We do have plans for a small flock of Dorpers. We may get started this spring, depending on whether I can get a separate paddock fenced for them. I can't mix them with the agisted merinos because they'll contaminate his wool and our ram would wear himself out on his ewes. We'll buy the best purebred ram we can afford and perhaps 4 or 5 4th cross ewes and breed up to 20 from there. We only need personal meat consumption and fire safety. Longer term, most of our 50 acres will hopefully be planted to trees, so the sheep will be confined to some row cropping paddocks on the lower lying areas.
Livestock are down our priority list a bit since they grow faster than trees do and their presence is an inhibitor to the growth of trees unless you're prepared to invest a lot of money and time in fencing properly. I'm focusing first on water infrastructure, swales and fruit & nut orchard establishment and of course our mandalas. We have 8 black Australorp hens and 1 increasingly bossy black Australorp rooster already working in the first dome. We have two Alpaca wethers for lamb protection and future wool for spinning.
We do agist most of our acreage to a local farmer who runs 200 merino sheep. He pays by letting me use his account with the local farm supplies store, so it's a bit of catch 22. I spend all the agistment income and more on fencing to keep his sheep out of the mandalas, orchard and now windbreak/wildlife corridor. But, I get to learn farming skills from him, ask his advice about sheep husbandry and they keep the pastures mowed for fire safety.
Wonderful plans you have Nathan. Great to see your vision and commitment. Your block of land sounds beautiful. Will you be investing in livestock too?
Make sure you blog your project. Plenty of free sites online, or even here. I'm interested in what you are going to achieve, I'm sure others are too.
Two of my parents, including a in-law parent, are Ten Pounds. They infiltrated everywhere... Pommie bastards.
My name is Nathan Chattaway. Chattaway is a pommie name. My father's mob hail from Leicestershire, in the midlands of England. Both Mum and Dad were Ten Pound Pommies. I'm an Adelaide boy from birth, recently giving the northern ex-urbs of Adelaide the flick for our permaculture adventure.
We sold up our 790 square metre McMansion-equipped block and bought 50 acres in the Mount Crawford area of the Adelaide Hills. We're just inside the Barossa Valley council southern boundary. I think the land was a good find. We've got a gentle northerly aspect (about 1:17 slope) on most of the land, with a good sized dam reasonably high on the property and a second smaller spring-fed dam lower down. We've got some westerly slopes, a good north easterly area where we're establishing a triangle of 3 "Linda Woodrow" mandalas.
I didn't realise this comment was limited to 1000 characters, will post a new thread shortly with all I was going to say as an intro.
welcome to mandala town nchataway - where does your name come from?