A request for new members

In which users discuss matters pertaining to the management of the health, welfare, and productivity of their flocks. Nutrition, pasture management, health care protocols, feeding systems, and such are all on topic.
Ballymena Sheep
Familiar Face
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:48 am
Location: southwest Oregon

Re: A request for new members

Postby Ballymena Sheep » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:26 pm

Not sure how much info is wanted here, and am sure I am going overboard a little. My husband and I both came from sheep-raising families. We kept sheep ourselves on a smaller scale as adults (about a dozen ewes and a ram) for a long time, but because of trying to juggle separate jobs (on the road) and farm and family, finally took a break and sold the sheep. About 3 years ago, now that the kids are all grown and have moved away with the grandkids, we started getting sheep again. We have discovered there are new kinds of sheep available we never knew about before, and the sheep we used to know have changed (suffolks especially), and so have the husbandry methods. So even though we studied up on all the "new" research from O.S.U. as it came out back in the late sixties and seventies to add to what the sheep and the folks taught us, and we have always been "hands on"- even always shearing our sheep ourselves, and our hair is turning gray now, we found we are newcomers. We wound up this time with suffolks, texels, and katahdins that are all registered purebreds of their respective breeds, purebred romanovs that are not registered, and a few grade dorper ewes. We have been lambing 16 ewes this year. We have been trying various breeds and crosses, and are having trouble making choices in which ones to stick with, because we see the strengths in all of them. We are impressed with the way these romanov cross lambs are hardy and vigorous, smart, up and nursing so quickly, and have much better size and meatiness than the pure romanovs. But we are totally blown away by the size, quick growth and amazing meatiness/muscling of the suffolk x texel lambs. And yet during lambing time, when/if we get up way early and actually get to have a cup of coffee instead of immediately having to deal with stuck lambs in our sleep, we are especially thankful for the easy-lambing katahdins. When we work sheep and we aren't as tough and quick as we used to be, we treasure the surprising mellowness of the purebred texel lambs. When the pasture is short and we are trying to make sure they get enough good quality hay (purchased off-farm), we appreciate the dorpers, texels, and katahdins knack for staying in better condition than the suffolks on the same feed. Because they made laws helping the cougars instead of the livestock producers, this time around we are finding there are problems with depradating cougars that we never had with the sheep last time we had them. So we had to start keeping the sheep in close and feeding them more purchased feed, and we will have to cut our numbers down unless/until we get past the problems of steep terrain and thick trees and brush, and build a perimeter fence so we can have LGD's, and choices are hard to make. What else I might put in here to help someone answer questions I might have sometime or other is that our land is bench land, varying degrees of slope, with a long-ago cleared and seeded area about 3 acres in size that is mainly what the sheep use now, fenced and cross-fenced with woven wire, with hotwire on the outside to kinda discourage predators. We are next to BLM forest and most of the rest of our 20 acres is steep and also forested with some small fescue-covered clearings. Our "farm equipment" consists of a pickup truck or two, a small flatbed trailer, some rototillers, a WW Grinder Renegade chipper/mulcher we use to chop up hay before feeding the sheep (works great), some chainsaws and hand tools, and some gas lawnmowers- no tractor of any sort yet, or other fun stuff. That should more than do it for the intro. Thanks for the opportunity to be part of these wonderful forums.

Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:47 pm
Location: Central coast California

Re: A request for new members

Postby kwagster » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:47 pm


My wife and I got into sheep to train a cattle dog and four years later we have about 100 ewes and two sheep dogs. We have commercial and southdown ewes and run a southdown ram. We have taken a deep interest in rangeland management as we have access to large, diverse acres.

Thank you,
Kevin Wagster

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:27 am
Location: Eastern South Dakota

Re: A request for new members

Postby nataliet » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:40 pm

Hi all,

My dad got me 10 Suffolk ewes and a ram when I was 10 years old, and the sheep were always my responsibility as a kid until I graduated from high school and left for college. After living out of state for 13 years, I returned home with my husband and 3 kids. My husband and I are both professionals and work in town, but have been helping out with the sheep here and there for a couple of years. Last fall we bought 40 acres adjacent to my parents' farm, and my dad gave me 1/2 the flock with the idea that I'd be in charge of lambing and summer grazing and he'd feed them through the winter. There are 85 mixed-breed ewes now. He had been pasture lambing for the last 20 years, but not in an optimized system, and with staggeringly high predator losses. We spent the entire spring putting up 6-strand high tensile electric fence and lambed in the barn. Lambing went great with strong hardy lambs, tons of triplets, and, as of 2 months post lambing, not a single lamb lost to coyotes. However, and this is a big however, now that its July, the parasite situation is completely out of control. We haven't lost any lambs, but the ewes are dropping like flies. Previously my dad co-grazed or rotationally grazed the sheep with cattle. At my place, the ewes are on smaller pastures and our plan to rotate with horses wasn't fully implemented due to the in progress nature of our fencing. In the near term, I hope to get us over this parasite problem, and in the long term I hope to optimize the herd for profitability by more informed replacement ewe selections. One of my off-the-farm areas of expertise is epidemiology, so it is natural for me to use data to make decisions. I'm excited to have found this forum with it's evidence-based flavor and the expertise and perspectives of the members here.


Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:14 am

Re: A request for new members

Postby Beltex » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:20 am

Greetings to everyone,

I'm an ex/sheep and beef farmer from the UK now currently living Stateside. I also ran a ultrasound pregnancy scanning business doing many, many thousands of ewes a year for over 250 farmer customers in an area no more than 35 miles from my farm such is the depth of the sheep/livestock keeping in the Welsh/English border country where I farmed.

I now consult on livestock production, systems and marketing with an emphasis on sheep. I look forward to mulling over the views and ideas being expressed on the boards here. I've spent my first 20 months here in the U.S. looking into the sheep/lamb industry and speaking with a variety of interesting people from within the various areas of lamb production.

I must admit to concern for the longterm health of the industry in America. I fully realize this is due in part to multifaceted problems of some longstanding. It's been interesting for me to equate the traditions and practices here after raising sheep in the UK. From the breeds kept to the marketing of the product it's so very different. Some of you will no doubt have been to the UK and seen at first hand these differences. Now, I am not saying it's perfect there but the overriding sense is one of standardizing the end product to the highest possible quality. Our export market to Europe demands that.

The main issue I have here is that BIGGER is most definitely not better and it will ultimately be/is the biggest single nail in any potential coffin. This is nonnegotiable and I have very little time for any viewpoint to the contrary. It's killing an industry.

I have other issues which I will address when I've scoured the boards.

I want to help in any way I can both a way of life and craft, for shepherding is a craft, so very dear to me. Much needs to be done.

Thanks Beltex

(Google this breed if you like)

Linda Poole
Old Hand
Posts: 299
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 6:59 pm
Location: Montana's northern prairie

Re: A request for new members

Postby Linda Poole » Wed May 14, 2014 9:11 pm

Hello from Montana's northern prairies. After three years of silent, frequent visits to this forum, I am happy to be a new member. My flock started primarily with Targhee ewes. The past couple years I've been crossbreeding into two distinct lines. Most of the flock is covered by Tamarack rams to improve meat production. Colored ewes and those with exceptional fleeces are bred to moorit Bond rams for production of handspinning fleeces. The Bonds also service all the ewe lambs, somewhat like using low birthweight bulls on heifers.

Lots of predators here, so the sheep require full-time bodyguards: a Spanish Mastiff x Great Pyrenees male, and a Maremma x Spanish Mastiff x Polish Tatra female. I'm really missing my late, great blue heeler Tim. Maybe someday there will be room in my heart for another stockdog, but till then, there's no better exercise than a couple hundred sheep who disagree with their shepherd about where to go and when to go there.

Looking forward to learning lots more as part of this forum.

Linda Poole
Malta, Montana

high plainsman
Old Hand
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:52 am

Re: A request for new members

Postby high plainsman » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:22 pm

Hello and Merry Christmas everyone. My wife and I have a relatively small flock of Ile de France/ polypay cross sheep. We fed out about 1500 lambs in a feed lot about 25 years ago. Due to having my job relocated we got out of the sheep business until 2004 when we purchased some polypay ewes. About four years ago we started using an Ile de France ram. We have had a GP LGD for most the time and have only lost a few sheep due predators. Most of those was from a neighbors dog.

Mike Thayer
Sterling, Colorado

Salt Air Shepherd
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:53 am
Location: Northumberland and Lancaster County, Virginia

Re: A request for new members

Postby Salt Air Shepherd » Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:05 pm

Hey, new member here as of today. I am fairly new to sheep husbandry but have been "farming" since 1998, after high school and college, part time, then full time and now part time again. Most of my experience has been with cattle and hogs and row crops, cotton, peanuts, and grain. I have been lurking about this forum for a couple of years watching my questions get answered as I dip my toes in the production of sheep and goats. I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this great forum and learn from some of the best. We live one mile from the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in far eastern Virginia....sandy soil, lots of precip. and heat and humidity.

Brian Barnes

Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:31 am

Re: A request for new members

Postby deacon12 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:52 am

Hello and thanks for havinge as a new member. We are a small family farm here in Louisiana . We have been in several different livestock operations . We were longtime cattle ranchers and thoroughbred race horses. We also up until recently bred and sold registered Hampshire club lambs. Our focus now is on starting a small quality Registered Texel Flock. Thanks. Matthew Givs

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:43 am
Location: Ohio

Re: A request for new members

Postby LegacyFarm » Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:06 am

Just received approval to join this morning - thanks for adding me!
We live in NE/central Ohio and currently have 20 ewes and 3 rams - we are fairly new to sheep, as this is only our 3rd year. Our original ewes and ram were all purebred St. Croix, but since then we have added some Katahdin crosses and one purebred Katahdin ram. Right now we sell for breeding stock and meat, and we choose to breed in winter for spring lambs (though the trend here is to breed and have lambs born mid winter - something to do with 4H and requirements for their animals). So we're the odd ones :)
Glad to be part of this forum - so many of you have such vast experience and knowledge, and I look forward to reading and gleaning all the info I can.

