What’s for Dinner?

2013 February 5
by drdog09

(Here is the reason for this series)




  • Provides meat, fiber.
  • Decent pasture. Additional grains for ewes carrying lambs.
  • Meat is high protein with with a fair feed conversion ratio.
  • Can raise a lot of meat in a descent space.
  • They are your compost pile. All your grass clippings, vegetable and garden scraps go to the sheep. Their wastes are used to fertilize the plants.
  • Generally a single lamb per season though some breeds will produce two lambs per season. Reproductive rate is good.


  • Time to market is longer, typically nine months to a year.
  • Moderate space requirements.
  • Can be pastured. They do however need to be penned to control access. You don’t want them grazing down the garden.
  • Storage of end product. In the larger breeds, single slaughter can end up with lots of meat. If you don’t have reliable refrigeration then you need to have a trade/buy deal setup with neighbors or friends for the excess.
  • Start up costs are higher than with fowl.
  • The USDA classifies sheep as livestock. As a consequence keeping sheep in some locales is restricted due to zoning laws. Check before you proceed.
  • To maintain a sustainable herd requires a couple of animals impacting the housing requirements.

Overall Notes:

Sheep are raised primarily for meat, hides and wool. Though ewes produce milk it is not of a quantity compared to a goat or cow to be worth considering for that purpose. There are several hundred breeds of sheep, domestic and wild. Practically all the breeds weighing in less than 100# are virtually ignored by the commercial growers as not economically viable. Much to their loss.

The smaller breeds are known to to lamb twice a year. They can forage on subpar forage that would starve a commercial breed. Their temperment is generally more forgiving. Some breeds have even developed a natural immunity to certain parasites that would bring down a larger breed. If there is any disadvantage it is their smaller size tends to promote higher predation rates amongst the flock.

West African Dwarf

Rams 70#, Ewes 50#. Full grown in 6 months. Excellent disease resistance. Fast breeder.

Sudan Dwarf

Rams 50#, Ewes 30#. Well known for fine fleece. Fast grower much like the African Dwarf. Heat tolerant.


Rams 70#, Ewes 50#. Yugoslavia. Excellent forager on marginal lands. One of the few breeds that can be used for meat, fiber and milk. Unfortunately has a low birth rate.


Rams 40#, Ewes 30#, though some have been known to reach 100# on good lands. As you might suspect this breed was maintained and used by the Navajo to make their famous (and some very expensive rugs.) This breed arrived in the US via Coronado in the 1500’s making it the oldest breed in the US. There is an active effort to reestablish this breed thoughout the SW. It can survive on marginal pasture and has extremely low water needs for a sheep. Wool is fetching high dollars in the right markets.

Goats for the homesteader are the more verstile animal. But if you can’t provide the proper containment sheep might be considered an alternative. Culture has a lot to play in choice between the two as well. Any self respecting Irishman would much prefer roasted mutton with mint jelly over a similar offering of goat.

33 Responses leave one →
  1. 2013 February 5 6:13 am
    justrand permalink

    I agree…let’s start eating the sheep! And here I thought they were worthless after they re-elected Obama. Turns out, you can eat ’em! 🙂

  2. 2013 February 5 6:16 am
    justrand permalink

    Glenn Reynolds article in USA Today contains this quote from Jerry Pournelle in 2008:

    “We have always known that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. It’s worse now, because capture of government is so much more important than it once was. There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.”

    here’s the link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/02/04/americans-unhappy-government-convention-column/1887593/


  3. 2013 February 5 6:32 am

    Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Grandmothers and Grandfathers?

    Well, here it is:

    There was this loving grandfather who always made a special effort to spend time with his son’s family on weekends. Every Saturday morning he would take his 5-year-old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some quality time — pancakes, ice cream, candy– just him and his granddaughter.

    One particular Saturday, however, he had a bad cold and really didn’t feel like being up at all. He knew his granddaughter always looked forward to their drives and would be disappointed. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter for the drive and breakfast.

    When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her grandfather who was still in bed. “Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?” he asked.

    “Not really, PaPa, it was really boring. We didn’t see a single asshole, queer, lesbian, piece of crap, horse’s ass, socialist left wing democrat Obama lover, blind bastard, dipshit, Muslim camel humper or son of a bitch anywhere we went!”

    Almost brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?

