. Over there is there a similar mentality toward hair sheep or have they begun to replace wool sheep?
     
  5. Aug 9, 2018 at 9:19 PM
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I'm doing my part to liven up the sheep industry!

    good question @High Desert Cowboy. I have a question about the wool sheep. Do the ranchers make more money on shearing the wool, or more money selling the lambs?
     
  6. Aug 9, 2018 at 10:57 PM
    The Old Ram-Australia

    The Old Ram-Australia Loving the herd life

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    G'day to you all,to answer HDC first.When we first brought our current farm out 2 neighbors were Fine Wool Merino breeders and we were told in no uncertain terms that "you keep those black-faced rams away from our stock".over the years other (so-called newcomers)have introduced all manner of sheep breeds including Hair breeds and in recent times they(the original farmers) have changed over to 2nd X prime lamb and away from straight wool sheep.Merinos Fine wool and finer are notorious for "poor lambing %",indifferent mothers and predisposed to "dropping dead " for no apparent reason plus the problems with flystrike and worms..In the last 10 years or so the Hair breeds have taken over much of the country which was considered as "wether country" for wool production and after the "crash" they could not cover the cost of production.I suspect that we lost about 80 million Merinos from the national flock,we now have about 75 million sheep and the reason wool prices are so high is that they were not economic to keep and so many farmers converted to Meat sheep and of late to Hair breeds due to their hardiness and lower running costs.Of course those that are left are now reaping the returns for their work.

    BM,It depends on not only the sheep ,but the land and the COP.We have wool-growers now who are producing 12 mic Merino wool which is as fine as Cashmere and their are plenty growing 14 mic for good returns in the current market,but its expensive to produce and as I said before the reproduction rates are not great it gets back to what your "passion is"...T.O.R.
     
    Baymule, Mike CHS and Latestarter like this.
  7. Aug 10, 2018 at 7:40 AM
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    That is not possible, you would have to buy a Prius in one of the standard colors and get it repainted. ;)

    It does seem like there is a "My way and the WRONG way" with "long time" cattle and sheep people. Not only "Don't bring that species HERE" but also "Don't bring that breed HERE". Its not like the are wind or insect "pollinated" and will mess up the existing herds. What does it matter if someone chooses a different path? Maybe they don't think coming in and doing the same thing as everyone else is the best business plan in a saturated market.
     
  8. Aug 10, 2018 at 12:32 PM
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    You have to remember, that the guy that wrote that is raising Herefords............... not Jersey, Guernsey, or Holstein.
    just follow the $$$$ but I'm pretty sure he would just love for any milk drinker to buy one (or more) of his books.......whether they get it to read the pages or wipe their behinds with when TBSSHTF.
     
  9. Aug 10, 2018 at 2:15 PM
    High Desert Cowboy

    High Desert Cowboy Loving the herd life

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    Most of the money comes from selling lambs for meat. For a long while, or so I’ve been told, the price of wool basically covered the price of shearing. That’s an added difficulty as well, as there are less and less shearers in the US. Some are using groups from New Zealand who come to the States in their off season, but if more and more folks start going to hair sheep in the Southern Hemisphere that could die out as well. We talk about a new generation not wanting to do the hard labor of a rancher or farmer, even less want to grow up and be a sheep shearer. I did my one ewe with hand shears and can safely say I wouldn’t want to make a career of it.
    That labor is another thing killing the industry, not only lack of shearers but shepherds in general. Lots of guys bring guys from Peru here for a few seasons, and that’s becoming a nightmare with all the immigration issues. How many people you know want to earn low wages living in a sheep camp? A full summer out on the range with no power or real facilities? Sounds great I know but that’s a single mans job. I told my wife when I retired (long ways down the road) I wouldn’t mind selling everything and living in a sheep camp (those little trailers with a little stove, eating area, and bed). I was told I was welcome too but I better be building her a house next door.
     
  10. Aug 10, 2018 at 7:13 PM
    The Old Ram-Australia

    The Old Ram-Australia Loving the herd life

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    G'day,there is money to be made raising Merinos for wool.The indicator price for 21 mic(these sheep are big and hardy) is around $20.00 per kg at the minute,They "cut" upwards of 8 kg per head.All up shed costs would run about $12.00 a head I reckon.In my opinion its a "numbers game",you run a commercial flock alongside a stud flock and have about 8000/10000 head on the run of "suitable country".To be successful on this lighter country you need really good fencing,superior wild dog controls and dont "drive" your country too hard in the bad times .
    T.O.R.