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How to Raise Sheep for Profit



Sheep are Quadruped ruminant mammals kept as livestock. The animals are an essential source of protein and wool worldwide. In ideal conditions they live 10 to 12 years have an excellent sense of smell but poor eye sight?  Cultural impact include symbol of virility, religious symbolism and folklore.
The meat is referred to as mutton or lamb is farmed for local consumption or export markets. They are flock animals and thrive in herds with adult males weighing 42 to 165kg and female 42 to 100kg. The females have a gestation period of 152 days.
To start the business you need to learn the trade, secure funding, permit and farm land. Other requirements are breed selection, purchase of feed, labour costs.  The business is highly lucrative and practicable from home or designated land.
flock of sheep
Advantages of Sheep Farming
The major advantages are the many products obtained from sheep farming.  They sell at reasonable prices and there is huge demand for meat, wool and milk products. The animal is multi-purpose, very adaptable, a shed not required.
The business offers quick returns and provides rural employment. The animal is adaptable to semi-arid and arid regions. Feeding is inexpensive and they eat a verity of food.
Another valuable product is the high demand for organic sheep manure. The animal is hardly, rugged and requires less labour. They are excellent ranch stock, can survive extreme drought and require low start-up.
Reasons to Start a Sheep Farm
           products sell at reasonable prices
           huge demand
           multi-purpose
           animal is adaptable
           shed not required
           offers quick returns
           provides rural employment
           inexpensive feed
           they eat a verity of food
           the animal is hardly
           excellent ranch stock
           can survive extreme drought
           low start-up
Steps to Start the Business
The farmer needs to plan before starting the business. Things to consider are the type of breed to farm. Some are best for wool production while others are ideal for meat or milk. You need funds to purchase the animal, veterinary services, labour costs, property leasing.
Other cost considerations are food, cost of barn or fencing.  Decide on the number of sheep based on your land mass and finance. The next step is to acquire landed property with good pasture.
Starting the Business
           Plan
           Select a breed to farm
           Acquire funding
           purchase the animal
           use veterinary services
           estimate labour costs
           property leasing
           food cost
           cost of barn or fencing
           decide on the number of sheep
           acquire landed property
           find good pasture
sheep
Sheep Characteristics
The physical characteristics are wool, short horns, good hearing and sensitivity to noise. They are herd animals that displace flocking behaviour. The establish dominance hierarchy through competitive fights and treats.
Vocalisation in domestic sheep includes snorts, grunts, rumbles, bleats and snorts. They generally lack facial hair and display poor eyesight. They are panic easily but can recognise their handlers.
Characteristics
           Wool
           short horns
           good hearing
           sensitivity to noise
           herd animals
           establishment of dominance
           hierarchy
           competitive fights
           treats
           different vocalisation
           lack facial hair
           display poor eyesight
           panic easily
           easily recognise their handlers
Sheep Products
Domesticated sheep are raised for their pelts, meat and wool. They are good as pets, produce organic manure or bred exclusively for milk.
           Organic manure
           Pelts
           Meat
           Wool
           Milk
           Sheep based products
sheep
Sheep Breeds
The type of sheep selected for the farming process depends on the product. Some are best raised for their long wool while others are perfect for meat production. Popular sheep breeds domesticated and farmed are the Merino, Suffolk and Dorper.
Others include the Dorset Horn, Ronney sheep, Hampshire and Leicester longwool. More are the Southdown, Lincoln, Carriedale and Barbados Black Belly. We have the Jacob, Cotwold, East Friesian, Shroshire and Scottish Blackface.
Breeds
           Merino
           Suffolk
           Dorper
           Dorset Horn
           Ronney sheep
           Hampshire
           Leicester longwool
           Southdown
           Lincolin
           Carriedale
           Barbados Black Belly
           Jacob
           Cotwold
           East Friesian
           Shroshire
           Scottish Blackface
How to Start a Sheep Farm
Write a Business Plan
The job of a sheep farmer is straight forward and easy. However it is essential to write a comprehensive sheep farming business plan. The plan should focus on breed selection, location, sourcing the food and labour. Other considerations are marketing the product, funding and farm management.
The first step is to determine your business template. Are you interested in breeding, meat or wool production?  The farmer could farm sheep exclusively or supplement income with goats.
Make sure you acquire appropriate training, number of starter herd, setup cost. The scope and size of the enterprise will determine the amount of money you need.
Go for Training
The investor needs to learn the trade. Learn through experience, apprentice program or books. You could hire experienced staff to raise the animals. Use online resources like eBooks, tutorials and video.
