Tuesday 21 June 2016

Good Advice About Sheep

Yesterday I posted a rather down hearted post about keeping sheep. 
Reading the comments was great, some from both sides of the fence and there was one that really struck a cord with me from "Mr Home Maker" It read-
"...and then there is the continuation of shepherding/husbandry skills from one generation to another - it's not all about $$"

That's it. 
To be honest I need to keep sheep for nothing more than that. 
I want my children to have a similar "extra" set of skills when they're adults to what was given to me. 

They don't even have to use these skills in later life, but they'll be there if they ever have to. Growing up keeping stock makes you look at things differently, their view of the countryside will be shaped because of it.

Growing up with stock for me was great, one of the main reasons was because it meant I got to spend a lot of time with my dad, I had friends saying they didn't really know their own father growing up, whereas I'd spend hours and hours every week with mine (that's not saying we always got on during my late teen years mind...). 

Also I was asked my opinion on things from a young age, not only that my opinion was often listened to. If I was checking the sheep and spotted something then my dad would act on what I said, it really gave me a sense of responsibility early on in life.

So I'm sorry for the down beat post yesterday. I sometimes need to step back and look at the bigger picture and thank you for all your comments yesterday and making me do that. 


  1. kev - you are a tribute to your dad! and your children are a tribute to you! i can't think of anything more important! so keep up the good work!

    sending much love to you and yours! your friend,

  2. I think sometimes,it's easy to get discouraged. I've never raised sheep, so I can't give you an honest opinion if they are worth it. It's all on priorities. I have chickens. I do my darkest taking care of them because it's something,at. End of the day, I do enjoy. Your girls seem to enjoy being with you working together on the sheep. You are creating great memories.

  3. I loved keeping sheep- but simply because the lamb was so delicious! We were told very early on that if you have livestock you will have deadstock and we made some dreadful mistakes in our first years. We only had 4 - 6 ewes at a time plus lambs,ram and wether.That was enough for our land and even then we were able to use a paddock of a neighbour for separating. I think we covered our costs by selling half lamb freezer packs. Our main problems were fly strike, though we did have orf once but only on one lamb. We stopped keeping sheep when Col packed up work and we needed a proper income from the land which we then used for chickens(eggs) and hay, both of which made an income rather than just covering costs.

  4. well said Kev, you can teach your children so many skills that school cant and the best thing anyone can do for there kids is spend time with them :-)

  5. Great point about spending time with family!
    Besides, sheep are fuzzy and cute.

  6. Well said. You are providing your children with exactly the same good upbringing you had. Time with both you and their Mum is a very precious thing, how many children can say that they spend as much time being with, talking to and being listened to by both their parents as yours can in these busy times.

    So many are 'farmed' off to after-school clubs, breakfast clubs and activities around school and during the holidays with weekends being spent in their rooms on computers.

    Carry on with what you are doing, just grit your teeth and manage the sheep as well as you can .... with your little helpers by your side whenever they can be :-)

  7. Everything has a purpose, Kev.

  8. I don't know anything about sheep. But I had two black nubian goats. I got them to eat the thistles and weeds in the meadow. Instead, they ate the sides of my log buildings, they ate the brake fluid lines on my truck, they pulled down the laundry off the clothes line and ate that.

    I gave them to an old guy who had a petting zoo and who promised not to see them to the Mexicans to get eaten.

  9. We raised four children on our big farm. None of them wanted to continue it so we sold it and bought our little farm, BUT all of them feel they benefited tremendously from being raised on a farm. They are such hardworkers, they are strong problem solvers, they all handle their money well, and they still come every Sunday and help with current jobs on our new farm. Whether its sheep, cows pigs, crops, whatever there is HUGE INTRINSIC VALUE to be gained in farming. Hang in there Kev!

  10. I didn't take your post yesterday as "down." You were simply expressing your feelings at the time.

    You are doing A LOT to expose your children to what is truly important in life. If keeping sheep isn't the thing they have the fondest memories of when they are grown, it will definitely be one of the other life skills you are exposing them to. (How many kids today grow up know where their food comes from let alone how to raise it??)

  11. Plus, I think it is very important for children to see grownups getting frustrated and down in their projects, too. Life isn't all easy and effortless. Kids need to see that, and they need to see how grownups react and handle problems. This is about teaching by doing. The sheep actually don't have much to do with it. They are just the vehicle that we can use to show, not tell, how to handle projects and problems. They will use those skills in every walk of their lives. You're showing and teaching by example. Good for you! And the sheep are fun most of the time....

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