Beginners Guide to Raising Sheep 101

Although raising sheep can be rewarding, it requires specific management abilities to be successful. Crossbreeding is an efficient strategy that is simple to use to boost flock productivity. However, ensuring your sheep are housed in a secure environment with adequate ventilation is crucial because overheating and disease problems can develop in poorly ventilated areas.

Additionally, minimizing stress for your flock’s ewes and lambs through weaning preparation is crucial. Maintaining the health of your animals is essential for ensuring their welfare and preventing the need for treatment. To assist you in beginning your journey into sheep-raising, in this guide, I will examine the fundamentals of raising sheep, including breeding, housing, nutrition, and health management.

Alpacas guard sheep against coyotes (1)

Reproduction and Breeding Sheep Basics

How to Tell if an Ewe is Pregnant or Ready to Give Birth

Leicester Longwool are naturally polled sheep (1)
Leicester Longwool Sheep

My Essential Sheep Supplies

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This little giant bucket fits on a fence and this one’s easy to carry.

A sturdy dog collar is essential. Don’t do rope (they’ll break and tangle) or chain (injury!).

A Black Water Tub is way nicer than buckets that tip over. I like to get a 20 or 30-gallon in each pen so my goats have plenty of water, but you can get 100-gallons if you have a lot of sheep in one pen.

Loose minerals in a small bag or a Purina 50 lb bag, and a mineral feeder for free-choice is the best option. One side holds minerals, and the other holds baking soda. Don’t feed sheep goat minerals because it usually contains copper- something that is fatal to sheep.

Hoof trimmers are a necessity because you’ll need to trim your sheep’s hooves every few months. These are nice for the price.

Shearers like these aren’t too costly but do a decent job. Sheep wool jams normal shearers and once you are ready, I’d recommend the ones from Premier 1 Supplies.

Don’t make the mistake I made by waiting to order a drench gun before you need it. I was surprised by how often I use it. It helps with bloating, dehydration, and other ailments. Here’s a good drench, but you can also drench a bloat solution or water if dehydrated.

Digital Thermometor for when your lambs act sick. You’ll need to know if their temps are too low or too high so you can accurately diagnose the issues.

Vetericyn for wound care. It makes a big difference in a speedy recovery.

These heavy duty clips for fences, to clip ropes to collars, and a million other uses. They are stronger than carabeeners, which we broke a dozen of before switching to these.

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