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IslandWave 04-06-2010 09:17 PM

Keeping horses with sheep
 
One of the options I''ve been considering for my horse if I do go to college is keeping her on our two and a half acre property. We currently have two rental buildings on the property, but the rest is pasture and we have two sheep keeping down the grass.

Do sheep make good companion animals for a horse?

My horse has always been pastured with a herd of horses. She's not terribly attached to any of the horses anbd would probaly do fine by herself, but I still feel that horses do need companionship since they are herd animals. Two sides of our property are bordered by people who do keep horses, so she would be able have interaction with other horses over a fence.

Is there anything else I have to consider about feeding and fencing when keeping sheep and horses together?

Maverick101 04-07-2010 08:22 PM

Yes they do...quite similar to goats. Sheep also tend to be quieter, and also get in less trouble then goats lol.

I had 2 sheep with my horses at one point. I had gone to the auction mart w a friend and came home w two lambs! Still not sure how that happened.
At any rate Samson and Delilah hung out w my horses for years, were just part of the herd.
They ate, slept and grazed as they were horses themselves. When the horses came in Sam and Delilah followed along....heck they even came on the odd trail ride here and there!
They have since passed on, but they were quite the characters, and the horses enjoyed their company.

horseluver250 04-07-2010 09:29 PM

We had a stray sheep here a few days and she got along very well with my horse. The goats would pick on her and she would "hide" underneath the horse to get away from them. She as a very very noisey animal, I enjoy my goats much more :) We have a seperate stall for the goats for feeding grain, the opening is low so the horse can't fit in. Some type of manger is nice for feeding hay, the goats and sheep tend to poop in the hay if its on the ground and waste a lot. We have 4 strands of electric wire (only the top 3 are hot) on the back of the pasture, and split rail with horse box wire on it in front. We've never had a problem with anyone getting loose.

IslandWave 04-10-2010 12:01 AM

Good to know. Thanks for the replies!

wild_spot 04-10-2010 04:21 AM

Be careful introducing them though - Two of my horses are fine with sheep, but my new mare is NOT! Dad was moving some lambs through their paddock and she charged in and stomped on one - It was lucky she didn't kill it.

So it is well worth guaging the rection while on a lead at first!

Also be wary of lambing in a pasture with horses - Often the horses don't see the lambs and they get stood on.

IslandWave 04-11-2010 02:38 AM

I have a feeling my mare will be frightened of them at first. =P She's very non-agressive to any sort of animal, not matter the size. We don't intend on having any more sheep than our two ewes, so I'm glad I won't have to worry about lambs.

Now we're thinking that if I do move my horse, she'll be kept in a different pasture from the sheep. So they will just be neighbors.


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