Sheep Farming Business For Beginners

Sheep Farming Business:

The following is all about Sheep Farming Business.

Introduction To Sheep Farming Business

Sheep farming business is one of the oldest profession and tradition in most parts of the world. Primarily sheep farming is mainly carried out for its meat and wool. However, milk of sheep does not have much demand. Sheep farming is a profitable business than goat farming as sheep can attain good weight within short period of time. Sheep can be raised on small scale or large scale for commercial purpose. As sheep meat has excellent demand especially in India, many people are showing interest to start profitable sheep farming. To become a successful sheep farmer, you must have time to dedicate to the farm. Apart from this proper sheep farming business plan, hard work is essential. There are many indigenous sheep breeds, cross-bread sheep and exotic sheep available to raise. However, you must ensure that these sheep are suitable for your local climatic conditions. Let us discuss more about sheep farming business in upcoming sections.

Advantages of Sheep Farming Business

Advantages of Sheep Farming.
Advantages of Sheep Farming.

There are many benefits of sheep farming.

  • Multi-Purpose: Sheep can be raised for multipurpose such as producing meat, wool and milk. Sheep can be raised along with other live stock without any problems.
  • Low Investment:If you want to start a sheep farming business, you should not worry about investment as you start with low capital.
  • Cheap Infrastructure: Well, in order to establish a sheep farm, it is not required to have heavy and expensive sheds or infrastructure.
  • Less Labour Cost:Sheep farming business does not require skilled labour. Even women and old people can manage this business. You may need seasonal labour and permanent labour depending upon the number of sheep in the shed.
  • Fast Growth of Herd:Usually, sheep gain weight in short duration and the reproduction of sheep is very high. Hence, the sheep herd can be grown at faster rate. This is possible because sheep can give birth to more than one kid.
  • Less Feed / Fodder Requirement and Cost:Sheep always look at the ground to feed on. They can consume various grasses and plants, shrubs and convert them into quality meat and wool. You no need to give any specific fodder, hence feed cost would be less compared to other livestock businesses such as dairy and poultry.
  • Sheep Manure: Apart from meat and wool, you can get excellent manure from sheep. This can be used in your own lad for growing crops or fodder. It works as good organic compost for plants.
  • Market Demand For Sheep products:Sheep meat is consumed in all religions and has an excellent demand in local and export market. Even sheep wool is one of the best products you can market easily.
  • Climate Adaptability: Sheep are hardy animals can easily adapt any agro-climatic conditions.
  • Requires Less Space: Sheep require less space and can mange even in backyards. However, commercial sheep farmers should have good area shed and grazing area.
  • Creating Local Employment: Sheep farming contributes to local and national economy. Sheep is a part of animal husbandry of agriculture department. Large scale sheep farming defiantly provide rural employment in economically poorer sections.
  • Easy Marketing: Well, sheep farming does not require much effort to market its products. Once you have started, there are many people will be approaching for sale. It is advised to directly sell to slaughter houses or consumers for more profits.

Who Can Start Sheep Farming Business

  • Anyone who has passion can start sheep farming business.
  • Unemployed people can start to earn for their livelihood.
  • landless/marginal land owners can go for this.
  • People who wants to earn part-time along with other livestock.
  • Commercial/Business people can start this on large scale.

Sheep Farming Business Systems

  1. Intensive: In this system, sheep are raised in enclosed shelter. This is also called as stall-fed sheep farming. Feed, fodder and fresh water is provided in the house itself.
  2. Semi-intensive: In this system, sheep are allowed to graze outside for some time and then concentrates and nutrients/mineral are fed in the shed.
  3. Extensive: This is completely open grazing system where sheep are only allowed to shed in night times for resting.

How To Start A Sheep Farming Business

How To Start a Sheep Farming.
How To Start a Sheep Farming.

Breeds For Sheep Farming Business: Selecting a proper health high yielding sheep breed is very important in commercial sheep farming business. There are many breeds to choose from, some breeds are good for meat production and some are good for wool production. You can also find dual purpose breeds. Here is the list of some popular Indian as well as exotic sheep breeds.

Indigenous sheep breeds of India:

  • Deccani.
  • Coimbatore.
  • Mandya.
  • Bellary.
  • Trichy black.
  • Mecheri.
  • Vembur.
  • Merino.
  • Marwari.
  • Gaddi.
  • Banner.
  • Neelagiri.
  • Hassan.
  • Nellore Brown.
  • Madras red/Chennai red.
  • Keezhakaraisal.
  • Ramanadhapuram white.

Exotic Sheep breeds:

  • Merino.
  • Lincoln.
  • Cheviot.
  • Rambouillet.
  • Dorset.
  • Dorper.
  • Suffolk.
  • American Black Bellied.
  • Jacob.
  • East Friesian.
  • Southdown.

Location for Sheep Farming Business: Location plays a major role in successful sheep rearing. Make sure to select a site on elevated and less water- prone area. Site should be secured from all wild animals, hence avoid areas closer to forest. It is advised to have location of farm close to veterinary aid, or medical help. The location should have good road access and transportation facilities.