Acquire Land
The animal does not require a shed to grow, however providing a shed against extreme weather conditions is advised. Generally 15 ewes could be raised on 3 acres of land and provide clean drinking water, feeding trough and shelter. You can practice zero grazing, external grazing or semi-intensive grazing.
Select the Breed
 Make sure you buy the animal from a certified breeder with good track record. The breed selection is predicated on wool, meat or milk production.
Top breeds for meat are Hampshire, Borset, Southdown sheep. Others are Texel, Suffolk, North county Cheviot. We have the dual purpose breeds good for meat and milk production. Some are the Polypay, Targhee, Corriedale, Columbia.
Meat and Dual Purpose Breeds
           ewe milk replacer
           dual drench system
           Hampshire
           Borset
           Southdown sheep
           Texel
           Suffolk
           North county Cheviot
           Polypay
           Targhee
           Corriedale
           Columbia
Legalities
Join a sheep farmers association in your locality. You need a commercial license to breed and sell sheep. Others are tax identification number and insurance. It is not mandatory to register the business however incorporating gives it an identity.
sheep
Feeding Sheep
The animal loves to forage and require large range land. They can graze for 6 to 7 hours from dawn to dusk. However intensive farming requires morning or afternoon feeding and inclusion of supplements. The food could be wet feed or dry feed, by-products, stored feed.
They eat a variety of food from pasture, greens and different plants. Other food sources are hay, grass, forbs, clover and flowering plants. They eat crop products, soybean hulls, wheat middlings and peanut hulls. More are gluten feed, whole cotton seed and corn.
The sheep will eat hedge Lucerne, buffalo grass, sorghum, sylo. Make sure the food is nutritious and washed before serving. Cut pasture plants, silage, green chops for the sheep. The farmer should provide supplements alongside vitamins and minerals. Ensure they have a steady supply of fresh water to drink.
What to Feed Sheep
           different plants
           hay
           forbs
           clover
           flowering plants
           soybean hulls
           wheat middling
           peanut hulls
           gluten feed
           whole cotton seed
           corn
           eat hedge Lucerne
           buffalo grass
           sorghum
           sylo
           pasture plants
           silage
           green chops
           supplements
sheep
Sheep Farming Equipment
To achieve high productivity you need to keep the sheep in a stress free environment. There are much equipment you need to start the farm.  You need ewe milk replacer, drench, syringe, thermometer, food and watering trough.
Others are fencing, temporary pen, lamb wormers. Medical tape, splints and bandages. Buy electric pliers, tags, rings. Use feeding bottles, disposable gloves, stomach tube, lambing snare, ropes, halters, buckets.
Equipment
          thermometer
          food and watering trough
          fencing
          replacement fence
          temporary pen
          lamb wormers
          medical tape
          splints
          bandages
          electric pliers
          tags
          rings
          feeding bottles
          disposable gloves
          stomach tube
          lambing snare
          ropes
          halters
          bucket
Grooming
They should be washed occasionally and groomed to remove grass seed and torn. Long haired animals are combed and brushed regularly. If the sheep is kept for wool production this provision is mandatory.
Dip them to prevent pest infestation on the hair. Trim the hooves if allowed to graze huge pastures. It is important replacing old sheep in your breeding program. Don’t forget to inoculate against certain diseases or health issues.
How to Groom Sheep
           wash occasionally
           combed
           brushed regularly
           Dip them
           Trim the hooves
           replacing old sheep
           inoculate
Sheep Diseases
Common diseases are sheep anthrax, orf, tetanus. Others are pest des petits ruminants, blue tongue and sheep pox.
Death by predator is common in sheep farming especially free range. Top predators are wolves, bear and carnivores. They may suffer injuries, poisoning, viral or bacterial diseases. Parasites include mites, maggots, nose bots, sheep keds and lice.
Diseases
           sheep anthrax
           orf
           tetanus
           pest des petits ruminants
           blue tongue
           sheep pox
           death by predator
           they may suffer injuries
           occasional poisoning
           Parasites infection
Reproduction
A farmer can mate a single ram to five ewes. Sheep are seasonal breeders and reach sexual maturity in 6 to 8 months. However some breeds achieve maturity much earlier 4 months or later 18 months.
The ewes emit a scent and their oestrus cycle is every 17 days. Ram behaviour involves a contest fight for dominance and right to mate. The ewe’s gestation period is roughly five months and produce a single lamb.
In some cases they might produce twin lambs however selective breeding could cause multiple offspring. The lambs are later tagged and vaccinated by a qualified vet.
Marketing
The meat is a delicacy in many African countries. It is also eaten extensively during Muslim celebrations and festivities. Sell the meat to meat vendors, butchers, restaurants, hotels and food outlets. Sell the milk to product manufacturing companies and cotton to artisans.
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