Sunday, October 18, 2015

New Vlog! Are You Team Sheep or Team Goat?


Blogger Jacquie said...

I see our farm happening in 2 - 3 years. I'm a spinner, knitter. So I see fiber in my future. Lots of it. Shetland fiber to be specific. Angora rabbit fiber blended with Shetland is heavenly. I had an angora rabbit indoors. Outdoors next time. Do I want to prepare the fiber? No! Outside prep for me. I'm also a gardener. I envision beautiful compost made with said animals.

So I've thought deeply about product. Your question, why sheep, is a great one. The second, why goats, is an even better one because, yes, I love goat's milk soap. My husband loves goat's milk. They're great for clearing brush. I'm definitely a dog person personality wise. So goats? Harder to justify unless I consider pygora goats. Milk and fancy, fancy fiber. There's a lady in my spinning guild that has both so a farm visit is in my near future.

Plus chickens. I love chicken and I like eggs. I've supplemented my readings with farm visits, all aspects of product (skirting, fiber prep, compost) making to have a better idea of what part of the whole farm dream are real for us.

My husband and I are starting over in Wisconsin. My farm dreams will be dreams no longer in 2 - 3 years. We're older, 53, so that factors into what we can happily manage. But my dreams are my dreams. When I think of retirement I think country cottage. I think gardens. And the sounds of farm animals. Maybe wethers not breeders. Maybe 2 - 3 sheep, 2 - 3 goats... And sweaters and freshly dug potatoes and thyme, sunflowers. I've had Barnheart all my life. So our next house will be AG zoned.

P.S. Thanks for your support!

October 18, 2015 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Are sheep trainable? If they were to get out and a person doesn't have a dog trained to assist, what do you do? Thanks for the vlog! This basic farming stuff for wannabes is awesome!

October 18, 2015 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

You pretty much have the goat vs sheep thing down. I always wonder why people say they want goats for lawn mowers. I just laugh. They are both SO different. But in good ways. I have sheep and goats. The sheep are for meat and wool. The goats are for milk and I also make soap. I have eaten goat and it's really good too. I love how the goats will follow me anywhere. Sheep, not so much. But the sheep will come when I call them. I love them both. But as far as quietness goes, sheep all the way. I have 1 doe who is about half Nubian. She got the Nubian loud mouth. But the best milk ever! I will probably always have sheep and goats.

I do love your vlogs! Thanks for doing them.

October 19, 2015 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I started out with angora goats, then added sheep. I found that the angora goats were way, way, way more work than my sheep. They also got every imaginable disease, parasite, and illness. Heartbreakers, those goats. I find my sheep to be much hardier, much less work, and friendlier. Pretty much the opposite of your experience. But, that's how life property is more conducive to sheep raising than goat raising, and after fighting the good fight with goats for 6 years, I'm getting rid of them and sticking with my Finn sheep.

October 19, 2015 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Janina said...

Our experience with sheep and goats has been similar to yours as far as personality and health. We started with 2 Shetland/Cheviot mix sheep for the soft wool. They have been simple enough, except that we are in central Alabama which is not in sheep country and so have found no vets who know about sheep and have had to shear the poor things ourselves because we can't manage to meet up with a shearer (three seasons in a row, I'm just going to stop trying). Our home cuts mean that this is not spinning grade wool which was my whole reason for getting the sheep. I'm either going to need a trip up north for a professional shearing class, or we'll need to try to sell the sheep.
This spring we added two Nigerian Dwarf wethers, frankly because someone was giving them away when they realized that they were not backyard pets. They are so sweet and have done a great job cleaning up the pasture and are well worth the minimal effort they need. Personality wise the whole family prefers the goats.
Our sheep are definitely louder than the goats by quite a few decibels but after visiting the livestock auctions I see that is not the case for many larger goats...those things can be screamers!

October 19, 2015 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I am loving raising sheep more than I expected. I came to farming through my passion for fiber arts, and my dream was alpacas. I added sheep almost on a whim, because I wanted to do some conservation breeding, and the heritage sheep I chose would compliment the alpacas well. Though alpacas are fairly easy keepers and I had way more experience with them, the sheep have been far, far easier. Part of the ease is that my breed doesn't need shearing--they shed their fiber, so I can just pluck them each spring. So far, nobody has needed deworming (knock on wood!), they rarely need hoof trims because my barn is concrete, and they all lambed in daylight with no assistance and are fantastic mothers (compared to the alpaca who have needed fairly frequent deworming and toenail trims, and one gave birth to a preemie that couldn't stand on her own for her first 2-3 days). My sheep also browse! They go after any burdock leaves before they'll consider a blade of grass. In only 15 months of owning them, they've significantly reduced the weed pressure in the pasture.

Hello to Jacquie--I'm also in WI! Where will your farm be? I'm in Polk County.

To Aimee, I find most livestock is easily trained to the sound of a grain pan shaking. No matter where mine are in the pasture, they'll come running the instant they hear that sound.

October 20, 2015 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Kasi said...

I'm just getting started on my homestead and considering whether to start with sheep or goats (though they will probably wait for year 2) - so this vlog was very helpful for me! Thank you.

November 4, 2015 at 4:41 PM  

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