Learning more about how to start sheep farming business is important, especially if you want to start a new business. Sheep farming is actually rewarding, whether you raise for your livelihood, as a hobby or as a source of homegrown food supply. And it can be a great way to convert grass into food and clothing. It is actually possible to raise sheep profitably on small piece of land if you can manage your operation carefully.
Sheep are generally kept for many different purposes such as meat, milk, skin and fiber. Success in sheep farming business depends on good planning in advance, solid and continual management of the farm and also on keeping a record of everything.
Commercial sheep farming business can actually be a great source of income and employment. Starting in a small scale and expanding gradually will be good. Sheep products (meat, fiber etc.) have a very good demand in the market, so you don’t have to worry about marketing. And there is also an opportunity to export sheep products in the international market. However, here we are describing more about ‘how to start sheep farming business’. Read below to learn more about the business.
How to Start Sheep Farming Business
Staring commercial sheep farming business is relatively easy, as the sheep are smaller sized animals. But it’s wise to make a better business plan prior to starting this business, and work according to the plan. Here we are describing more about starting sheep farming business.
Why Do You Want to Start Sheep Farming Business
First of all, decide the reasons actually why you want to raise sheep. Generally sheep are raised for many different reasons. Some people raise sheep for earning a living from their meat, milk, hides and wool. Some raise sheep for vegetation control, some raise for obtaining organic homegrown meat and also for other products. A few people also raise sheep as a hobby or as a pet. So, it is very important to determine, why you actually want to raise sheep.
Do You Have Enough Time & Money for Raising Sheep
You also need to consider if you have enough time and money for starting sheep farming business. You need money for purchasing sheep, building their shelter, fencing and also for vaccinations and vet checks. Consider whether you can arrange the money or not.
Select Farm Location
You will need to select a very good location for starting your sheep farming business and it’s very important. You will need to select such an area that has all the facilities required for raising sheep. Required facilities for raising sheep are a good and clean water source, availability of greens, good transportation, good marketing and vet service. Consider all these facilities are available while selecting a good location for your farm.
Select & Purchase Breeds
There are numerous sheep breeds available throughout the world to choose from. Some common and popular breeds for commercial sheep farming business are Cheviot, Suffolk, Polypay, Jacob, Hampshire, Katahdin, Merino, Ramboullet, Bannur, South Down etc. Choose the breed depending on your production purpose. Starting with the local breeds will be better, especially if you are a beginner.
After selecting good and right breed for your operation, it’s time to purchase the animals. Consider famous farms or breeders within your locality first for purchasing quality animals. You can also purchase sheep from any of your nearest livestock market. Online classified websites are also a good option for sourcing quality animals.
Good shelter/housing system is a must for raising sheep, although sheep don’t require high-end or expensive housing. Your sheep will be healthy and live happily if you can fulfill their basic housing demands. Sheep require shelter not only for keeping themselves safe from predators, but also for keeping themselves safe from adverse weather conditions.
An adult sheep will need between 10 and 20 square feet space depending on the breed and size of the animal. You have to ensure that the house is always clean and dry, and the roof needs to be at least 6 feet high from the floor. Good ventilation system is a must for keeping sheep, and you should ensure flow of sufficient air and light inside the house.
Feeding Your Sheep
Sheep are grazers and they love to graze. So, you have to ensure availability of good quality pasture for your animals. The pasture for the sheep can include any mixture of brush, trees, grasses and legumes. But in case if you have poor pasture, then you have to supplement their diet with hay and specialized pellet feed. Salt lick blocks are also required for the sheep.
You also need to ensure there is always fresh water available for your animals. Clean the feeding and watering pot of your sheep on a regular basis.
Fencing is a good option for keeping your animals inside, but it’s not a mandatory. A good fence around the pasture will keep the sheep safe from predators or any other dangers. Both wire and woven fences will be good for your animals.
Good health care and management not only keep the animals healthy and strong, but also helps to maximize income from the business. Vaccinate your animals on a regular basis. You also need to ensure that the sheep are wormed regularly with a commercial worming paste that is suitable for sheep. Read: Caring for sheep.
Sheep are vulnerable to foot rot diseases. So, regular hoof trimming is required for the sheep. Shearing is also important for raising sheep. Read: Sheep shearing information & guide.
Marketing sheep products is easy and there is already an established market for sheep products. Consider marketing your products in your local markets first. It will be better if you can set your marketing strategies before starting your sheep farming business.
You can make very good profit from your sheep farming business, if you follow modern systems/rules for raising sheep. God bless you!