What breed do you keep? We're looking at adding a handful of Icelandic since they are triple purpose (milk/wool/meat). Unfortunately my family that hardly speaks to me is using that land for cattle even though it is mine now so it will be another year or two because if I ask them to stop it will be a bigger fight than coming out (coming out only hurts their social standing, but taking back the land hurts their $).
Do you keep the rams separate? We are thinking we may just use insemination instead of having to deal with rams.
Do you keep anything else? We have keep bees and have chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and a peahen with plan to hatch more turkeys and peafowl next year.
To be back on topic for the thread. I'm about to go meet an old friend (almost a mentor) I haven't seen for 5 years. He seems to be accepting via email/facebook, but I'm still nervous about meeting him again.
I started with Corriedale, then added Harlequin, then added Border Leicester (American) for a while, and then two years of Texel, and now I'm back to Leicesters because I like them pretty well. So my ewes are all over the map with what breed they have in them, and how much. Do you mean separate from the ewes or separate from each other? Most big operations put the rams with the ewes for an allotted few weeks and pull them out again so that all the lambing will be as concentrated as possible. Or you can leave them together all winter if you don't mind the possibility of a ewe being really late. For me it's easier that way. The rest of the year you keep two groups, and be very sure they're contained, because accidents happen quickly. If you possibly can, do not put anybody by himself, because they're very social and they go nuts when they're alone all the time. Unless you have a really foul one, rams aren't too bad just because you only have to fool with them a couple times a year. I think insemination would be easier in a sense and less easy in another sense.
I also keep chickens and a llama. The llama lives with the sheep and acts as a guard. Believe it or not, llamas are good insurance against dog attacks. Mine also will guard them against people he doesn't know, though I don't know if that's a llama thing or just his bad-tempered self.
I love keeping sheep. They're not as stupid and have a hell of a lot more personality than people give them credit for. I think you'll like them, and good luck with your family.