Sheep Housing / Shed Construction: Depending on animal count, the appropriate shed should be constructed. You can build the shed with locally available material as well. However, commercial sheep farmers should build a shed roof with asbestos sheets and with walls of 8 to 10 feet. Sheep flooring can be done with cement or wood. You can have paddy husk on the floor for deep litter system. The sheep shed should have proper access for sheep hence it is recommended to have two entrances. One is for entry and other is for exit. Build the shed in east-west direction for proper cross ventilation and airflow. As part of the shed design, you must consider special pens, waterers and feed troughs. For easy access of fodder, feed room can be build along with the shed or as part of the shed. You must have fencing around the sheep shed from preventing any predators.

Feed / Fodder Management in Sheep Farming Business: Feed management is one of utmost priorities in commercial sheep rearing. Apart from regular green fodders, you must provide supplemental nutritious feed (feed concentrate). The feed intake depends on sheep age, status (dry or pregnant or lactating or breeding).

Sheep Grazing on Pasture.
Sheep Grazing on Pasture.

Fodder crops for your sheep:

  • Arasu.
  • Vagai.
  • Karuvel.
  • Velvel.
  • Agathi.
  • Glyricidia.
  • Kodukapuli.
  • Seemaikaruvel.

Concentrate feed ingredients for your sheep:

  • Sorghum.
  • Maize.
  • Broken rice.
  • Jowar
  • Soya bean cake.
  • Groundnut cake.

Composition of ideal creep feed in sheep farming business:

  • Maize : 40%
  • Ground nut cake : 30%
  • Wheat bran : 10%
  • Deoiled rice bran: 13%.
  • Molasses : 5%
  • Mineral mixtures : 2%.
  • Salts : 1% fortified with vitamins A, B2, D3, and antibiotic feed supplements.

Feeding schedule for a sheep kid from the time of birth to 3 months (90 days):

Sheep Kids.
Sheep Kids.
Age of SheepEwe’s milk or cow’s milkSheep creep feedForage, greens/day (grams)
1 to 3 daysColostrum: 300 ml, 3 feedings
4 to14 days350 ml, 3 feedings
15 to 30 days350 ml, 3 feedingsLittle amountsLittle amounts
31 to 60 days400 ml, 2 feedings100 to 150 gramsFree of choice
61 to 90 days200 ml, 2 feedings200 to 250 gramsFree of choice

Concentrate feed rate/day in Sheep Farming Business:

Sheep body weight(kg)If legume fodder is available(grams)In case of legume fodder is NOT available(grams)
Up to 12 kg25 to 50 grams200 to 300 grams
12 to 15  kg50 grams300 grams
15 to 25 kg100 grams400 grams
25 to 35 kg150 grams600 grams

Sheep Health Care in Sheep Farming Business

Sheep Diseases: Timely treatment of sheep will reduce mortality. There are many diseases that can affect the sheep health. The following are common diseases and abnormalities found in sheep.

  1. Anthrax.
  2. Abortion.
  3. Tetanus.
  4. Sheep pox.
  5. Peste-des-Petits Ruminants (PPR).
  6. Respiratory disease (like Bloat/Indigestion).
  7. Caseous lymphadenitis (CL, CLA).
  8. Foot scald and rot.
  9. Blue tongue (BT).
  10. Internal parasites.
  11. Mastitis.
  12. OPP (Ovine progressive pneumonia).
  13. Pregnancy toxemia.
  14. Scrapie.
  15. Orf.

For symptoms and treatment of above said diseases, contact your veterinary doctor.

Sheep Vaccinations: You need to get the vaccinations for your animals under veterinary guidance. The following gives you an ideas of vaccination for major sheep diseases.

Vaccination Schedule in Sheep Farming Business

DiseaseAge of sheep and Booster doseRouteRemarks
Foot and mouth disease (FMD).6 to 8 weeks: Repeat every 6 to 9 months.s/c or i/m depending on the vaccine.
Hemorrhagic Septicaemia.3 to 4 months: Repeat annually.1 ml s/c.May / June.
Sheep pox.90 days.s/c.
Tetanus.Tetanus toxoid.0.5 to 1 ml s/c or i/m.
Anthrax.4 to 6 months: Repeat annually.0.5 ml s/c at tail fold.In endemic areas only.
Enterotoxaemia.3 to 4 months: Repeat after 2 weeks and then annually.2.5 ml s/c.First two doses before august.

 Tips For Sheep Farming Business

Sheep Farming Tips.
Sheep Farming Tips.
  • Start with minimal number of sheep and start expanding the herd as you gain the experience.
  • Prepare a perfect sheep business plan as per your budget.
  • Visit nearby sheep farms to find out problems in sheep raising.
  • Get sheep basics training at any sheep breeding and training center.
  • Watch you tube videos and order for any sheep project report.
  • You can also download free sheep farming PDF documents online.
  • Always buy good and health sheep breeds with a help of veterinary doctor.
  • Avoid buying too young (below 4 months) and too old sheep.
  • Get all the animals vaccinated as per schedule.
  • Maintain a record keeping for all sheep in the shed.
  • Monitor all the animals and if you find any abnormalities, isolate the sheep until it gets treated.
  • Schedule veterinary doctor to be onsite every week to check all the animals.
  • Ear tags should be done for easy identification.
  • Do not mix male and female sheep in night times except at the time of breeding.
  • Provide clean and fresh water and shed floor should be kept clean and dry.
  • Pregnant ewes and kids should be provided with proper ration of feed.

Bottom Line of Sheep Farming Business

It’s very much profitable business under ideal livestock management practices.

Read about Dairy Cow Farming Project Report.

Read about NABARD Dairy Farming Subsidy.

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