You don’t need to be a big shot farmer to have a sheep. In fact, more and more people are opting for sustainability and producing their own produce. Sheep can offer wool, milk, meat, and cheese. They can even be great companions. If you are considering keeping sheep or starting a small farm, there are some questions you need to answer first. Ask yourself these questions:
What breed is best for my purposes?
The purpose of keeping sheep will help you know which breed will be best for you. You have dairy breeds, meat breeds, and wool breeds. Some breeds are good for more than one purpose and some may even be able to offer you all three. You can check online directories for an indication of which sheep is available and best to keep in your area.
Should I keep rams?
Rams can be very difficult to handle for inexperienced farmers. They can get aggressive and cause injury. If your main purpose for raising sheep is not breeding, hold off on the rams. You will eventually have to breed, but there are different options available that you can consider when the time comes.
How many sheep can I keep?
The number of sheep that you will be able to keep on your property will depend on the plants that grow there, the rainfall, and the quality of the soil. Sheep are flock animals and will need at least one other sheep to keep them company. How many sheep your land will hold, will require some research on rainfall, etc.
How do I protect my sheep?
First off, you will need fencing. You will have different camps for rotating. All these camps should be fenced. You also need to have shelter for them against the weather. You can build a barn or other shelter that offers protection.
You should spend time with your sheep to get to know their behaviour. This will help you notice when something is wrong. Your sheep’s health is also important and you will do well with making friends with the local vet.