Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

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WileECoyote
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Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by WileECoyote » 14 May 2012, 16:10

Any suggestions for profitable ways to use an acre of grassland?

We've previously kept the area mown as lawn but it is a dreadful waste of resources, petrol and time. Times are getting hard anyway and I'm wondering what we can keep on the land other than four chickens? The chickens are looking a bit lost now wading in foot high grass! :lol: I gather goats are escape artists. There are a few conifers growing on part of the boundary too which I gather are poisonous to cattle (according to our neighbour). I'm wondering about a rearing a couple of lambs? Is there any bureaucracy involved? Could we just buy a couple of lambs and let them eat the grass then sell them on to a butcher or is that too simplistic? Knowing France you can't go for a pee without filling in six pages of forms for fonctionnaires first! I'm reluctant to let a nearby farmer put any livestock on the land due to potential problems of transferred rights that I hear so much about e.g. farmers legally taking possession of your 200 year old oak trees for firewood etc.

Suggestions please? :scratch:
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Re: Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by tweedy » 14 May 2012, 17:37

A couple of lambs would certainly keep the grass down, then you could send them off for slaughter in the autumn. Your boundary will need to be stock fenced or at least escape proof. As for legalities in france cant help you there i'm afraid.

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Re: Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by goatlady » 15 May 2012, 06:25

There is some paperwork involved, but it's no more outrageous than doing anything else in France. You will have to register with the Chambre d'Agriculture of your department, and you will get a registration number (numéro de cheptel). You have to do this whether you keep one animal or one thousand... Unfortunately, the admin costs are the same, however many animals you have - but it's not prohibitive. For example, this year I paid €2.70 for ear tags and a further €20 in admin fees. The admin fee also covers the dead animal collection service, should you ever need it. Each animal will have to be tagged. They should have an electronic tag on one ear and an ordinary one on the other. There will also be annual vets' fees for blood tests (brucellosis) and any compulsory vaccinations (eg bluetongue or similar outbreak). Vets' fees for farm animals are much lower than for dogs and cats and, in our area, the vet includes several herds in the blood test/vaccination round, thereby sharing the callout fee. A local butcher may or may not be willing to buy the lambs from you, but you could sell the meat or eat it yourself. It will be your responsibility to get them to the abattoir. If the meat is to be sold, then they must go via the abattoir rather than be slaughtered by a friend or neighbour.

Goats are indeed escape artists, and really need more variety than just grass.

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Re: Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by WileECoyote » 15 May 2012, 22:38

Thank you for the feedback. It sounds like an undertaking not taken lightly and will need more thought and investigation.
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Re: Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by mojo » 17 May 2012, 11:21

if you have strong fences how about geese? seems lots of expat want one for xmas judging by the enquireys last dec.
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Re: Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by WileECoyote » 17 May 2012, 12:06

I don't know anything about geese so will do some research. Do they eat much grass? Do they need bought food in addition (pellets etc)?
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Re: Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by goatlady » 17 May 2012, 15:28

Geese are effective grazers, and will fatten well on summer grass. They only need a high proportion of dry feed when they are growing or in force-feeding systems. You can probably easily find out how many you need for a certain sized piece of land. They will need somewhere safe from foxes to be shut away at night.

They can be a bit noisy, by the way, if you have adjoining neighbours who might object. But there's no bureaucracy.

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Re: Keeping and rearing lambs? Bureaucracy?

Post by kated » 17 May 2012, 16:08

They must be wormed regularly just like chickens.

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