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Humbled21
09-29-2012, 05:02 PM
Hey Guys, My name is Matt from Indiana. I was wondering what you guys know about Sheep mowing. I've looked it up and it seems it could be profitable.

My main questions are.

Do the yards look decent after they're done?

What should I charge for something like that? Some website said a dollar a day per sheep but there is no way you could make money like that. I figure if I could setup the electric fence in the yard, let the sheep into it give them some water and a temporary tent shelter, leave and come back the next day, boom they're done, or if it's a big yard move the fence somewhere else. I was thinking sense I mow with a Dixie chopper where I work now, I could charge them what I think the job would take using my Dixie chopper and a weed eater. However I don't know if that would be OK because I would not leave the pretty tire marks in the yard that some people like. Hard to say. So any ideas?

Are there any weird zoning laws I would have to deal with?

Would I need some form of insurance for it?

Who should I market this too and how?

I would appreciate your thoughts, and I apolligize if not using a lawn mower is heresy on the site :D
Matt

Apex Lawn & Landscape
09-29-2012, 08:03 PM
Lol residential mowing with sheep? Good luck man. I've only heard of this in California, a lady does this with people who have steep hillsides .

Hedgemaster
09-29-2012, 08:19 PM
Baaaaaaaah-d idea.




:D I had to do it.

Cashin H&P
09-29-2012, 08:21 PM
Lol residential mowing with sheep? Good luck man. I've only heard of this in California, a lady does this with people who have steep hillsides .

My friend runs his flock of goats and sheep on power lines and the electric companys pay him or it. So it is possible but residential I dont think makes sense.

CHEESE2009
09-29-2012, 09:52 PM
Don't be silly.

Sheep are for s.e.x, not for mowing!

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_saSL-Bu1xNY/SPuVvSLRTrI/AAAAAAAAAjk/yz7mvvDeq1M/s400/sheep.jpg

Grass Doctor
09-29-2012, 11:43 PM
Don't be silly.

Sheep are for s.e.x, not for mowing!

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_saSL-Bu1xNY/SPuVvSLRTrI/AAAAAAAAAjk/yz7mvvDeq1M/s400/sheep.jpg


<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ko-uLiPGbes" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Humbled21
09-30-2012, 04:45 PM
Come on it's not that bad. From what I saw today the yards looked decent. People like sheep and see them on peoples yards and are like that's awesome! Then they come watch the sheep and are like, "Hey I want some sheep on my yard."

Sheep don't use Gasoline.

They Multiply, so as sheep have more sheep my potential business expands

They trim, mow, and fertilize all at the same time

They're way quieter than mowers, and much cuter

They were cutting lawns long before lawn mowers

If they're baaaad, I can eat them.

Steve
10-01-2012, 10:05 AM
What kinds of property would you use them on? Are you talking about residential properties or large commercial areas?

What got you into thinking about this?

I saw an article in the nytimes about this http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/garden/sheep-lawn-mowers-and-other-go-getters.html that says the owner charges $1.00 per day per sheep. And you can keep 8 - 15 sheep on an acre of grass.

But I have no idea how long that would take to eat down or what it would look like when done. So it may be ideal for certain situations but not for others.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/91uADay9NUg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Humbled21
10-01-2012, 02:37 PM
I believe I would use it primarily out in Rural area's but possibly in a subdivision based on how popular it becomes.

I started thinking about it while mowing a 5 acre lawn with my fathers Dixie Chopper. Going back and forth, back and forth the mind tends to wonder. I started thinking about how people use to mow their fields. My father inlaw has a chicken coup in the back yard also and when I drove by them I noticed all the grass in there cage was dead. So I realized that the chickens had eaten all the grass, and now were surviving off of the food they were given.
I then began to think about cows and horses ate lots of grass, but they poop too much, and they're a ton of work. What about Goats and Sheep? The Goats are more for eating raised up plants, although they will eat grass, but they're also a bit more likely to miss behave. So when I got home I looked up sheep and how difficult it was to take care of them, and if anybody had ever tried it before. I found quite a few places were it had been used in the past and is being used today. So that's what got me thinking about it.

