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Keeping Sheep as four-legged lawnmowers

Posted by nichobob - Created: 3 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by berger-423858 - 3 years ago

I have five Ouessant sheep (castrated rams)  which I use as grass cutters. They are tagged and registered with the authorities.  There is an annual census form (very easy to complete) which would be posted out to you and don't forget to complete it otherwise the authorities will come down on you like a ton of bricks. The sheep are quite useful for cutting our field but I still need the local farmer to give the field a cut twice a year - in June/beginning of July and September. I have a reliable sheep shearer who comes in June.  Our sheep will spend their life in our field. We could never kill them to eat. As other people have said, they need sheep pellets in the colder weather and some where to shelter and some shade. 

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Posted by tezzy - 3 years ago

Its personal choice of course.I like eating meat,but i dont know how anyone can keep animals just to keep the grass/weeds down and then give them a death sentence and to then eat them and to top that brag about how wonderfully tasty it is !!!

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Posted by Annabelle's Papa - 3 years ago

Get one of these, just add fuel.

 

http://www.titan-pro.co.uk/22-Petrol-Zero-Turn-Lawn-Mower/388/0/Product.aspx

 

I used to have to rely on our local farmer to top our paddock, a my mower/strimmers were not up to the job, bought one of these two summers ago and it will tackle very overgrown areas, grass collector is huge and it has a mulching option.

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Posted by crackeroo - 3 years ago

I don't know - I beg to disagree. I kept lambs for the summer/early autumn period to fatten them and it really wasn't difficult or time consuming. I had no lambs die on me - maybe I was lucky, who knows? Ok I'm a country person having always lived in the country or on farms, so I do have notions of what animals need, but I feel that you may be putting people off what can be a very rewarding experience. I completely agree that having rams and ewes, breeding your own sheep, is much more difficult because you have to sheer, take care of their feet, often have problems at the breeding season etc. But if you buy (as I did) a couple of lambs which are already tagged therefore legal, castrated if necessary, well looked after prior to purchase i.e. wormed, keep worming them every 2 months or so, make sure they have a ready supply of water and shade, make sure they have good solid fencing, give them a small supplement of hard feed as well as your grass (and make sure that you have enough land/grass to begin with) then of course problems may arise (as they often do with animals) but personally I had no problems. I loved my lambs and they rewarded me with the best lamb I have ever tasted... I enjoyed looking after them, liked their different characters and as I said before, I will certainly have lambs again. 

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Posted by countrydweller - 3 years ago

If you have not kept farm animals before then you may be in for a shock.sabc15 and Kerveor have summed it up nicely.They are a 24 hour 7 day a week responsibility and unless you can find someone reliable to help you wha hols trips to uk etc .Personally by the time you have spent out on the encing vets bills food etc it would be cheaper to get someone in to cut your grass

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Posted by sophie hunton - 3 years ago

Buy a Rotavator ,grow your own veggies and become a vegetarian.

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Posted by candid - 3 years ago

goats do not eat much grass-mostly weeds so are not lawn mowers.They also need good hay,pellets,water shelter from rain and sun,hoof trimming,worming(which does cost)fencing in etc,etc.I think just getting animals to keep your grass down without learning of their needs could lead to a lot of expense and some suffering for the animals.Lots of people advertising grass cutting which would work out cheaper and less trouble.

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Posted by kervéor - 3 years ago

Look in the Merks veterinary dictionary ,they have whole chapters devoted to them ,my vets quote was"they die for a hobby "

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Posted by georgeV-988991 - 3 years ago

I should have added that sheep will not eat most weeds, only grass and they don't like long grass.  If you want a complete cut then a goat is better.

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Posted by georgeV-988991 - 3 years ago

I acquired 3 lambs to cut my grass and it all worked fine but they do need to be registered and tagged, there is a cost attached to that process and also to putting a substantial fence round the field / fields.  Electric fences do not work witj sheep. There are vets bills of course.

In the second year the lambs had become sheep and needed slaughtering.  To do it correclty they needed taking to a slaughter house, though the French and some Brits will tell you that the local farmer will kill them.  There is quite a cost and time concerned with slaughter which almost makes it cheaper to buy lamb at Leclerc.  

We kept one sheep and introduced it to a RAM and eventually got 4 lambs.

Eventually we had more lambs and sheep than the grass would support and a mature ram that took a fancy to everything in trousers.  It had one man on the ground and was giving him a hard time.

I decided to get out of the sheep situation and now I have to cut the grass myself.  I do miss the home grown lamb meat for the table and I realise I was being too ambitious for the amount of land I had.

I have since tried to buy new born lambs to grow into eating weight but relying on others to feed and water them eventually decided me to give up.