Hair Sheep running behind the cattle?

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Jacob

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We are looking at the possibility of running hair sheep behind the cattle. I have been doing a ton of research trying to decide if this is a path we want to go down. does any other cattle producer on here run hair sheep? I am looking at all the breeds. I like the Dorper but understand the twining rate is not high which is a issue for me. From my research I'm leaning towards the Royal White. which is a cross between the dorper and St croix.

What breed or cross breed would you suggest and why?
Do you run the sheep with the cows? Before the cows or After the cows?
Have you notice improved pasture health by running sheep?
Do you find the ratio of one cow per one ewe is about correct without adding additional pasture?
we have high tensile wire do you find this an issue?
 

RanchMan90

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1:1 ratio would be a good place to start, you can always add more later. You'll need net wire fence or at least 6 barbed wire. I would steer clear or barbado or St Croix and stick with katahdin or dorper ewes with a dorper buck for sure. Royal white may be OK if they have enough bone and frame, I haven't seen any in my area that have. Run them in front of the cattle, they utilize the smaller green grass and cows can handle the bigger rank grass.Also what part of the country are you in, that will help a lot?
 
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Jacob

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Kingfisher,

my goal is to add revenue to our operation without a lot more inputs and weed control using the sheep vs spraying. From what I see it should pencil out.
 
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Jacob

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Ranchman,

We are in North Florida. why would you stay clear of St Croix?
 

skyhightree1

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Jacob":1k9phh71 said:
Kingfisher,

my goal is to add revenue to our operation without a lot more inputs and weed control using the sheep vs spraying. From what I see it should pencil out.

Goats/Hair sheep are adding a bunch more revenue to my place. I sell a fair amount every weekend.
 

RanchMan90

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Jacob":3325dodn said:
Ranchman,

We are in North Florida. why would you stay clear of St Croix?
The St Croix have a poor bone structure, feed conversion, and weaning weights in comparison with the katahdin and dorper. Their lack of pigment also led to eye and foot problems in a hot humid environment. My best advice advice is to look at sheep that are the most local to you and acclimated to your particular environment. Start small and cull hard, then you'll have a flock of survivors. Also don't buy into the twinning hype, yes a 150% annual crop is achievable. Only due to them having 3 crops in 2 years.
 

Ebenezer

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The St Croix have a poor bone structure, feed conversion, and weaning weights in comparison with the katahdin and dorper. Their lack of pigment also led to eye and foot problems in a hot humid environment. My best advice advice is to look at sheep that are the most local to you and acclimated to your particular environment. Start small and cull hard, then you'll have a flock of survivors. Also don't buy into the twinning hype, yes a 150% annual crop is achievable. Only due to them having 3 crops in 2 years.
I can prove you wrong on all counts. You apparently know nothing about St. Croix sheep or are terribly biased. I would not fight over the comparison of bigger sheep having bigger weaning weights but how big is big enough? You have to know your markets on sheep which are totally different than cattle. Where did you get this junky info?
 

RanchMan90

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Ebenezer":2xvermb2 said:
The St Croix have a poor bone structure, feed conversion, and weaning weights in comparison with the katahdin and dorper. Their lack of pigment also led to eye and foot problems in a hot humid environment. My best advice advice is to look at sheep that are the most local to you and acclimated to your particular environment. Start small and cull hard, then you'll have a flock of survivors. Also don't buy into the twinning hype, yes a 150% annual crop is achievable. Only due to them having 3 crops in 2 years.
I can prove you wrong on all counts. You apparently know nothing about St. Croix sheep or are terribly biased. I would not fight over the comparison of bigger sheep having bigger weaning weights but how big is big enough? You have to know your markets on sheep which are totally different than cattle. Where did you get this junky info?
Just my experience, others may differ. They didn't fit in my operation where I don't have time to baby them, they may work great for you :) I would like to see a St Croix with some bone and hindquarters. They survived for me in central TX just not in OK, this isn't sheep and goat country.
 

WalnutCrest

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I've been looking at St Croix, Dorper and Barbados Blackbelly for a couple of years. We've not acted yet.

Our main criteria are survivability/hardiness, fertility and palatability as the top three criteria, with "desire to stay on the farm" to be right up there at #4. I'll be interested in following this thread with the experience of those who are already doing this ...
 

Ebenezer

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RanchMan90":eoc903re said:
Ebenezer":eoc903re said:
The St Croix have a poor bone structure, feed conversion, and weaning weights in comparison with the katahdin and dorper. Their lack of pigment also led to eye and foot problems in a hot humid environment. My best advice advice is to look at sheep that are the most local to you and acclimated to your particular environment. Start small and cull hard, then you'll have a flock of survivors. Also don't buy into the twinning hype, yes a 150% annual crop is achievable. Only due to them having 3 crops in 2 years.
I can prove you wrong on all counts. You apparently know nothing about St. Croix sheep or are terribly biased. I would not fight over the comparison of bigger sheep having bigger weaning weights but how big is big enough? You have to know your markets on sheep which are totally different than cattle. Where did you get this junky info?
Just my experience, others may differ. They didn't fit in my operation where I don't have time to baby them, they may work great for you :) I would like to see a St Croix with some bone and hindquarters. They survived for me in central TX just not in OK, this isn't sheep and goat country.
We live in heat and humidity of the SE USA. We are "worm city". We don't baby anything either: no worming, pasture lambing, no hoof trimming and such. Multiple generations of selection. Maybe you got sold some duds. Duds here are long gone. After about a thousand of them, I can tell you that they work for a living. Lambs start tomorrow. All ewe lambs are pre-sold and some ram lambs if that tells anybody anything. Some have first dibs on March 2017 lambs, too. Maybe you are not in sheep country. But the breed works well in a bunch of locations.
 

