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Lawnmowing animals
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Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 9:23 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Quite right! Hence coming back on here

Lots will be slow work. Arthur is home educated so we're going to learn a lot together, too.

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8689
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

one thing to be wary of... In my experience, as soon as people find out you have some land, they start making suggestions that they keep their horse on it....

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14947
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not if you have already made your feeling on horses very, very clear....

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8689
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 18 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
Not if you have already made your feeling on horses very, very clear....


true.... it just gets tiresome, and found I had to re assert my feelings all over again when my situation changed.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh, good tip off!

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1636
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Horse folk usually have the money to pay the rent even if they don't like parting with it. I started charging 50% up front and the rest at 3 months on and only have them for 6months anyway They are made to collect the manure into a place I designate and then I use on my garden when I decide to garden, getting a bit long in the tooth for the amount of bending down to weed now! Potatoes in dustbins and old tyres are the way to go-upwards!

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3342
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rabbits are what you need. They keep the grass nice and short, with the added bonus that they come free (at least they do in our garden). Only drawback is that you will need to fence off things you don't want eaten.

Henry

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think we might get rabbits whether we want them or not

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33817
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

considering the areas involved and the unsuitability of several types of grazer

moos are not a starter animal and there is not space for enough of them to make a proper herd, GPs are not ideal on that scale, geese are well messy and often antisocial etc etc

sheep have "maintenance" and personality issues but some folk like em ( i get on very well with them once they are dead )

if you already have rabbits you will need to protect veg anyway but a managed warren might make a good edible mower.

for the meadow stuff 2 well timed cuts or grazes seems to work on most land.
are there any nomadic pastoralists near by who could deliver and collect a grazing herd of something suitable at suitable times?
are there any micro harvesters (old fergie fans etc ) or scything folk?

horses are usually a lot more bother than expected.

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:

sheep have "maintenance" and personality issues but some folk like em ( i get on very well with them once they are dead )


I do too.

dpack wrote:

are there any nomadic pastoralists near by who could deliver and collect a grazing herd of something suitable at suitable times?
are there any micro harvesters (old fergie fans etc ) or scything folk?


I'm sure there will be, it'll be a case of getting to know folk, I need to make contact with the Cheshire smallholding group. Might do that now.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14947
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think practically you are looking at sheep or Alpacas. I love having alpacas. I know they aren’t really edible, and that puts a lot of people off, but for ease of maintenance (which is not a plus point for sheep) you can’t beat them. And they mow all the fiddly bits, too.

The reason I have them is to keep the grass and hedges manageable, chase off the foxes and provide fertility for the garden. I love the fibre, but I could buy that. (Also, you should see the neighbours faces when they appear in the garden. It’s picture!)

What about getting some orphan lambs and raising them for meat? That way you wouldn’t have all the sleepless night of lambing (quite enough of that sort of thing already) or hassle of shearing and even sheep can’t be that hard to nurse through one season?

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 18 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am tempted by alpacas, they're very cute. We've talked about orphan lambs for a session, too.

Nicky Colour it green



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 8689
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 18 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tbh you have to get both sheep and alpacas sheared. - in both cases you will probably pay someone else to do the deed. I really wouldnt let shearing be a reason to choose one over the other, when both have to be done.

Bottle fed lambs do have a higher mortality rate than those that stay with their mothers, and when grown are completely unafraid of people, which is cute in some ways, but can be annoying when they are pushy etc. Could be good for the children, could be bad if the lamb pegs it, or keeps headbutting everyone....

Fee



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 15902
Location: Surrey Heath
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 18 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Considering one of the reasons the puppy didn't work was because Arthur didn't like it wanting to be with him and play with him all the time, following him, I think we need to just take things slowly. We won't be rushing into any I don't think.

Also, he doesn't like alpaca and once he's decided something, it's not an easy job to persuade him otherwise

We'll get some hands on experience and give him some exposure before doing anything, I think.

i'm attempting to join Cheshire Smallholders, looks like I might have to actually talk to someone

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14947
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 18 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Alpaca won’t bother him. They’ll follow me for a bucket, and are really, really nosey, but they are skittish, stay well out of touching distance and lose interest quickly. They are more wary of J because she is a lot noisier and faster and doesn’t come with buckets. They mostly just hang out in their half of the field while she bounces around in hers.

It was really easy for me to get an alpaca shearer, because the local chap I bought one of my alpacas from shears. He will happily come here and shear for about £60 (I think. I can’t remember now. They will also bring their male for a drive by mating if I want). But I haven’t yet found a shearer who will come here for a single figure flock of sheep, which it’s why it’s harder for me personally to get sheep. It might just depend on what’s available locally, but is the sort of thing that needs to be established before you buy animals, rather than assuming you can get someone in fairly easily and finding out later it’s a problem.

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