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Old 08-19-2011, 12:03 PM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,334,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz in SC View Post
If we did sell any offspring,it would be selling 'off the farm' so to speak...Craigslist is great.

If you've got the ready sales market for live sales, good for you. We had a neighbor who used to raise goats and he'd take a trailer full to a large manufacturing plant near us once a month on their payday ... sold every one of his goats to the workers there who would take them home and process them themselves. Minimal work, no sale barn fees and commissions to pay, a win-win for him

We have a processing facility close by that people could use if they so desired...could even set up some sort of deal into the pricing maybe.

I would think the biggest market here would be the ethnic buyers.

Pretty much true throughout the USA at this time. The biggest markets are the big city ethnic marketplace of the Eastern USA.

We do not want wool of any sort,too much trouble.We want hardy,self reliant livestock of all sorts,not just sheep.

Given white faced sheep wool around $2.00 these days, you may want to rethink that.

"hardy, self-reliant livestock" does not exist, especially large animals. If you think it does, save yourself a lot of grief now by simply getting out of the business before you ever start ...


Boers looked good to me,but the issues of fencing are worrisome....our first foray into large livestock should be as pain free as possible....

Thanks.
See comment re "hardy, self-reliant" livestock.

Don't forget, too ... that large animals require handling equipment ... truck, trailer, halters, work clothes ... vet bills, well care products, assistance at birthing times, food supplementation depending upon their diet/quantity, fresh/clean water supply, and a clean environment to live in ... or do you think that their waste products are taken care of by others in the dead of night?
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:13 PM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
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Actually there is hardy self reliant livestock,it just isn't utilised today as it grows slower,has lower birth weights and sometimes,just isn't the right color...

Longhorn cattle are pretty much self reliant for example.

As to sheep,funny thing is,in Australia merino sheep are left to their own devices for most of the year...

As to waste,it goes back into the ground...we aren't planning to have hundreds of sheep or to coddle them,livestock is meant to live outdoors,it has been that way for thousands of years.

Of course they don't necessarily meet today's demanding 'farmers' who need the livestock unit(never an animal anymore) to do 'X' in so many months,to be always the right size and conformity....

But then those types aren't really farmers,they are agribusinessmen.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:40 PM
 
11,257 posts, read 44,334,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz in SC View Post
Actually there is hardy self reliant livestock,it just isn't utilised today as it grows slower,has lower birth weights and sometimes,just isn't the right color...

Longhorn cattle are pretty much self reliant for example.

Can we try to stay on topic? This thread was looking for sheep or goats and a weed eating operating model ... not cattle, bison, or big game like an elk ranch or something like that. Even at that, the folk I know with longhorn cattle around here put as much time and care into them as they do with their other breeds.

As to sheep,funny thing is,in Australia merino sheep are left to their own devices for most of the year...

This is a real sticking point ... Yes, I know that there are big sheep outfits, y'know, the ones that run many "bands" of sheep on huge desolate acreage and just let 'em run loose and wild for most of the year without any care or attention. ("bands" of sheep are 1,000 ewes). They head out at round-up time to gather up the lambs for shipping out, and vet checks and hoof care and similar activity, or to cull the sick and the injured ewes.

But what most folk don't realize is that these operations tolerate an exceptionally high loss rate as routine and normal operations. For example, I've got friends in MT running 9 bands of sheep who consider it a great year if they get more than 500 lambs to market from a band of ewes. Given that most ewes have one, and many have twins, it reflects a loss rate of at least half of the lambs born each year due to lambing problems, predators, or natural causes such as being chilled at birth or a failure to thrive.

A big operator can rationalize and justify those types of losses balanced against the costs of labor and land overhead expenses.

