Beginners Guide to Raising Sheep

Sheep husbandry or breeding sheep is the action of breeding and raising domestic sheep for the reason for harvesting its milk, wool, or meat. The top sheep producing countries internationally are: Australia, New Zealand, Iran, UK, Turkey, Syria, India, Spain, Sudan, and Pakistan. These countries have the most favorable climate and environment for breeding sheep that is why they're the top producers of sheep internationally. If you are planning to become a sheep breeder, the environment and climate where you are in must closely resemble those of the countries listed above as a way to be successful.

Sheep breed well in dry but cool places. They must have lots of room to move and enough grass to graze in. Sheep need plenty of water and sufficient shelter from the elements (i.e. rain, winter). Newborn sheep should be immunized immediately, with booster shots given every 6 weeks for the next 3 months, and then every 6 months thereafter. Sheep also need protection from predators. Adequate fencing may take care of this. Other farmers also make use of sheepdogs to help them guard and keep the sheep on specific land. Breeding sheep may be both a fun and rewarding experience, but can likewise be nerve-wracking and hard.

If you are breeding sheep for wool, Merino and Corriedale sheep are the breeds of choice. For milk, the Assaf and Awassi breeds are known to produce the best and largest volume of milk among other strains. While for meat, Dorper and Hampshire breeds are your best bet.

In addition to their basic needs, sheep need lots of attention and care. They need plenty of exercise particularly when you are raising them for meat (this is so that they will not accumulate more fat than meat). Most farmers also cut the sheep's tails (this is called docking) to keep the sheep hygienic (droppings sticks to its tails and wool). Periodic worming is in addition a must, as is other preventive inoculations like those for tetanus and enterotoxemia (overeating disease). Farmers should likewise take special care that their sheep do not develop foot rot, a fungus infection that develops when the sheep stands long in wet mud. Breeding sheep will also often ask that the farmer be in attendance when a ewe is in labor. Supplementary food like hale and bay may also be needed if grass sets out to run out in their grazing ground.

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