Sheep husbandry: How to Start an Ewe Sheep Farm

Animal husbandry is the raising of domestic animals for their produce. Different animals are farmed for their eggs, milk, meat and wool.
Sheep breeding is a major aspect of animal husbandry. The four major animal farming around the world are cattle, sheep, chicken and fish farming.
The top countries that farm sheep are listed according to the number of herds the keep. The top five are China, Australia, India, Iran and Sudan.
China and Australia account for over 250 million heads of sheep while India and Sudan 120 million. Entrepreneurs interested in going into sheep farming should decide on the product they want to sell.
There are different breeds of sheep specialized in wool, meat or milk production. Purchasing the right breed that grows best in your climate is very important.
Sheep generally range in temperate climates and are fed using different techniques. Free rage or shedding is the two ways sheep are kept.
Sheep’s are natural grazers and store some of their food to eat leisurely. Providing adequate pasture, hay and feed supplements is important to the growth of your stock.
Other considerations before starting a sheep farm are funding, fixed and working capital. The major revenue from sheep farming is shearing sheep for wool. Wool is a priced commodity in the local and international market.
How to Star a Ewe Sheep Farm
The domesticated sheep found in farms have gone through years of selective breeding. This is to facilitate higher yields of wool, meat, milk and color variations.
Although you find different color variations white wool is the standard. Sheep farmers looking to produce wool should purchase white sheep that have no blemish.
There are over 200 types of sheep primarily categorized by the color of their wool. They are further classified according to their produce such as meat sheep, milk sheep, wool sheep and hair sheep.
Location the Sheep Farm
You need several acres of farm land to successfully grow sheep. Although you can grow them in closed environments some farmers prefer ranging.
Secure your property with good fencing and build dwelling quarters. Construct shearing sheds and barns for your sheep.
Make sure your location is accessible by vehicular transportation. A major advantage of sheep farming is that they don’t need intensive farming to grow.
Sheep farming is capital intensive and time consuming. Funds are needed for leasing or purchasing property and building structures on the farm land.
You need to purchase ewe sheep to start a breeding program. Ewe sheep is the fertile fully grown female sheep farmers use for breeding.
To secure funding visit a commercial bank in your area and apply for loan. To get the loan you need a business plan, some personal fund and collateral.
Register the Sheep Farm
Like most businesses you need to incorporate the enterprise. Register the sheep farm as a limited liability company and get a business name.
You also need a trade license to sell your wool to potential customers. It is common sense to insure your business and fill your tax returns. Farmers have many unions and associations join sheep breeders association in your country.
Sheep Diet
The good news is that sheep are herbivores so they eat grass. Sheep have a complex digestive system and can manage grass, hay, and roughage.
Other foods they love are knapweed, kudzu, cheat grass, sagebrush and leafy spurge. Although they also feed on legumes, forbs avoid toxic plants like yew, acorns, oaks and potatoes.
If you want to apply the grazing technique rotate them from each pasture. Sheep graze on lower grass decimating a field in no time.
It is important to purchase sheep feed to substitute the grazing activity. During breeding season the ewe is flushed with improved grain ration for better results.
Sourcing the Ewe Sheep
Purchase your stock from reputable breeders in your locality. Other sources are research and husbandry institutions or visit any major farming association for Intel.
Make sure the ewe and bull you purchase has relevant documentation and proof of fertility. To reproduce you need a single ram and a few ewes.
Ewes reach sexual maturity in eight month and are seasonal breeders. The estrus cycle of a ewe is usually every 17 days with gestation period of 5 months.
Proper grooming is needed including veterinary care and assistance. Sheep as prone to many diseases and injuries therefore proper care and monitoring is essential.
Regular vaccination is very important to the development and health of your stock. Other things to watch out for are predators and poisonous plants.
Equipment on Sheep Farm
You need basic equipment to run your sheep farmer. Some equipment’s are buckets, troughs, closeouts, collars, halters, leads including trimming stand and vaccination. Others are bells, collars, hay feeder, clippers, stanchions, heaters and milking stands.
Sheep Products
Sheep farmers need to find other sources of income in addition to sheep wool. Farmers sell sheep meat, sheep skin and tallow.
Sheep skin is a very valuable product used in many industries. The skin is used to produce clothing’s, bags, carpets and footwear.
Other products obtained from sheep are cosmetics, pulp material for paper, and sausage casting. 
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