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:18 am
Location: Oregon

Re: A request for new members

Postby REgoats » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:34 pm

Thanks for adding me.
Hi I'm mike and I live in Oregon on a small farm where I raise meat goats, 20 head and slowly but surely working my way up to more and also trying to start a goat rental business and I just purchased my first maremma pup a week ago

Familiar Face
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:36 am
Location: Mendocino County, CA

Re: A request for new members

Postby poltroon » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:27 am

Thanks for getting through your backlog. It was a pleasure to see the message I had been added.

My daughter is in the 4th year of her 4-H sheep project and has four (club lamb) ewes that she's shown, two of which are due to lamb for her first lambing any day now. She has a terrific 4-H leader, which is wonderful because it lets me stay in the background. I have horses, but it turns out I quite like the sheep too, and I very much appreciate getting to learn on a forum like this. The archives are valuable and make excellent reading while we're staying up late to monitor the ewes. We're in the north coast area of California, and it seems like sheep are on the upswing in my neighborhood.

Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:20 am

Re: A request for new members

Postby Maria » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:58 am

Hi, I'm a new member. I'm in northern vermont. I have 48 pregnant ewes, East Friesian, Awassi, Forest Clun and Icelandic crosses, with East Friesian being the predominant breed. I'm starting a sheep dairy. I've had sheep for around 10 years but started out with 2, and kept a few more ewes every year, so I still feel like a beginning shepherd. I've been milking my sheep for around 5 years, for home use.

Familiar Face
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Re: A request for new members

Postby Blackshire » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:58 pm

Greetings from New Zealand.

We run a small 8.5 acre block of shedding, polled Wiltshire sheep. The Wiltshire is quite popular in NZ due to it's superior ability to resist feet issues on the softer, wetter grounds. It's also popular with small life style, small holder acreage farms due to the cost/hassle of shearing a few sheep for next to no return on the wool. There are Dorpers around too, but not as many in my region.

We are just about to commence our 5th lambing due from 11th August onward. We are slightly later than normal due to a late, dry summer.

In NZ, we tend to be a bit lazy with names. So instead of adding 'POLLED' to specify the difference, the polled variety is usually referred to as a 'Wiltshire' and anyone running the original, normally adds 'HORNED' to differentiate.

I started my first season with Arapawa ewes and Suffolk rams. But the feet issues on my soft ground had me looking for alternatives. I was trimming feet every few weeks. Besides, having no shearing facilities, I was pay $50 set up fee, then $10/sheep to shear with a return of $1.50-2.50/fleece. So it was me being fleeced!!

I came across a group of Wiltshire (polled) breeders almost by chance. I was ideally looking to fix the feet issues and so I bought my first flock from a mix from three separate breeders. The ram from one, and a mix age group of ewes with the other two breeders. Within 3 years, I had managed to breed up to a full shedding flock by swapping/buying/leasing a new ram each year and culling older/poorer shedding ewes.

2 years ago, the breeder I purchased my first ram from had to leave his farm and close down. A few years prior, he had a 50/50 Dorper/East Fresian ewe that when put to the Wiltshire ram, birthed a fully black ewe lamb. He kept her and she fully shed. This black ewe also produced a full shedding black ewe lamb before having to be put down for some reason.

That 2nd generation black ewe then produced a couple more so I purchased this small nucleus, and experimental flock.

So I now run 2 separate flocks. Blacks and whites. The blacks are not quite as strong shedders as the whites yet, but we are getting there. Last year was experimental breeding trials. This year, I have put all 9 black ewes to my excellent genetic white ram and all my white ewes taht have excellent shedding genetics to my young 95% shedding ram lamb. I ran them 3 cycles like that, then combined them as one flock to ensure as low empties as possible.

Why a black Wiltshire? Well the Wiltshire is sort after and has a strong following in NZ, and small holders like anything out of the norm... so it's fun, I enjoy the process of predicting genetic outcomes then seeing reality and then planning for the next year. I won't cross over to full black flock, as I will need to continually bring in new white genetics to stabalise the new flock.

8.5 acres. 18-20 breeding ewes and 2 rams.
Running Polled Wiltshire sheep of a high caliber and trying to achieve a fully black equivalent without shedding/feet/worm resistance compromise.

Old Hand
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:51 am
Location: SE Indiana

Re: A request for new members

Postby denice » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:48 am

ALL new folks wishing to register MUST send me an email in addition to using the registration here at this site.

I get 10 times as many requests from who knows what rather than real sheep producers. I realize this is one more step but it will avoid problems with the system.

If there is really a Crickview ranch, Justin Hilda, Jenny Wilfred, Katrina Mc Corki, or Bob Adams you need to send ME an email requesting membership and I would be happy activate you.

Thanks all

Alex Neshta
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:23 am
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: A request for new members

Postby Alex Neshta » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:23 am

Hello everyone,
Originally me and my wife are from Ukraine. Couple of month age we moved to Saskatchewan from Alberta and now we are buying a farmland close to Saskatoon to start our sheep farm. Thinking about Suffolk breed.
As we do not have any farm background we are looking for any information about it. So that why I am here.

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