Sheep Questions (Especially Shetlands!) - Page 3

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Sheep Questions (Especially Shetlands!)

This is a discussion on Sheep Questions (Especially Shetlands!) within the Farm Animals forums, part of the Farm Forum category

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    01-26-2014, 10:28 PM
Sorry lol I though I had explained rooing right after in my post but I guess I wasn't clear. As to your recent questions I agree with everything Yogiwick wrote in her above post. Make sure your fencing is adequate- tight page wire and watch your gates. Our lambs would squeeze threw the little area where the hinges attached a gate to the post and the larger holed page wire. We have pieces of page wire we have to tie over our gates when they're little.

Another thing to plan is a good worming program and make sure you rotate wormers. You should feed a mineral specifically designed for sheep- sheep can't handle large amount of copper which are usually present in other livestock mineral. If you plan on using the wool try to find an area to pen your lambs with little brush. Burs, twigs and bits of hay can be the devil to pick out!

Theres lots you can do with the wool. Shetland sheep wool is prized for knitting and felting. A local artist in my province does some amazing things with her wool- Cloverleaf Art and Fibre: Shetland Sheep

Some of her pieces-



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    01-26-2014, 10:44 PM
Beautiful! I wish I could do that!

You will go crazy with all the disappearing lambs. Even if they don't get out they're so tiny I'm always afraid I'll step on one! My smallest was a surprise from a yearling I bought..2 lbs. We called him Mouse :) Nothing nicer than having a flock in the springtime. The rams are all mellow and they are all in together and there are many tiny bouncing little lambs and they are all super friendly :)
    01-27-2014, 08:27 PM
That is simply amazing! You can do all of this simply by rooing the sheep, and never having to shear them?

I'm almost 100% sold on this breed of sheep now. I was going to get some anyways.. haha.

My concern would be mostly, how long would it take for a lamb to get to mature market weight (for the breed)? I realize that they are much smaller than other breeds, but does anyone know how well they yield? Or milk, for that matter?
Yogiwick likes this.
    01-28-2014, 01:47 PM
Don't know specific answers but if you are looking for meat animals they aren't usually slaughtered until yearlings (which is why they aren't a commercial meat breed!) They are considered fully grown at 2 (sort of like 4 for a horse where they will fill out somewhat after). You could probably google the answers or even email a farm that you know does meat/milk. I have found Shetland breeders are always happy to help and promote the breed.
    01-28-2014, 09:50 PM
Thanks again for all the wonderful answers! As far as fencing, here's what we currently fence with. There's lots of snow right now and it's quite cold so I didn't take new pics, I just fished up some of what I already had, which were not taken with the fence in mind, so they're not the best, but anyhow, here they are. The first one, is what is going straight across the front of the pasture (that's what I meant by "horse" fencing, it's made with smaller holes than cattle fencing so that horses don't get their hooves stuck). Then, the second one, is the electric fence which is on the other three sides of the pasture. It's the "wire" electric fence. Then we have a smaller area fenced off that we put the horses in to give the pasture a break and it is fenced with electric tape (The bottom pic is not what we have, just an example. What we have is not as wide.). I would not, by the way, be getting any rams (Unless by ewe had a ram lamb in a couple years, but I would be selling it, not keeping it.) so no worries about their horns getting stuck. I was thinking of putting up a fenced area using electric tape and putting it lower to the ground and maybe using the wider tape instead of the thinner kind. Then I could train it to the electric fence while it was young and didn't have a super thick coat of wool.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg horse fence 1.jpg (96.9 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg horse fence 2.jpg (94.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg horse fence 3.jpg (49.1 KB, 168 views)
    01-28-2014, 11:47 PM
Fencing in the first pic is good.

Fencing in the second I can't really see though I'm pretty sure what you mean by the description and pic. Fencing in last pic is what we have for our horses. Neither of those will work. I know you could try to sheepify it but I would not recommend that, definitely not for the last one, that is horse fencing. Definitely would not work for lambs, and by lambs I mean probably up to 6 months or so. Age doesn't make a difference for training and in fact it's harder with the young ones since the fence doesn't really hold them anyways.

I would strongly suggest using the fencing in the first pic for any permanent fencing and using something like this:

Electric Fencing - Premier1Supplies
As a temporary portable (though you obviously don't have to move it unless you want to) fence if you want one. Sheep and goats need a physical barrier, while one strand will keep a well mannered horse in for these guys you need a fence they can't get through because if they can they will. Especially with the electric wire I would worry about them hurting themselves trying to get through and the tape just won't work unless you have a strand every few inches and the sheep are very respectful. They won't respect electric the way a horse will, it's not a bad thing to have but the most important part of the fencing is the physical barrier, as you can see even the electric fencing is still more of a fence than the horse ones.

So first one's good!! Others not so much. Especially if you are thinking of breeding down the road. Get good sheep fencing now, don't worry about it ever again.
    03-30-2014, 06:39 PM
I know this is an oldish thread but still.
I breed and sell Shetland sheep in Shetland (so things might be a little different), firstly do not buy just one sheep they are flock animals and need at least one more sheep to keep company. What I would do if I were you before getting any sheep as you are wanting lambs so you would have to wait until weaning time anyway, I would find a helpful sheep keeper that will take you under their wing and teach you everything they know. Whilst Shetlands for the most part are a very hardy breed they still need quite a bit of looking after, worming, shearing, foot trimming, delousing ect ect and then their is the whole nutrition side, make sure you don't feed them any horse feed as horse feed is high is copper which in most places can be very dangerous (our ground is low in copper). Also don't count on them rooing, we have only had 2 shetlands out off all the shetlands we have kept that have rooed.
They are a wonderful breed and are very smart, they can however also be very very flightly so you probably want to look out for sheep that have been raised more as pets. Shetlands are good mothers we have only had one ewe ever reject a lamb (because of that she went for meat) and only had to lamb a ewe twice one was a first time youngster who had a leg back and the other was an old ewe that got too tired, but for the most part that are fantastic mums that have a high number of twin and are very milky though they are not a milk breed they are however duel purpose for both meat and wool both of which are internationally renowned as some of the best in the world. As for showing sorry I can't help you there we have never shown a sheep to date and the shows we would go to the sheep just stay in pens and the judge goes around and looks at them.
I hope this whole ramble made sense, if you are wanting to look at more photos of shetlands I have started a lambing thread on this forum for my ewes and I have added a ton of photos. Good luck and have fun
poundinghooves and Yogiwick like this.
    03-30-2014, 10:58 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the advice very much! What did you mean by "delousing"? Is that an issue with lice or am I totally off on that? I saw your thread, it's very interesting! I am disappointed to hear that they don't all "roo", but thanks for the information! My dad's going to eventually (hopefully soon) fence our entire pasture with the fencing I showed in the first pic of the different fences, so it will be safe for sheep.
    03-31-2014, 03:51 AM
They don't really get lice but they get other external parasites I just don't know what products you have in America it is just a preventative really.
Spot On Insecticide for Cattle and Sheep

ewe, ram, sheep, shetland sheep, wool

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