  4. 2013 February 5 8:13 am
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    Another reason not to like “bi-partisan” ie Statist elite “immigration deform”:

    “The devil is in the details, and the details of the McCain plan are deeply disturbing. To secure the borders he is calling for a massive increase in drones flying over US territory, spying on US citizens along the border – and presumably within the 100 mile “border zone” over which Department of Homeland Security claims jurisdiction. What if these drones detect suspicious activity unrelated to illegal immigration? Imagine the implications for the federal government’s disastrous war on drugs. Imagine what’s left of the Fourth Amendment completely tossed into the trashcan. The “privatized” prison system in the US that now benefits from the war on drugs and illegal immigration will no doubt look forward to booming business thanks to the army of drones overhead.

    Additionally, the McCain/Schumer plan calls for a nationwide, mandatory E-Verify program, which forces employers to act as federal immigration agents, and forces American citizens to prove to the government that they are allowed to work. E-Verify is an East Germany-like program that creates a massive federal database of every American citizen and notes whether or not they are permitted to work.

    As Cato Institute privacy expert Jim Harper noted of E-Verify, potentially tens of thousands of American citizens would come up as a false positive for illegal status, denying them the right to work and forcing them to prove to the government that they are not here illegally. He writes, “If E-Verify goes national, get used to hearing that Orwellian term: ‘non-confirmation.’ “”


  5. 2013 February 5 8:17 am
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    Economic central planning & price fixing interest rates (ie the Fed) is contributor #1 to the illegal problem:

    “Much of the most recent immigration problem of the 2000s was actually created by the federal government. The easy money policy of the Federal Reserve blew up the housing bubble and created enormous demand for labor. This artificial demand was filled largely by workers who crossed into the US illegally. Within a year of the housing market crash in 2008, an estimated one million illegal workers left the United States for Mexico and beyond. Net illegal immigration into the United States last year had fallen to zero.

    As I noted in my most recent book, Liberty Defined, much of our immigration problems would be eliminated were the federal government to simply return to sound money practices and end the welfare incentive for individuals to come to the US illegally. “

  6. 2013 February 5 8:17 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    Lamb Chops!!! Olive oil, rosemary, thyme, mint leaves and sage…. marinated in bag for an hour. Throw on grill and serve with garlic butter, not mint jelly.

    Prefer a parsley potatoes and fresh salad.

    Oh, don’t forget the red wine.

  7. 2013 February 5 8:50 am
    drdog09 permalink

    6, That’s the spirit! And you made me hungry!

  8. 2013 February 5 9:01 am
    drdog09 permalink

    2, I look on the numbers that Reynolds quoted and it brightens my day. Only half the herd are sheeple. When you consider that it only took 10% of the populace to engage in revolution the first time, we have the numbers in place NOW to do it again. That might be what is scaring Big Sis. If it comes she would be one of the first to go.

  9. 2013 February 5 9:07 am
    drdog09 permalink

    WEC, 5,

    Much of the immigration problem we have had over the years has been about corn. What you say?? Its rather simple, just connect the dots.

    * NAFTA is passed.
    * The more productive Midwest can outproduce Mexican growers for corn any day of the week. They do so with a vengeance.
    * Mexican corn market collapses.
    * The small land holders can’t compete so they have to give up their land. The tenant farmers are kicked off.
    * What were farmers migrate North looking for jobs.

    The rest is history.

  10. 2013 February 5 10:04 am
    drdog09 permalink

    10, Having her on a date would prove interesting.

  11. 2013 February 5 10:17 am
    drdog09 permalink

    They named it wrong, but meet your new worker — http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rjPFqkFyrOY — $22k, but they should have named it Juan.

  12. 2013 February 5 10:48 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Here’s your afternoon time waster. Its in russian. You get three shorts then they show your pattern and score. Rinse and repeat. Its addictive — http://deti.mil.by/templates/swf/Pistol/index.swf

  13. 2013 February 5 11:02 am
    drdog09 permalink

    By the way YOU are now a target — http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/020413_DOJ_White_Paper.pdf — This is not America folks.

  14. 2013 February 5 11:36 am
    justrand permalink

    drdog…I kept getting two 10s and a 9…but eventually got 3 1os! 🙂

    and as for the DOJ memo…DUH! We The People are the enemy.

  15. 2013 February 5 2:40 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Wylie –

    e-verify is about the only good thing about the McCain-Schumer bill. If we had implemented e-verify 15 years ago, there would be far fewer illegals. But, many libertarians are open borders people.

  16. 2013 February 5 3:06 pm
    fight on permalink

    You won’t see this clip on the evening news.

    Or fox for that matter.


  17. 2013 February 5 3:33 pm
    bc3b permalink

    fight on #17 –

    FNC is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from MSM these days.

  18. 2013 February 5 4:50 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Fight, great link. More Americans ought to tell our employees where it counts like this guy did.

    BC, Yep. I have gotten to the point, if I even am watching Fox, if Rove is on I turn the channel. He is making me toss my cookies these days.

