Was offered some sheep..

Jaime

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Yikes, So my Grandfather came up to me yesterday and told me he had a friend who's having a hard time keeping his two pet sheep, And was wondering if I could take them in? Now, I've never raised sheep before, Just pigs, Horses, and Goats.. What are they like? What type of housing do they need? How hardy are they? What should they eat? Should I take them in? I would have to make room for them somewhere in the barn or in with my goats before I could actually make a proper house for them.. I Have an old playhouse that I could tear off the walls and replace with plywood. And replace the roof.. But I don't think it's big enough? it's about 7' x 3'.. Sounds too small for two sheep. I really don't have the money to build another pen but if I will do any of you have suggestions for cheap sheep pens? The guy who owns the sheep is having a hard time keeping him due to his neighbors but doesn't want to give them up since they are his pets.. He's friends with my grandfather and apparently my grandfather said something to him about me have a farm with a whole bunch of animals and what-not and could probably take them in. Is there a possibility i could keep them in with my horses for the winter or is that a big No? I also have a-somewhat large trailer, 6w x 10l I could put a whole bunch of straw in and stick them in there inside my goat pen which is about an acre of fence in property.. Would that work? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
 

misfitmorgan

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What are they like? What type of housing do they need? How hardy are they? What should they eat? Should I take them in? I would have to make room for them somewhere in the barn or in with my goats before I could actually make a proper house for them.. I Have an old playhouse that I could tear off the walls and replace with plywood. And replace the roof.. But I don't think it's big enough? it's about 7' x 3'.. Sounds too small for two sheep. I really don't have the money to build another pen but if I will do any of you have suggestions for cheap sheep pens? The guy who owns the sheep is having a hard time keeping him due to his neighbors but doesn't want to give them up since they are his pets.. He's friends with my grandfather and apparently my grandfather said something to him about me have a farm with a whole bunch of animals and what-not and could probably take them in. Is there a possibility i could keep them in with my horses for the winter or is that a big No? I also have a-somewhat large trailer, 6w x 10l I could put a whole bunch of straw in and stick them in there inside my goat pen which is about an acre of fence in property.. Would that work? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
:welcome

First off we need a general location on where you live, that will vary the answer to your questions.

The type of sheep, do you know if they are wool sheep or hair sheep....breed?

Goats and sheep can be put together, you must check all grain, loose minerals, treats, etc for copper. Sheep can not have added copper, goats require copper. We have been keeping our sheep and goats together for a number of years, we feed a sheep mineral and a sheep grain then give copper bolus to our goats once a year.

We will be separating our sheep/goats as soon as possible because of fighting between our buck and the rams. I would assume the pet sheep does no include a ram so you shouldnt have to big of a problem there. I do know our goats in general boss our sheep around but for the most part they do get along.

As far as what are sheep like....i like our sheep better then our goats if i'm honest. The sheep are more calm, do better in winter, and are not as tough on pasture/bushes/trees. The goats seem bratty by comparison.

Let us know the where and what and we can answer your other questions.
 

Jaime

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:welcome

First off we need a general location on where you live, that will vary the answer to your questions.

The type of sheep, do you know if they are wool sheep or hair sheep....breed?

Goats and sheep can be put together, you must check all grain, loose minerals, treats, etc for copper. Sheep can not have added copper, goats require copper. We have been keeping our sheep and goats together for a number of years, we feed a sheep mineral and a sheep grain then give copper bolus to our goats once a year.

We will be separating our sheep/goats as soon as possible because of fighting between our buck and the rams. I would assume the pet sheep does no include a ram so you shouldnt have to big of a problem there. I do know our goats in general boss our sheep around but for the most part they do get along.

As far as what are sheep like....i like our sheep better then our goats if i'm honest. The sheep are more calm, do better in winter, and are not as tough on pasture/bushes/trees. The goats seem bratty by comparison.

Let us know the where and what and we can answer your other questions.
I live in New York so it gets pretty cold around here, Not sure on the type of breed. I'll have to ask the man. They would stay with the goat just for the winter until I can build them a proper house to put them in and give them their own fenced in area.. Thank you for the reply! Would hay and corn do well for the sheep for now?
 

Baymule

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Don't put them in with the horses. Horses are big and can play rough. Are you expected to keep these sheep as pets so the owner can come visit? Are they ewes so that you could breed them and raise lambs from them? You could then add to your flock or raise the lambs for slaughter or sell them.
 

Goat Whisperer

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The two sheep we had never got along with the goats. They were very aggressive towards the goats, we had to separate them before they made the goats abort.
Something to think about if they do not get along, do you have a backup plan?

I would also make sure they are tested for OPP, CL, & Johnes before introducing them into your herd.
 

