Sheep farming is one of the fun and fruitful options at the same time, especially for owners of small farms who do not have much space to raise livestock. Sheep are relatively inexpensive pets and are less susceptible to disease than other livestock. Therefore, we find many rural families who resort to raising it thanks to its importance in providing wool, delicious meat, milk, and cheese. Admittedly, there are some difficulties that farmers can encounter in their breeding. Therefore, if you are going to invest in sheep, you must first know how to raise sheep in the correct way before you start assembling your herd.
Raising sheep the right way
Facilities and equipment necessary for raising sheep in a correct manner
Provide basic shelter: Sheep needs housing varies according to the climate, seasons of pregnancy, and preferences of the shepherd’s management. But all the sheep need is a simple barn that protects them from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. It should be noted the importance of having quarantine facilities in order to place new sheep for a specific period in order to ensure that they are free of diseases or to isolate sick animals in order to avoid disease transmission between the herd. The breeder should spread hay on the barn floor every day, in order to provide warmth for the flock, especially for the young sheep.
Enclose the herd with a solid fence: You will need a fence of five feet or more, in order to confine your herd of sheep in a specific area and protect them from predators. One of the best types of fencing for sheep is a soft electric wire or well-knit wire.
Pasture area: Sheep farming does not require large pasture areas, unlike other livestock. Sheep feed on small weeds found in poor soil even. Therefore, choosing a grazing area rich in plants, can provide a natural plant diet that is better for her, and cheaper for her.
Feeding equipment: Placing food on the ground causes a large waste of feed and contributes to the spread of diseases, especially internal parasites. So you need feeders that are slightly off the ground. There are many different designs for sheep troughs, some of them come in the form of a letter (v) and are considered one of the easiest types of troughs to clean, and others come hung on the fence to be removed when the sheep finish their food. And do not forget the metal utensils that most breeders rely on to feed a small number of animals.
Watering equipment: Fresh, clean water is a daily necessity for sheep. Sheep usually prefer to drink from moving water walks, and if they are not available you can provide water through buckets, basins, or automatic water supplies.
Correct feed and nutrition for sheep farming
Sheep are roaming animals, as they eat all the herbs, trees, and straw that appear in front of them. This is enough to make them grow and maintain their health while providing them with some necessary salts and nutritional supplements. This means that the sheep can feed themselves without the intervention of the breeder in the prosperous seasons, but in the winter they must supplement their diet by providing them with grain, hay, and clean hay.
Sheep also require high levels of protein, which is the most expensive part of their diet, so large amounts of protein should be given to milk-producing lactating ewes and young sheep to build muscle. Among the most important protein-rich meals, we find soybeans, followed by sunflower seeds, cotton seeds, peanuts, rapeseed, and alfalfa in terms of containing high levels of protein. And don’t forget the legume straw, which contains moderate amounts of protein.
This should provide a range of minerals, vitamins, and nutritional supplements such as (A, E, D) because they are not available in plant products. In addition to providing salt because of its important regulatory function for the body, it helps prevent bloating in sheep. In addition, eating a small amount of salt can reduce sheep’s intake of feed and water, and their milk production.
And speaking of water, sheep consume anywhere from 1/2 to 5 gallons of water per day. This depends on their physiological state, the water content of their feed, and the surrounding environmental conditions. Water intake is also directly related to the amount of feed intake.
Dealing with sheep for proper breeding
Sheep are easy animals to handle if you know some basics about how to raise sheep the right way. The sheep follow each other during the walk, preferring to walk towards higher and open areas, away from closed places and buildings. Sheep tend to graze in hidden corners or curves where they cannot see what awaits them. And if you notice that your herd is moving away from an area, know that something is terrifying them there.
As with most animals, feeding is the best way to train sheep. The sheep’s love for grain, peanuts, and apples is a temptation for them. But always be careful not to frighten them, sheep have only one way of defending themselves, and that is to jump and run away.
General sheep care methods
Trimming their hoofs: The growth of hoofs is affected by many factors, including the genetic breed of sheep, soil moisture and characteristics, as well as the quality of food. This suggests that sheep grazing on dry, rocky soil may not require as much hoof care as sheep on moist, rock-free soil. For this, the breeder should pay attention to the sheep’s hooves every period, and trim them if necessary, as neglecting them can affect their productivity and cause them to be infected with many diseases.
Shearing the wool: sheep’s wool should be shaved at least once a year. The wool is usually sheared in the spring, to prevent the sheep from overheating in the summer, and it is preferable to shear the wool before the lambing period.
Check your sheep is free of parasites: Due to the density of their wool, sheep can harbor mites, lice, and other insects. For this, you can use insecticide to spray your flocks and eliminate all parasites in them, and you can spray the barn floor to avoid any remaining ones.
From the foregoing, we conclude that sheep farming is of great economic importance because it provides the farmer with a huge financial return in many different ways. For those who do not know
, “Australia” ranks first in the world in terms of the diversity of sheep breeds, and is the largest exporter of fine wool in the world, followed by the developing countries in Africa and Asia.