wilder11354 wrote:Nosmoke... i don't have money enough to buy, top of the line...used(?) machinery. So i ask around, look around at what i can find, Got a decent mower(CIH8340)for $800 put same amount back into it going thru it fixing all that it needed. Market has these in the 3-5K range used. It works perfect. Again someones run it till it breaks, and park it attitude was my fortunate find. As my friend(old farmer/mentor) down the road says to me about restarting this farm" do what you do the best you can, don't bite off too much to start, and grow when what you have is working right".
I hear you.
I get a little help from the dairy farm, but I would like to wean myself off from them and start putting up my own feed. It won't be hay for me though...too much equipment and work. I am feeding hay this year (round bales) due to a three way trade, but typically I feed my sheep silage. I think they do better on hay, but it is so much work compared to silage...just fire up the tractor and do everything from the seat!
Like you guys, I took over the family Farm in 2008 and decided that if we were going to continue to pay the taxes on this place, we had to have some real farming income and not just letting the dairy farm have it for nothing. I thought about beef cows, but the price was low at the time and it just did not seem right. Our barn burned in 1994 and so housing was an issue with beef as well. That is when I realized since the Mayflower Days, this farm has always done well with sheep, and that we grow grass well, and sheep are very hardy and don't require much for barns. I spent 10 months making a farm plan, then in late 2008 I bought some sheep.
It has not always been easy...I have lost a lot of sheep since 2008 due to a variety of issues, but always learned from it, kept my flock growing and do okay. I guess it depends how you look at it. I see lots of improvements since 2008; a new access road, fencing, manure pits and lots of land clearing. I have cleared 12 acres of forest so far and put it back into active farm land, and really like where this farm is headed right now. It is a lot of work, but I will never be without sheep.
BTW: I am looking at what you are doing now, but on the hunt for a cheap flail chopper.