When I began as a sheep farmer, I checked with the area officials on how many animals my property would support. Answer is 25 ewes. I made plans on where to put the shelters, size of pens and where I wanted the alleys to go.
Eight years later, I have learned and implemented rotational grazing which allows more animals to thrive on the same amount of land. The land will support 50 ewes with lambs using rotational grazing. My plan is to increase my flock to a 100 ewes in two years, 2024. All 100 ewes will not be able to be pasture grazed with rotational grazing, I will have to dry lot or feed hay to part of the ewes.
Currently and through 2022 my building and pens will work for my flock. As my flock grows according to my plan, I will have to expand. The original buildings were built to house 50 ewes with adequate space for each ewe. The building are too small to house 100 ewes.
Before I get to more than 50 ewes, I am building for a flock of 100 ewes. There are times I feel my work is never done.
I will not be able to have more than 100 ewes with the amount of land I have available. If I want to increase my flock beyond 100 ewes, I will have to increase the amount of land I can use. In my area there are two ways of increasing land amount, lease or purchase.
If I want a 100 ewes, then why did I not build my pens and shelters to house a 100 ewes at the start? Well, I did not think I would ever own a 100 ewes. I was thinking of making a little spending money raising sheep. Also, I could handle 50 ewes alone, without having to hire help. Seven years later, I decided I need to supplement our income as my husband is approaching retirement. After retirement, my husband will be able to help with the day to day operations of the sheep farm.
Our lives are ever changing. When you begin planning on where to build shelters, place holding pens and alleys, keep an idea – what if you need to expand. I did not, but with a some hard work I can get the job done.
I want to write a post everyday. The expansion of pens and building a new shelter, there are times I am too tired to type.
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