RanchMan90

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Ebenezer":leqm0web said:
RanchMan90":leqm0web said:
Ebenezer":leqm0web said:
I can prove you wrong on all counts. You apparently know nothing about St. Croix sheep or are terribly biased. I would not fight over the comparison of bigger sheep having bigger weaning weights but how big is big enough? You have to know your markets on sheep which are totally different than cattle. Where did you get this junky info?
Just my experience, others may differ. They didn't fit in my operation where I don't have time to baby them, they may work great for you :) I would like to see a St Croix with some bone and hindquarters. They survived for me in central TX just not in OK, this isn't sheep and goat country.
We live in heat and humidity of the SE USA. We are "worm city". We don't baby anything either: no worming, pasture lambing, no hoof trimming and such. Multiple generations of selection. Maybe you got sold some duds. Duds here are long gone. After about a thousand of them, I can tell you that they work for a living. Lambs start tomorrow. All ewe lambs are pre-sold and some ram lambs if that tells anybody anything. Some have first dibs on March 2017 lambs, too. Maybe you are not in sheep country. But the breed works well in a bunch of locations.
I started out with 200 and after mortality and culls I was left with 50 colored sheep, dad started out with 400 after culling and mortality there were 150 colored survivors in my SPECIFIC location. I market a 60 lb lamb in 60-90 days directly to the ethnic market or send them to the goldwaite and Fredericksburg TX markets, where they are sent to the Northeast. We are also partners on a sheep and goat buying station sending local stock to the bigger marketing channels. Where are you from Ebenezer?
 
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Jacob

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It sure is a lot to learn. We are planing to visit a Dorper farm in the next several weeks. From what I have seen I really like the Dorper confirmation but like I said before we are getting as much information as possible. We will start small and grow we need to make sure they survive first. One thing for certain if you have a lot of death loss it sure won't pencil out.
 

RanchMan90

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Jacob":1bhkle3a said:
It sure is a lot to learn. We are planing to visit a Dorper farm in the next several weeks. From what I have seen I really like the Dorper confirmation but like I said before we are getting as much information as possible. We will start small and grow we need to make sure they survive first. One thing for certain if you have a lot of death loss it sure won't pencil out.
You should be off to a good start then, learn as much as you can before spending hard earned dollars. Some things will only come to you through experience, your farm visit should help a lot though. Nice website you have btw
 

Jake

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We have a herd of what I consider to be pretty good dorper cross ewes. Our lambing percentage is 170% ish and IMO you don't make money on sheep unless your are above 150%. The hair sheep can be run a lot like cows and are pretty hardy, we have run them on grass all summer and corn stalks in the winter. We are selling all of our due to losing our lambing facilities but I have been very happy with the returns we have gotten on the flock since we bought them 5 years ago.
 

wbvs58

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I'd make sure you can keep them in first. You need mesh and gates close to the ground. Gullies and hollows need attention to make sure the mesh is not lifting.

Ken
 

City Guy

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I have read extensively about hair sheep, especially Katahdins. St. Croix are beautiful, but I have heard the size criticized many times. Most Katahdin producers I have read about or talked to praise their easy keeping and low maintenance. They can lamb out of season making 3 crops in two years a reality. Many producers I am familiar with get 200% crops regularly.

Some considerations as I understand.
Tighter fences
Guard against lambs drowning in water tanks.
Protect against predators.
Too much copper in mineral mix-- need to keep cattle minerals and sheep minerals separate which hinders mixed grazing.
RM90 suggested running sheep ahead of cattle. I'd like to hear his rationale for that scheme. I just always thought that cattle should go first to knock down the tall grass and expose the short plants and weeds for the sheep--but I have no experience to back that up.
From all I have read and learned cows and sheep are a made in heaven duo--lots to gain and little to lose.
 

RanchMan90

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Jake":12pa6fi2 said:
We have a herd of what I consider to be pretty good dorper cross ewes. Our lambing percentage is 170% ish and IMO you don't make money on sheep unless your are above 150%. The hair sheep can be run a lot like cows and are pretty hardy, we have run them on grass all summer and corn stalks in the winter. We are selling all of our due to losing our lambing facilities but I have been very happy with the returns we have gotten on the flock since we bought them 5 years ago.
Jake I'd be interested in buying your flock if you PM me some information on them.
 

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