Jaime

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Don't put them in with the horses. Horses are big and can play rough. Are you expected to keep these sheep as pets so the owner can come visit? Are they ewes so that you could breed them and raise lambs from them? You could then add to your flock or raise the lambs for slaughter or sell them.
So horses is a no-go, The original owner can come and visit but I would own the sheep since i'll be paying for all their feed, bedding, and housing. I think both are ewes. No rams and I most likely wont be breeding them since i'll be getting some cows in the spring for milk & meat. Thank you for the reply~
 

Devonviolet

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:frow :welcome From beautiful East Texas!!!

We have LaMancha goats, for milking. Since day one, I have played with the idea of getting some hair sheep, to breed and raise lambs for butchering. We live near @Baymule, so we get to see her sheep. They are SO cool! And she has some of the cutest lambs!!! :love

I have been trying to get her to milk her Ewes, but she just doesn't want to do that. Besides . . . Why should she be bothered, when she can buy Kefir and mozzarella cheese from us??? :lol:

Now, that I am reading about you getting some sheep, I am wanting to get sheep again. We give our goats copper boluses, so we wouldn't have to worry about the sheep getting copper in the loose minerals.

I talked to DH about it, and despite the fact that in the past he resisted getting sheep, he is actually open to getting a couple hair sheep. I suggested I might milk them and try sheep's milk, for kefir and cheese making. If nothing else, we would have lambs for butchering. :drool I LOVE lamb!!!!! And I just recently watched a video of an Australian butcher, butchering a lamb, that he had someone else kill and clean.

Goats tend to be bred for spring kidding, and our LaManchas only go into heat in the Fall. However, if I'm not mistaken, sheep can be bred year around. (Hmmmm, I wonder if Baymule has any bred ewes for sale??? Hint, Hint :lol:)

I am getting ready to dry off my two girls, for kidding in April. It wouldn't be that much extra work, for me to milk a couple ewes.

Congratulations on being able to try sheep raising.
 

misfitmorgan

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I live in New York so it gets pretty cold around here, Not sure on the type of breed. I'll have to ask the man. They would stay with the goat just for the winter until I can build them a proper house to put them in and give them their own fenced in area.. Thank you for the reply! Would hay and corn do well for the sheep for now?
Since your in NY i would assume they are wool sheep, though there are hair sheep pretty much everywhere. If they are wool sheep they pretty much just need a 3 sided shelter that faces the appropriate direction(generally south for us northern people). Our sheep are wool sheep(Suffolk) and sleep outside on the hay pile a lot, even in negative temps. Wool sheep are quite hardy animals.

The two sheep we had never got along with the goats. They were very aggressive towards the goats, we had to separate them before they made the goats abort.
Something to think about if they do not get along, do you have a backup plan?

I would also make sure they are tested for OPP, CL, & Johnes before introducing them into your herd.
It probly depends on the goats and sheep in question, it took a long time for the two herds to integrate. I think this last move is the first time i have seen them actually getting along and thats after 2+yrs. If they were ever being really aggressive to each other i would split them up some how but i havn't seen any of them be more rough on the other species then they are on their own for our group.

:frow :welcome From beautiful East Texas!!!

We have LaMancha goats, for milking. Since day one, I have played with the idea of getting some hair sheep, to breed and raise lambs for butchering. We live near @Baymule, so we get to see her sheep. They are SO cool! And she has some of the cutest lambs!!! :love

I have been trying to get her to milk her Ewes, but she just doesn't want to do that. Besides . . . Why should she be bothered, when she can buy Kefir and mozzarella cheese from us??? :lol:

Now, that I am reading about you getting some sheep, I am wanting to get sheep again. We give our goats copper boluses, so we wouldn't have to worry about the sheep getting copper in the loose minerals.

I talked to DH about it, and despite the fact that in the past he resisted getting sheep, he is actually open to getting a couple hair sheep. I suggested I might milk them and try sheep's milk, for kefir and cheese making. If nothing else, we would have lambs for butchering. :drool I LOVE lamb!!!!! And I just recently watched a video of an Australian butcher, butchering a lamb, that he had someone else kill and clean.

Goats tend to be bred for spring kidding, and our LaManchas only go into heat in the Fall. However, if I'm not mistaken, sheep can be bred year around. (Hmmmm, I wonder if Baymule has any bred ewes for sale??? Hint, Hint :lol:)

I am getting ready to dry off my two girls, for kidding in April. It wouldn't be that much extra work, for me to milk a couple ewes.

Congratulations on being able to try sheep raising.

Many breeds are actually seasonal breeders like our suffolk, but as far as i know most hair sheep are not seasonal breeders. Alot of people milk sheep though not so much in the US. The milk is richer but you get less from each sheep as far as i know.
 

Girlies' Mum

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Hi, will leave the practicalities to all the experts you have here already - I would just reiterate don't poison them with copper supplements for the goats. I am posting to say that pet sheep are quite special if they have been brought up that way - delightful, intelligent loving creatures (I have 4, 2 big and 2 little!). I love them to bits. If it is practical for you to take them after reading all the advice, I would be pretty confident you will get a lot back from them.
 
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