Today I am going to walk you through what I would use to make 10 acres of raw land suitable for raising and grazing sheep. I am going to outline what you need to install and give you a ballpark figure of how much this infrastructure will costs. I will explain the various options for water and electricity, even outlining some options for land that has neither water nor electrical access yet.
Fenceline Clearing: $500-3000
In my area of Northeast Texas, a forestry clearing machinery kit can be rented for $3,000 per week. For light brush, a brush hog costs about $500 per week to rent.
Perimeter Fencing Material: $3824
I would install the same fence that is on my farm right now. This fence is a woven wire field fence and costs $478 per 330 linear foot. The cost covers a 6×6″ woven wire field fencing that comes on 330ft rolls. You will need to factor in the cost of corner braces if you do not have the lumber from clearing the fenceline to do so.
Corner Braces: 5 each 8’x6″ treated post ($30 each). $150 per corner post x 4 $600.
2 Gate hinge kits at $18 each
1 Utility Tube Gate for $217. Two 8’x6″ treated post for either side of the gate = $60
Fencing Total: $4,637-7137
If you already have a spigot access point, you can simply take water to your paddocks using a 500′ length of UV resistant Poly-tubing. That’s what I do. The 500′ length of pipe cost me $200 and I have water in all of my paddocks.
#1 Pond: In my region, it costs $1200-3600 to dig a small pond. That said, I would not dig a pond, but haul water instead. Sheep drink very little water. On the hottest days I observe they only drink 1 gallon per head per day.
65 Gallon Tank: $280
Sheep drink about 1 gallon of water per day, so if you are considering a flock of 20 sheep on 10 acres, a 65 gallon water tank will service your flock for 3 days.
Water total: $200-$3000
There are a lot of options when it comes to sheep shelter! Feel free to leave yours down below.
I am currently working with a company to purchase a 10×20′ structure that will be a miniature replica of the 2-sided structure that I currently have.
With the modifications this structure will cost around $2,200.
A 2-sided shelter is all I have ever needed here in Texas. The closed side is facing the north, which is where the cold wind blows in from. As long as there is plenty of dry bedding, the sheep are just fine in this shed!
Shelter Cost: $2,200
Rotational Grazing Infrastructure:
Assuming no electrical access, I would utilize a 5 joule solar system for 10 acres. $800
Rotational Grazing Supplies:
Here are the supplies I would keep on hand for rotational grazing:
6 reels. $90
6 rolls of polytape. $240
40 Step in Posts. $87.60
2 sets of tri-jumper cables. $20
2 Reel stands with brackets: $250
Buffering for Incidentals:
I would put a $1,500 buffer into my budget for this project for incidentals. This will cover the cost of the unexpected. If you don’t spend it, you can put it toward the cost of breeding stock… but it is that it is better to come up with extra than to fall short.
How many sheep on 10 acres?
In a good rainfall area (40″+) with land that has 70% grass cover or more, 2-3 sheep per acre is possible.
That said, I would start with 1 sheep per acre. Buy 8-10 of the highest quality ewes you can find and pair them to the best ram you can afford. Starting small is my anthem. It will keep you from burnout: both financial and emotional.
What’s more is that sheep reproduce really fast. Within 8 months your flock size will double. You can save back your best ewes every year to increase your flock size from 10 to 20, and so on.
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“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish…” Luke 14:28