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Old 11-19-2008, 06:57 PM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,132,529 times
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Got sheep?

My wife and I have been doing some deep research on my side of the family tree and it goes way back to 1757. As far as I can tell, sheep have been a huge aspect of this farm ever since. When I was 4 years old, the sheep were sold off and we were sheepless until a few months ago. Now that I am taking over the family farm, sheep were rightfully returned. I really enjoy having them. Its a pathetic start at only 4, but I am in hopes to up the count to 150 ewes or so in the next 10-15 years and then level off at that.

So I was curious if anyone else has sheep on this forum? If you don't mind, you can state the number and breed. It might be nice to get an idea of who has sheep in case some advice is needed or whatever. Its a hard place to farm that's for sure, but its nice to know you are not struggling alone.

BrokenTap
4 Montadales

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Old 11-19-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,754 posts, read 49,594,922 times
Reputation: 19180
We have 2 sheeps:
a Romney wether,
and a black-faced Highland Ewe.

We did have a Shetland Ram but he kept getting out and chasing after a neighbor's ewes, so he made a visit to the freezer. Actually we had leg of ram this evening for dinner.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,788 posts, read 15,002,658 times
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I hate to rain on your parade, BrokenTap, but many sheep farmers have gone out of business due to coyotes. You need to ask around about that. I'm no sheep farmer, but I know three that went completely out of sheep due to coyotes. If you keep your herd dow to the number you can keep indoors at night you could get away with it. You also need to have your 25-06 close by at all times.
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,664,740 times
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I don't have sheep, but when I raised horses, I kept a donkey in the pasture with the foals to keep loose dogs at bay. Foals are no match for any predator, even loose dogs that travel in packs and know no bounds. The donkey was instrumental in keeping the foals safe. Seems they don't much care for anything that looks like a dog, including coyotes. It is a natural thing for donkeys. That tends to put your own dogs at risk, but you can train your own dogs to stay away from the donkey. One donkey can only do so much though, so you might need two or three. A very small investment for the work they do. Most donkeys are easy keepers and friendly toward children, too.

If you go this route, make sure you don't get one that was "trained" to tolerate dogs. If you get one that was trained to harness or saddle, beware!
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,754 posts, read 49,594,922 times
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Donkeys can be great.

However as a poster on a couple sheep forums I have heard of some issues with using donkeys.

Donkeys get to know and recognize each member of the flock, so they are untrusting of new members to the flock.

New born lambs or kids are seen as predators, and quickly stomped.

During lambing season a herdsman may need to provide shelter for the ewes and newborn lambs. To protect them from the donkeys. Then as the lambs are old enough to be weaned, they can be introduced back into the flock.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
653 posts, read 1,712,105 times
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i would like to keep Goats and sheeps, if the coyotes are problems in Maine,
whould electric fense help to keep them out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
I hate to rain on your parade, BrokenTap, but many sheep farmers have gone out of business due to coyotes. You need to ask around about that. I'm no sheep farmer, but I know three that went completely out of sheep due to coyotes. If you keep your herd dow to the number you can keep indoors at night you could get away with it. You also need to have your 25-06 close by at all times.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Maine
7,728 posts, read 11,056,201 times
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LLama's are sometimes used to protect sheep.
Guard Llamas
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Maine
6,059 posts, read 11,454,866 times
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I haven't lost livestock or poultry to coyotes or bobcats since getting guardian dogs.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,754 posts, read 49,594,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boonskyler View Post
i would like to keep Goats and sheeps, if the coyotes are problems in Maine,
whould electric fense help to keep them out.
No.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,754 posts, read 49,594,922 times
Reputation: 19180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
I haven't lost livestock or poultry to coyotes or bobcats since getting guardian dogs.
LGD do seem to work well.

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