But a small operation of a few dozen ewes cannot; every lamb is crucial to the economic success and vitality of the flock. Hence we are aggressive about being there for lambing, controlling the times of the year when lambing is to be done, and assisting as needed for deliveries and post-birth care as needed to do everything we can within reason to bring a lamb to a healthy survival rate. Even among those breeds with a reputation for "good mothering" instincts, there's always a few each year that don't get all the job done as needed ... paying too much attention to one of a pair of twins, or having a breech birth, or being disinterested that particular day and a lamb crying out for groceries and not getting plugged in and colostrum in a timely manner. Or a mom that doesn't get to lick off the nostrils and get a lamb breathing in a timely manner on a cold day ... there's a lot of need for intervention, even if only for a moment or two on a given day. Every lamb counts, and we find that it takes getting as close to 100% of all lambs to a healthy viable condition important to our financial success with a flock.


As to waste,it goes back into the ground...we aren't planning to have hundreds of sheep or to coddle them,livestock is meant to live outdoors,it has been that way for thousands of years.

This works only if you are keeping your flock on enough acreage that the waste products composts all by itself. Don't think that will be true if you have locations where the flock gathers or is more closely corralled at times ....

Of course they don't necessarily meet today's demanding 'farmers' who need the livestock unit(never an animal anymore) to do 'X' in so many months,to be always the right size and conformity....

But then those types aren't really farmers,they are agribusinessmen.
I get the feeling that you are going to conflate the economics of a large factory/producer with a small flock operation. There's simply no basis of comparison for the economics. If you think you're going to make a small flock financially viable by looking at the mass numbers, you're way off base.

Similarly, comparing other types of livestock to sheep or goats to rationalize the costs of a small mobile flock isn't a valid comparison.

At this point, my input was based upon years of actual experience with doing small flock operations. Apparently you have some better working knowledge of how this small flock stuff works ... have fun and keep an eye on your checkbook.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,545,601 times
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We plan to do rotational grazing,thus not having the issues of overgrazing/overuse of the land.
Many small paddocks with constant rotation.

The breed we are looking closely at is the blackbelly.
Breeds of Livestock - American Blackbelly Sheep

We are also in a region where weather is not a concern,or not as great a concern.

Nothing on our future farm will be THE breadwinner,that is pointless for any farmer except the agribusinessmen....

We are looking more towards the likes of Gene Logsdon and his ideas.
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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given your looking for brush clearing id go for meat goats, either kikos, boer or bore% (get a couple of boer x nubian does, breed them to a boer for freshening and youll have more than enough milk for you and this kids PLUS grow em out for meat on the table. goat meat is delicious if properly prepared and shouldnt cost you anymore to butcher than a good meat sheep.
nubian x boer tend to be heavy milkers, and great mothers, leave the kids in and youll never have to bottle feed...or take them away for overnights and milk in the morning for your own supply of delicious milk without having to bottlefeed babies...

sheep (not to sure about black bellies though) are grazers, they prefer grass and other broadleaf plants.
whereas goats are browsers that love brown matter from dead leaves to brambles ect.
goats tend to clear a wider veriety of land.

cattlepannels with a strand or 2 of electric should be fine for most goats as long as your not keeping a buck on property lol.
ive known just as many sheep to test fences as ive known goats to do so.

many goat breeders will dehorn at birth so no worries about horns and fencing.
and because your not looking to make a fortune off them, you dont need a buck of your own as you can breed them to any meat buck for meaties or milk buck for milkers or a nigerian for minis lol.


if i were doing sheep id go for something like the shetland, i know you dont want the hassle of sheering, but their wool is lovely, there great mothers, primitive (so relitivly hardy), and have a great predator/prey instinct.
since your not planning on showing you dont have ot do a fancy shering job, just a good pair of clippers and an extra set of hands and you could do it yourself.
shetlands also make lovely (smaller cuts but absolutly delicious young or as mutton) meat!
hair on hides from shetlands also fetch anice pricetag.

but i dont know anything about blackbellies so i cant realy compare the 2.


i do agree, there are plenty of heritidge breed livestock that are much more 'self sufficient' (i dont think any animal in a homestead/small farm environment can be truly self sufficent) than todays more commonly available breeds used for meat...
so much focus has been placed on fast growth and getting them form teat to table as quickly as possible that they need to be heavily fed suplimented ect...
as opposed to "primitive" breeds that take longer to grow but need less intervention from humans to get there.

