Author Topic: questions on breeding!  (Read 5307 times)

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Offline ciervo-chaman

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questions on breeding!
« on: June 04, 2015, 05:39:51 am »
hi! i have decided to buy an animal, i dont know if it will be a pig, or a sheep.

my only question here is, suppose i get an animal that had been eating mixed diet of grain and grass, and , in the case of the pig, all the leftovers from kitchen and ANYTHING, you know.

if I put that animal in my backyard, how many months must i wait to be sure that this animal has recovered any damage done to his body cause of bad eating? if he is feeding only from the wild grass on my land.

i think there is enough grass for a sheep for 4 months, maybe 3. now is winter coming, so there will be no more until spring.


Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 11:33:56 am »
I'd say 3 months minimum, but I'm no expert. Let's see what some other folks think.

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 02:42:49 pm »
From what I read, never. According to studies I read the fat ratio never became the correct ratio in a grass fed animal of any animal raised on grains. Unless you have very good grass or a very hardy animal suited to the task they may not even do well and be of poor thrift. It would likely take a year to simply transition to that kind of a lifestyle. Although it completely depends on the quality of your grass and where the animal came from. Say the animal was eating mostly poor quality grass and some grain and you have really good grass, likely this would be a nutrient increase in the diet of the animal and the animal would do really really well. It also depends on how much grass you have. You could start out with really good grass but in one month suddenly most of the grass is gone and the animal will go into nutritional decline.

Really complicated question, you need to put more variables into the equation to get a halfway good answer. I think your best bet would be to get lambs that were recently weaned and on pasture. They may have had little to no grain in their lives and the same with their mothers. Most beef herds eat little to no grain and their calves generally don't eat grain until they are moved to a feedlot on another farm.


Offline eveheart

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 09:31:16 pm »
Just a thought: I know a lot of factors (like grazing space) will affect your decision, but in the case of a sheep, why not aim to buy lambs in the spring? It's as much trouble to raise one lamb as six, cheaper to buy a lamb than a sheep, and one sheep won't give you an ongoing food supply; six lambs will give one person a spring lamb at the beginning of summer, and then you can eat the rest until winter.

This is what was done where I grew up: all the livestock was started in the spring and harvested by winter.
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Offline ciervo-chaman

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2015, 06:47:13 am »
hi eveheart!!

i have already thought that, but the fact is, that here is middle autumn! and for spring there is still a lot of time. i was wondering if i had a chance to make something useful of the backyard (not vegetables) during cold times.

it has been really dificult to get a sheep, even lambs. i have already visited 6 farmers, and all they told me i have to wait at least 2 months for a lamb =(

i'm out of season to do this X)

you think 6 lambs can supply meat needs of 1 man? thats not too much, maybe i can have that in my garden if I supply with some fresh food.

what recomendations can you give me, regarding lamb and sheep feeding? how can i complement their feed, without damaging their health?

Offline eveheart

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2015, 07:52:54 am »
it has been really dificult to get a sheep, even lambs. i have already visited 6 farmers, and all they told me i have to wait at least 2 months for a lamb =(

Yes, you have to go with the seasons with baby animals.

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you think 6 lambs can supply meat needs of 1 man? thats not too much, maybe i can have that in my garden if I supply with some fresh food.

I don't know how much you eat, but the number of animals you can raise depends on the size of your pasture. Natural pasture with lots of varieties of grasses and legumes (like vetches and clovers) can do for sheep and goats. Garden grass, such as in a lawn, is not sufficient.

I never raised pigs, but they prefer a forested area where they can root around.

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what recomendations can you give me, regarding lamb and sheep feeding? how can i complement their feed, without damaging their health?

Ask around and find someone in your area who is knowledgeable that you can imitate. Prepare well before you actually bring an animal home. Universities have agriculture departments, and so do some local governments.
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 03:43:04 pm »
Also it should be mentioned that the bulk of vitamins and nutrients in pasture occurs in the spring in most parts of the world. Also generally in us a sheep is much cheaper than a lamb so that's a plus. If you can get cheap small lambs I would buy them in two months and slaughter in late spring early summer as this will yield the most flesh and be the most nutritious and delicious possible.

Offline dariorpl

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2015, 12:30:00 am »
I heard that sheeps pull out the roots of the grass when eating, whereas some other ruminants only cut grass with their teeth, thus allowing it to grow more over time. Is this true, and does this affect the amount of grazing land that sheep require versus other ruminants?
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Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2015, 06:29:59 am »
I heard that sheeps pull out the roots of the grass when eating, whereas some other ruminants only cut grass with their teeth, thus allowing it to grow more over time. Is this true, and does this affect the amount of grazing land that sheep require versus other ruminants?

I have also heard this.

Offline jessica

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2015, 08:35:51 am »
i havent ever seen a sheep do this,but i guess it depends on the soil and the type of pasture they are on.

Offline RogueFarmer

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2015, 09:49:59 am »
Sheep eat closer to the ground or as close as a horse or donkey which are all closer than anything else. Horses and donkeys have upper teeth, sheep do not so they don't shear as well. I would think this would be more likely the case in pastures without rotations and especially where grass was recently planted. In the case of pastures without rotations the grass will grow super short. Whenever grass is clipped it sheds an equal proportion of roots so really short grass has little roots to hold it in the earth and yes then a sheep or a goat can pull it up out of the ground by the roots. This is a very unhealthy situation for the animal however and generally these animals will require grain supplement to remain in good thrift not to mention worm medication for the heavy parasite load they will receive from eating around their own excrement in grass that is very close to the ground. Sheep without quality grass to eat will bit the grass into the ground and actually eat part of the root. These sheep are starving nutritionally. They may be able to hold on long enough for fresh growth but will do incredible damage to their landscape. This is how bad animal management can create deserts.

Offline dariorpl

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Re: questions on breeding!
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2015, 01:12:19 pm »
Very interesting information RF! Thanks!
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