  19. 2013 February 5 5:08 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Cantor you ass. We already have this but I guess you want to display your ignorance on the matter — http://freebeacon.com/cantor-supports-citizenship-for-immigrant-children-brought-to-u-s/

    rant on (especially for some new faces here)

    There are three statues you have in this country according to the immigration acts. 1) Citizen. 2) Legal Resident 3) Alien. By law those are the three recognized statuses. `Illegal Immigrant` is a fiction.

    Now as a Legal Resident bringing over children this is already provided in law. I’ll repeat, already provided for. There is a fundamental date however. That is an age of 19 of the child. If you are under that age then the child is considered a minor and may enter as either a K-2 or V-2 minor of the LR. If 19 or older then the child may be filed by the LR for residency and they do get a slight entry preference over other visa applicants. But even still there is a cap on number of chain migrant children and where the child comes from has a great deal of bearing on the wait times. (eg. Somebody from Manila might wait 20yrs for a visa opening.) The minor child filing for citizenship is irrespective of what the LR may or may not do. Regardless the minor child has a 5yr wait before filing for citizen, must pass the naturalization test and procedures.

    So for Cantor to sit there and make a poor imitation of the implication that we have no provisions for trailing children of a LR is a bald face lie. Make my blood boil. And yes I know all this by living in the belly of the INS beast for 2 years.

    /rant off

  20. 2013 February 5 6:03 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Just read that drdog09. Plus Cantor gave a speech to the American Enterprise Institute earler today recommending that the GOP officially become Democrats-Lite.


    We retake the House only to have Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy stab us in the back.

  21. 2013 February 5 6:08 pm
    bc3b permalink

    drdog09 #19 –

    You still watch Fox News?

  22. 2013 February 5 7:13 pm



    49 ER FANS

    01-28-2013 SB Musial

  23. 2013 February 5 7:22 pm



  24. 2013 February 5 8:52 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    drdog – #8. I have told a neighbor of mine (good old boy from Tennessee) that IF we only represent 33% of the population, we only have to shoot 2. In your case it is 1.

    It is going to come to either them or us (just listen to what they say). Prepare!!!

  25. 2013 February 6 5:44 am
    drdog09 permalink

    You still watch Fox News?

    As regular news fare, no. But if there is a special on that might be of interest or their Sunday morning show has an interesting guest, yes I will tune in. But to watch Rove drone on with Mr. `Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled` no.

  26. 2013 February 6 5:47 am
    drdog09 permalink


    The young lady is excited. But not for the Ravens.

    [friend] So what did you get for your birthday?
    [girl] My hubby bought me these!

  27. 2013 February 6 6:06 am
    justrand permalink

    I cut & pasted this entire section from Instapundit…Glenn Reynolds is flat out amazing in some of his analysis, as this shows. It’s his site, of course, and he is a law professor to boot:

    By the way, on the subject of Due Process When Everything Is A Crime, yesterday I ran across this passage from Judge John R. Brown’s concurrence in the 1965 case of United States v. Cox, 342 F.2d 167 (5th Cir. 1965). The question in the case is whether a U.S. attorney is obliged to sign an indictment produced by a grand jury. The court held no, but Brown’s explanation of why is revealing:

    Putting aside these factors which bear on the delicate nature of governmental decisions, there are technical reasons indigenous to criminal law which are equally compelling. Federal crimes are more and more for violation of highly complex statutes. Federal jurisdiction, indeed, whether the activity constitutes a federal crime, depend on intricate facts, many beyond the knowledge and experience of laymen composing the Grand Jury.

    In short: Federal criminal law is beyond the understanding of laymen. If that is so, it seems to me, the body of federal criminal law is itself a due process violation since laymen are required — on pain of imprisonment — to comply with a body of law that is, according to an eminent federal judge, too complex for them to understand.

    Perhaps defendants should be allowed to place the statute and regulations before the jury and be acquitted if the jury finds that an ordinary person would not have believed they were committing a crime.

  28. 2013 February 6 6:18 am
    drdog09 permalink

    CA BJGers have a front row seat to watch the Dims be pitted against themselves — http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/02/04/brown-vs-green-clash-of-the-titans-in-california/

  29. 2013 February 6 6:23 am
    drdog09 permalink

    “Perhaps defendants should be allowed to place the statute and regulations before the jury and be acquitted if the jury finds that an ordinary person would not have believed they were committing a crime.”

    Perceptive. Goes to Mens Rea which can exempt you from a good chunk of both common and federal law. Would be an interest defense.

  30. 2013 February 6 7:00 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Fed Reserve admits it got hacked — http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/05/federal-reserve-hack/

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