Who doesn’t know about this animal? Sheep is one of iconic animal among others which often used as main character on animation figure. One serial TV that describe the nature of this animal in form of animation is called Shaun The Sheep. I bet you already know it – or at least your children know it. Categorized as livestock animal with other relative goats and cows, sheep has gained its own popularity as a useful animal. Not only raised them as a livestock, some people even interested to keep them as a pet.
Their adorable appearance alluring people at any ages – children to adult – nothing is missed. Perhaps some people a little bit confused about the differences between goat and sheep (beside their appearance), for the two of them are part of small ruminant. But, if you look closer, these two animals are nothing familiar at all except both of them are end up being livestock for our need (human) – and we’re already discussed it in other article. Both of these animal opened new farming business opportunity for everyone who interested.
And if you’re a beginner; you can start with open a small farm first, and following all the basic guide of farming for beginner. Generally, a farmer would take a sheep for their meat, such lamb meat and others – and for their wool and milk. And for goat, they (farmers) will take their meat (if you interest to starting meat goat farming). You need to understand there are differences between lamb meat and goat meat. So, it’s up to you – whether you choose the sheep or goat farm.
Let’s move on, today in this particularly article we will peel deeper about 4 beginners guidance to raise sheep in a small farm. Indeed, folks, you don’t needed hectares of land to start this business! Isn’t that wonderful? You can build your farming business with what is in your hands – and that’s enough! Without any further, these are 4 beginners guidance to raise sheep in a small farm.
1. The Advantages of Raising Sheep in A Small Farm
Apparently, people have made sheep for a livestock since thousands years ago. Just like this presence day, they keep the sheep to take their meat, and wool, even their milk. There are some advantages compare to the other types of livestock animals you must understand:
- You don’t need to worry about the perfect grassland for your sheep, throughout available grasses, weeds, and brush – they will enjoy themselves.
- Sheep are quite smaller and one of the animal that really easy to behave compare to other farm animals, such pigs, cows, goats, and horses.
- In fact, sheep doesn’t need to much space for living. Even acre of land capable to accommodate small flocks which approximate about three to four mothers and the kids.
- Sheep known as a wonderful characteristic animal which very gentle and benign. You can easily train your sheep to be subservient, such approach you whenever you call them, to silent still, and to follow you.
2. Choose A Right Breed
First consideration you may give a thought while choosing a breed is the purpose of the sheep. Why you raise them? Did you raise them to be a pet or a livestock purpose? Even when you raise them to be livestock animal, you have to pick which production you need the most: meat, wool, or milk (which is not really popular, but still some people do enjoyed the milk)? This idea will help you to retrench the cost and make the time more efficient.
So, here are types of breed that would help walk harmonious with your mission and tendency:
Meat & Wool Sheep:
- Dorset (white wool medium sized breed), Tunis (creamy wool-medium sized breed), Corriedale (thick wool-large sized breed), Columbia (white wool-large sized breed), Polypay (rapidly grow), and Romney (long hair breed).
- Awassi, East Friesian (known as a good milk producer – but harder to raise), and Lacaune (popular for cheese production).
- Suffolk (very popular in USA), Hampshire (the most large breed in the world), and last Katahdin.
3. How to Nurse The Sheep
Give your sheep healthy foods is the first step of nursing your sheep. Sheep are small ruminant mean they’re herbivore and eat plants, such fresh grass, hay, sometimes bush and tree. As a grazer, sheep could eat by themselves – so, all you need to do is give them extra supplement and vitamins to make sure their body consume all the nutrients (salt, minerals, water) its need to keep your sheep’s immune system stable.
It also recommended for you to feed them with hay or grain in particular weather such winter and rainy (try to use feeder and avoid direct contact with the wet ground). An excellent grain contained 20 lbs of oats, 20 lbs of corns, and 10 lbs of wheat.
4. Build The Fence and Protect Your Sheep
The next step is to build fence surround the shelter. Make sure you build the fences without giving it any gap – this to guarantee the sheep safety from any predators and perhaps even bad people. During the fencing – remember to give them light portals, to keep them warm in extreme cold climates inside their paddock. And in warm or hot climates, make sure you provide some shade places like open roof or tree to be the place they could rest and relax.
Other important thing is you should pay attention to your sheep – keep them from parasites invasion which could occur anytime. One of the technique to control the parasites is applying deworming treatment in your sheep. When the sheep got infected by any kind of disease – despite being gentle and calm like their usual habit, sometime they will attract your attention to show you something is wrong with them. Build a facility which providing treatment is very recommended.
Furthermore, there are another more serious threat you should worry other than disease invasion – which is predators invasion. Wolf, fox, even eagle could be some positive lurking predators which ready to eat your sheep anytime they get a chance. So, we will share tips to deal with these starving animals:
- Give the sheep their own private bodyguard, such dog, llamas, and donkey.
- Wear the bell on your sheep neck.
- Provide lightning tools such pen and corral in the night.