raven ranson wrote:Wow! $140 a pound for a raw fleece?! Fantastic. She says she grows the fleeces to over 12 inches long with no vegetation in it, to get that price.
The coats are really interesting. Even more interesting is that she doesn't coat the ones she wants to grow the extra long wool.
Mostly I just love the dogs. When I get enough sheep, I want a pair of dogs like that.
Interesting what a hot dry area she's in. Many of the fine wool breeds like merino come from hot, dry places like (in the case of merino) Spain. I wonder if her climate is part of what makes the wool so fine?
Thekla McDaniels wrote:That's great Danette.I love to hear about people making a profit or even breaking even.
How have you managed to quantify your time? That's always my biggest question. I do work that I enjoy, but it seems like some of the time I should be generating funds to support the life I love.
Any perspective to lend on that question?
r ranson wrote:Is it economically viable to raise sheep just for their wool alone?
Increasing the value of the finished product can be done by putting more labour into it. My $20 fleece can become two to five hundred dollars worth of yarn or two $400 sweaters. That's all well and good, but then the challenge is to find someone willing to pay that much for it. There is more to increasing the value than simply putting more labour into it.
Danette Cross wrote:I raise five sheep just for their wool, and I make a profit on them. I process their fleece myself, spin it into yarn, sell it as combed fiber, yarns, and weave items from it, all making me more money that what it costs to fee them. If you do not have the skills or the market for selling the "value added" wool, then it will probably cost you money to have them.
You say you make a profit on your sheep, but you don't appear to account for your time spent processing. What hourly rate would you give yourself? And how doe sit stack up when you factor that in as well?
Thea Olsen wrote:We're considering getting a few sheep expect the endeavor to be economically viable even though I'll keep most of all the wool for myself. We live in the suburbs, on a 1.5 acre horse property (with no horses). My mother-in-law (who owns the property) is currently paying a hefty sum for mowing every week during the growing season. I've eliminated large chinks of lawn by planting other things, but there is still a lot of it. We could rotate a small flock of sheep around most of it, and reduce the mowing to a more manageable amount.
Thea Olsen wrote:I'm well aware of that. I Suspect we'd also need some supplemental feed during the growing season at least at first, while we work on improving the quality of the pasture.