Here are a few examples
http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-11-03/news/30354066_1_sheep-poison-ivy-lawn
http://green.autoblog.com/2011/07/06/video-infineon-raceway-shows-off-its-flock-of-3-000-lawn-mowing/
http://urbanshepherds.com/Urban_Grazing___Mowing.html

the top article seems to be the most useful, but it gives me something to try to copy. I intend to either email them or call them sometime this week to see how they got started and how it's going.

Steve
10-02-2012, 10:41 AM
That is very interesting!

How many sheep would you like to have an how many properties do you feel you could service per week?

Have you worked on any numbers to see how much you would have to do to make it worth your time?

Humbled21
10-04-2012, 11:34 PM
Well I was thinking of starting off with 5. I really don't know how fast sheep can mow a lawn. Of course 5 sheep are not going to be able to mow tremendously efficiently, but it will be enough to get me used to them and what they are capable of. Perhaps a small yard within a few days. However after they breed a few times, I could greatly increase their numbers. Most suggest on big yards having about 40 sheep. However it really just depends on how many clients I can get. My biggest hope is that in starting off small, people will see them and wonder about them. Perhaps even ask about getting their own lawn mowed this way. However I will be unable too because I only have 5. But over time as my herd gets bigger and my upkeep increases, my clients will have already have showed interest and it will be easier to land clients because they've already been waiting.

But lets make a scenario. Lets say it takes 2 days for 40 sheep to mow someone's yard, and lets say we use the one guys prices of $1 per sheep per day. If I had 3 clients over a week I would make

Mon Tues $80
Wed Thur $80
Fri Sat $80
80+80+80= 240 for one week. ( I don't plan on using that price plan)
Lets say I'm able to do this 34 weeks out of the year. I would make approximately 240*34=$8160

I still haven't decided on how I would like to charge, or how I'll figure it out. I'm not even sure how much 40 sheep can mow in 1 day. I know I can't afford 5 dollars a day at first. Besides I'll still have to pay for gas for the truck to haul the sheep around. Feed for the winter, Veterinarian prices (i intend to do most of that on my own). I've looked on the internet quite a bit, and I can't seem to find a decent way to price their work. I was hoping to charge $45 dollars for what would take me an hour on my Dixie Chopper. However I'm not sure how many sheep it would take to do that.

I need to ask a Shepherd what kind of square foot a few sheep can go through in a day, and turn that into a mowing estimate calculator of some kind.

http://news.ca.msn.com/ontario/kitchener/move-over-lawnmowers-sheep-are-coming-to-cut-your-grass-in-guelph-1

Ah finally, here is women who is actually doing what I'm talking about. It looks like she's just getting started, but $40 dollars per lawn isn't too bad, that's just with 3 sheep too. So who knows where this will go but one thing is for sure. I need to do a lot more research.

willshome
10-05-2012, 08:04 AM
have you worked with sheep before?
in your city can you have live stock in a yard?
why do you think this would sell better than just mowing?
why not run on bio-fuels?

BTW my over head is more than $80 a day

Humbled21
10-06-2012, 07:21 AM
I emailed a group called Urban Shepherds, and they said that the research they've done says what I'm trying to do doesn't work very well because the sheep don't make the grass look really nice like our lawn mowers do.

However what they like to do is try to get people to keep sheep during the whole season long. That way they have a few sheep almost all the time, and at the end of the year they either butcher them, or take them back to the farm to feed them. Some people even purchase their own sheep from them and they provide them with a starter kit.

They suggested I might start an office for them in my area, but of course I would have to see if I would make any from that too. I am trying to provide for my family after all. So I guess my original idea wasn't as grand as I thought after all :(

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys. If this doesn't work out maybe I'll try renting my Dad's lawn mower and weed eater and doing it that way.

Steve
10-08-2012, 09:30 AM
Well you have to admit, you are doing a lot of investigating. That is a good thing. Ultimately who knows for sure if this would be ideal for you or not until you experiment with it.

So keep us posted on what you decide to go with.

Just don't give up, you can do whatever you want.