Sheep farming is a type of animal husbandry that involves breeding and raising of domestic sheep for commercial purposes.
Livestock rearing is one of the foremost traditional businesses of the people of some countries all over the world. Sheep farming is among the livestock and domesticated animal that generates a lot of income in many ways such as selling of the animal for its meat, milk, fur, hide, wool production and skin.
Are you surprised on how this can be a lucrative business when the meat is hardly sold in the market? Notwithstanding, the meat of sheep are sold in meat shops around and is commonly called mutton, lamb and hogget at different stages.
Sheep that are still within the age of one year is known as lamb and the meat too is called lamb; meat of juvenile sheep that is older than a year is hogget while the meat of adult sheep is called mutton.
Just like goat farming, the rearing of sheep doesn’t require much but that doesn’t prevent you from knowing the necessary things required of you in this kind of livestock farming.
Try and know what they eat, how they breed, their essential needs and how to take care of them as well. Reading through this article will guide you to the easy way of staring your own sheep farm
1. Draw Your Business Plan
A business plan is the foundation root of a successful farming operation no matter the type of farming.
A business plan is the road map to all kinds of business that helps you to plan yourself and the steps to take before investing your money or resources in any type of sheep farming.
Planning very well before venturing into sheep farming is a very essential step as it helps to increase your chance of success and minimize expensive mistake that you will possibly come across.
Business plan includes all the steps involved in sheep farming such as getting the location for your farm, having a clear business overview, facilities, production and marketing plans.
2. Know Your Aim of going into Sheep Farming
There is every purpose of starting a business, try and figure out what is your reason for wanting to go into sheep farming.
Many people venture into it because of the meat, others for milk production, fur or wool, hides, and skin, etc.
This will help you to know who your target market is and will help you effectively market your business to the right and potential customers.
3. Get A Suitable Farm Location
Select sizable and suitable farmland for a start or you can even rent as well since you are still starting. It is wise to begin on small farmland and expand later.
While selecting the site for sheep farming, it is of huge importance to consider the facilities that are necessary for raising or breeding of sheep.
Since sheep eat grass, make sure that the land has an adequate amount of grasses and can be able to grow grass because the land which is not fertile will make you spend more on food.
The availability of fresh and neat water sources and transportation for proper marketing are considered as well to make the commercial sheep farming business a successful one.
4. Select Healthy Breeds
There are various breeds of sheep available around the universe, try to select healthy types from renowned breeders since it is better to manage and rear them from young.
There are many kinds of sheep breeds available Dwarf, Yankasa sheep, Balami Sheep (indigenous sheep breed in Nigeria), Uda Sheep (indigenous to Central Africa, etc.
While making your choice, try and find out first which one can easily adapt to your region especially in your area or state because it is not all breeds are suitable in all areas.
This is to avoid the effects of weather and climatic conditions which may not be favorable for such breed.
Depending on your farming aim, there are some breeds that are good for commercial meat production; some are most suitable for milk production, wool production and so on.
Some of the breed to choose from include but not limited to merino,ramboullet, deccani, bellary, south down, cheviot, hassan and bannur.
5. Increase Your Breed
It is a wise increase in your breeds no matter your aim of venturing into it. To do this, the number of ewe which is the adult female sheep should be more than the ram (male sheep).
You will get more young ones when the number of female sheep on the farm is more than the male.
To generate better income from sheep farming and keep the business moving as well you need to have over 500 ewes and encouraging a number of male sheep on the farm.
How many females should I start with?
Starting with 10 ewes is likely going to give you 20-60 lamb per year which you will make more profit than expected.
The animals should be provided with high-quality feed to keep them healthy and productive. Make a research for appropriate feed chat for sheep survival to help you feed them for proper growth.
Ensure to take them out to the field for green pasture. The pasture should also be fenced to keep the animals safe from predators and other harmful effects such as adverse weather conditions.
7. Farm Care & Management
Know that sheep generally need care so if you have to make them stay healthy always and protect them from any condition that will lead to contacting certain animal diseases.
It is the way you manage your farm that will determine if it will give you maximum profit in return or not.
Once you have good and productive sheep breeds and feed them frequently on nutritious feeds under a suitable shelter, the outcome will always be great.
Other points here is that you should always try to give them vaccination for on time for disease prevention and control as the case may be. Seek directives or service provision from veterinarians, in this case, to be on the safe side.
Take them out to the field from time to time to feed on fresh green vegetation. Once you ensure proper care and management of your animals, the results is always great with profitable advantages during sales.
8. Shelter Provision
Make sure that they have a shelter for protection as well as a fence using a barbwire to prevent them from straying away as a result of grazing in the pasture.
Sheep house should not be constricted upon moist or waterlogged environment. It should always be clean and dry to avoid contaminations. The shelter should have light insight and there should proper in-flow of air.
To ensure a cleaner environment, you can create a drainage system to help remove water from the surface area.
Constructing a shelter for sheep is quite inexpensive and something you can easily fix up on your own knowing their basic housing requirements.
Is ram farming the same as sheep?
It sounds funny but these actual questions people ask. Ram is an adult male sheep. Ram farming is the same as sheep farming.
There are many reasons why sheep farming has a better business opportunity; it doesn’t require much work or attention once it is properly managed.
And you can have as many sheep to sell more than you expected even though you started with few because the female sheep at each lambing provides1-3 lamb and can reproduce twice a year.
Is raising sheep profitable?
This is the common question people ask about this business. The answer is yes, commercial sheep farming is profitable especially on medium or large scale. Many individuals across the globe today make substantial revenue from sheep farming.
Sheep meat is a kind of sought-after red meat mainly from the adult sheep. It is enriched in high-quality protein and serves as an outstanding source of essential minerals and vitamins.
Generally, sheep farming business is very lucrative when managed well. Although there are certain problems associated with it but drawing a business plan which is the number one tip in this article will help to avoid such problems.
A business plan will help you to protect your sheep from predators, create good shelter arrangement, protection from the cold weather and certain animal diseases. By so doing, you will enjoy a great return on investment (ROI).