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  •  » New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

#16 2017-08-28 14:25:05

heda gobbler
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From: Tatlayoko Lake, BC
Registered: 2009-01-26
Posts: 6863
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Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

I'd start with a few ewes or wethers, make sure your fences work and you enjoy them.  A ram is an added difficulty and will require company to remain well adjusted.


Beltsville Small White Turkeys - White Chantecler chickens and Buckeye chickens
Highland Cattle, Shetland Sheep and Kerry cows.
www.tatlayokofold.com

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#17 2017-08-31 19:21:43

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1144

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Thank you everyone.

Robbie, alpaca wool is unbelievably soft. I picked up an 100% alpaca sweater at a 2nd hand store and it is so soft it doesn't even feel real. I've considered alpacas but they're so expensive around here.

Crooked Coop, would a large pair of Oster clippers work on sheep? Mine are not variable speed but there are the large ones for horses.

I know the hand-knitting end of the process well. It's just all the bits before that I would need to learn. I stopped knitting because my hands weren't working. I think I could do it again now. I have a huge wool sweater and blanket collection. I was picking up gorgeous wool items for really cheap at thrift stores. A lot of people don't know how to wash wool without it shrinking.

My Mum used to unravel and turn old sweaters into beautiful rugs. Lots of things you can do with wool. But, you have to deal with those darn moths. :tantrum:

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#18 2017-08-31 20:25:30

Robbie
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From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1596

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Sunfeathers wrote:

Thank you everyone.

Robbie, alpaca wool is unbelievably soft. I picked up an 100% alpaca sweater at a 2nd hand store and it is so soft it doesn't even feel real. I've considered alpacas but they're so expensive around here.

Crooked Coop, would a large pair of Oster clippers work on sheep? Mine are not variable speed but there are the large ones for horses.

I know the hand-knitting end of the process well. It's just all the bits before that I would need to learn. I stopped knitting because my hands weren't working. I think I could do it again now. I have a huge wool sweater and blanket collection. I was picking up gorgeous wool items for really cheap at thrift stores. A lot of people don't know how to wash wool without it shrinking.

My Mum used to unravel and turn old sweaters into beautiful rugs. Lots of things you can do with wool. But, you have to deal with those darn moths. :tantrum:

How did your mom make those rugs?

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#19 2017-08-31 21:21:54

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
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Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

They were hooked with burlap. She sorted all the colors, designed her picture/pattern, then, finished edges and sides with a heavy duty fabric. I still have mine that she made for my room when I was about six. Really nice and it's stood up all those years. I'm in my 50's.

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#20 2017-09-03 19:34:21

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
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Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

I've found an unrelated ewe, registered and to be bred before sale. She is four years old, with lots of good lambs, twins/triplets, I'm told. What should I be paying for an animal like that?

I've seen a recent ad for a flock of Icelandic sheep and the price works out to about 400.00 each. I don't know the animals' ages.

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#21 2017-09-03 20:56:37

Robbie
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From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1596

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Sunfeathers wrote:

They were hooked with burlap. She sorted all the colors, designed her picture/pattern, then, finished edges and sides with a heavy duty fabric. I still have mine that she made for my room when I was about six. Really nice and it's stood up all those years. I'm in my 50's.

So she unravelled the sweater and cut the wool into short pieces? I've often wanted to make a rug but I'm not sure how and I  haven't been brave enough to try it. Your rug must be very nice!

Sorry didn't mean to hijack the thread. Can you make a rug out of raw wool that hasn't been turned into yarn? I can get whole Alpaca fleeces pretty cheap but I don't know if you need a heavier wool. Icelandic wool seems to be  pretty pricey! What's special about it? ( I just love wool knee socks, I have someone make them for me but I don't know what kind of wool it is. The socks are never scratchy. )

Last edited by Robbie (2017-09-03 21:01:14)

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#22 2017-09-03 22:02:52

heda gobbler
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From: Tatlayoko Lake, BC
Registered: 2009-01-26
Posts: 6863
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Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

I'd think $400 would be a top price for registered breeding animals, full grown but young enough to have a long reproductive life ahead of them.   As it is a whole flock I would think there would be a variety of animals in the group, not all of that description.  And you should get a break for buying the whole flock. So I'd say expensive.

Perhaps they are in high demand on the Island though, I just don't know.


Beltsville Small White Turkeys - White Chantecler chickens and Buckeye chickens
Highland Cattle, Shetland Sheep and Kerry cows.
www.tatlayokofold.com

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#23 2017-09-04 04:52:33

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15363

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

I find Icelandic wool to be on the coarse and scratchy side...especially compared to Shetland.  I would spin it for socks or mitts but never for around the face or neck.


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#24 2017-09-04 15:50:53

Crooked Coop
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From: Saanich B.C.
Registered: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2142

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

I've found an unrelated ewe, registered and to be bred before sale. She is four years old, with lots of good lambs, twins/triplets, I'm told. What should I be paying for an animal like that?

I've seen a recent ad for a flock of Icelandic sheep and the price works out to about 400.00 each. I don't know the animals' ages.

Already bred! $400 would be a steal for a proven mom, registered and pregnant. I sold my yearlings for $400. I did sell a three year old with her wether son for $450 because she and I didn't get along, despite trying to tame her for 2.5 years she never settled down, not fun trying to shear that one!


Icelandic Sheep, heritage layers

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#25 2017-09-04 19:26:35

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1144

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

I've been offered a bred 4 year old ewe, registered, and next year's lamb will be registerable and, an unrelated ram lamb, approximately 4 months old. The two together for $400. I'm going to take them =)=) but they won't arrive until the ewe is bred next month.

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#26 2017-09-04 19:42:52

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1144

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Robbie, Icelandics are dual coated and the two types of wool can be spun together or separated out with the undercoat being used for garments that touch the skin and the coarse outer fibre for other things. This is only based on my reading, not personal experience as I am a newby to all this=).

Regarding your question about hooked rugs, my mum did both unravelling sweaters to make her rugs and, for with fine sweaters she would cut them into strips lengthwise so they wouldn't unravel, and used the strips to hook with. The really were not like the other hooked rugs I've seen, she used almost a looped pattern, ie didn't pull the wool all the way through. I  I wish she was around so I could ask her more about them. I have no idea where she learned the technique.

When I get down to her place next month I'll get a couple of pics of the old rugs she made. One for each of us kids' rooms but I think only two survived. My brother's with a cool dinosaur pattern and mine with various animals, of course!

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#27 2017-09-04 22:37:26

Robbie
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From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1596

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Thanks sunfeathers. I'm looking forward to seeing those rugs.  Congratulations on your new sheep! What breed are they?

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#28 2017-09-04 22:59:05

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1144

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

Icelandic sheep. I'm very excited but I think I have a lot of learning to do.

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#29 2017-09-05 13:02:51

Robbie
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From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1596

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

That's great! It will be fun!

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#30 2017-09-05 18:51:57

Sunfeathers
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From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1144

Re: New to sheep, is it a mistake to buy a ram?

I hope so!

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