Keeping sheep is an activity that calls for much attention and careful consideration. Most people take up the challenge of keeping sheep as means of livelihood because of several advantages:
1. Sheep may produce good quality wool for sale;
2. Sheep are also known to be prolific milk and cheese producers;
3. They can also be sold for their meat;
4. And sheep may also be sold as is for other sheep farmers.
Sheep are grazing animals. They need a constant supply of grass to supply their nutritional requirements as ruminants. Grass fed sheep also produce a higher nutritional value milk and other dairy produce, although grain supplements has its place in their diet as well. Because of their nature to always group themselves, it is also important to save time to have a good herding dog to help you around. A flock of sheep usually have a follow the leader attitude so managing a huge number of them can be daunting so choosing your helper dog for the task is also important.
You must also proved ample space for them to move around a good measure is 1 acre of land per four ewes and their lambs. Keeping sheep within their confines is also an essential part of raising them. Today electrified fences or nets are getting popular due to their liability and ease of installment. Be familiarized with their natural predators. In a U.S. survey it was shown that the common coyote accounted for 50 percent of the sheep losses. Other predators are the bobcats, wild dogs, eagle and even bears. Penning and bedding them to some extent minimizes the threats posed by these predators.
Keeping sheep in tip top shape may also require you to invest on good housing or building for them in order to ward off the harmful natural elements. If you are keeping sheep for wool then a good investment on building is imperative. Having a chute for your sheep is also one of the most important equipments you will need. It is a narrow passageway for sheep in order to manage them to walk in a single file so that when you need to vaccinate any of them you are sure that each of them receive proper attention. A good halter is also needed to lead them and hold each sheep by their heads properly. Keeping sheep can be a rewarding business but you will need dedication and more hands-on experience with it to get the most out of it.
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