Last edited by foxywench; 08-19-2011 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:44 PM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,545,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
given your looking for brush clearing id go for meat goats, either kikos, boer or bore% (get a couple of boer x nubian does, breed them to a boer for freshening and youll have more than enough milk for you and this kids PLUS grow em out for meat on the table. goat meat is delicious if properly prepared and shouldnt cost you anymore to butcher than a good meat sheep.
Fencing is our concern,we worry that goats would be more difficult to fence.
We also have never eaten(well that I know of...) goat meat but would be willing,I DO know I have eaten a TON of mutton/lamb in my life.
Milk from a goat would be a hard sell to me personally,I am weird about milk coming from a cow...

Quote:
sheep (not to sure about black bellies though) are grazers, they prefer grass and other broadleaf plants. whereas goats are browsers that love brown matter from dead leaves to brambles ect.
goats tend to clear a wider veriety of land.
Blackbellies are browsers too,seeming to prefer it to grass and do well where other sheep would starve,at least from what I have read.

Quote:
cattle panels with a strand or 2 of electric should be fine for most goats as long as your not keeping a buck on property lol.
The electric,would it be needed really?Because if that is the case we could just go to all electric fencing.
As to a buck/ram,well we probably would be keeping one...
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:54 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 21,274,556 times
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if your keeping a goat buck, electric will be needed, bucks are deterimed creatures.
just does, i think good cattle pannels would work

but i think if your keeping a ram youd probbaly need a little extra secure fencing...

unless your planning on running your boy with your girls (in either species) full time...personally i wouldnt but thats just because i like to plan birthing scheduals and know when to expect babies, and not overbreed the girls, but i do know of people who run them together and let nature take its course...

my PErSONAl experience (i dont have livesotc of my own yet but grew up on a msall holding...
is that goats get a bad rep with fences, if they have enough to munch on and are happy in their space (plenty of rocks and things to climb on, plenty to eat, good shade ect) a SoLID fence will keep them in...by solid fence i mean make sure to set your corners good and proper and properly stretched fencing if going with rolled fencing.

ive found the biggest problem with keeping goats in is when youve got a doe in season and a buck in smelling range, or if there extreemly bored...single goats tend to be terrible for jail breaking.

my grandfather had 4 goats (pygmies we used for meat) and 4 sheep (some kind of small meat mixes, there was shetland blood in them) and they all lived together in a 1 1/2 acre feild and never botherd the fences once...but his neighbor had a single meat sheep and 2 goats on 1/2 an acre and the meaty was constantly testing the fences (and the pygmies would jump on the meaty sheeps back and jump over the fence lol. i think they were just seriously bored.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,461 posts, read 43,320,647 times
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Dumb question, and I don't know if you have kids, but will you be able to take Fluffy and Bojangles and Spot and Grumpy, etc. to be slaughtered (no negative connotation using that word, by the way. I grew up on a farm with beeves) when the time comes?
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:46 PM
 
Location: North Cackelacky....in the hills.
19,556 posts, read 19,545,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Dumb question, and I don't know if you have kids, but will you be able to take Fluffy and Bojangles and Spot and Grumpy, etc. to be slaughtered (no negative connotation using that word, by the way. I grew up on a farm with beeves) when the time comes?
Yup....it is even made easier in that they can be dropped off,slaughtered and then we pick them up neatly wrapped or vacuum sealed.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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I had 30 Breeding head on 20 acres.Had good tight Field Fence with two Straids Barbwire over the Top never had a Goat get out.

I would burn this off in the Spring and move them around often.

brushrunner
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