Sheep Farming Questions and Answers For Beginners

Sheep Farming Questions and Answers:

The following information is about frequently asked Sheep Farming Questions and Answers.

  1. How much money do sheep farmers make?

By a rough estimation of data on investment required for the material and the produce from the farm, it is believed that the income or profit from sheep farming is around 3.5- 4.5 lakhs. The detailed information on this can be found at Sheep Farming Project Report,Cost Profits.

  1. Is sheep farming profitable?

Yes, sheep farming, even when undertaken as a small business venture can provide returns in a short period of time. It is considered as an extra source of income for marginal and landless farmers. It provides employment to the rural population of the country. All these attributes of sheep farming definitely make it a profitable business.

Profitable Sheep Farming.
Profitable Sheep Farming.
  1. How many acres do you need for a sheep?

The space required by a sheep depends on its age and condition. Also, it should be noted that each animal has varying space requirement when left in open or kept under a shed. 3 months old sheep need 0.2-0.25 sq m, sheep between 3 and 6 months require 0.5-0.75 sq m, sheep of age between 6 and 12 months need 0.75-1 sq m, adult sheep need 1.5 sq m and pregnant or lactating sheep needs 1.5-2 sq m of space in a closed area. The requirements are slightly higher in open space. In general, it can be stated that an acre of land can accommodate 6 to 10 sheep if it is grassland.

  1. What state has the most sheep in it?

According to the 19th livestock census, it is estimated that Rajasthan (India) has the largest number of sheep population in the country and is found to be 14.6 million. In the United States, Texas has the most sheep and lambs and is estimated to be 5.21 million.

  1. How much does it cost to raise a sheep?

The cost of rearing one sheep is around Rs 10000 – 20000 annually. The further details of establishing a farm of sheep can be found at Sheep Farming Project Report.

  1. How much milk does a sheep produce in a day?

A proper dairy sheep is expected to have an average lactation period of 240 days or 8 months. The sheep can produce milk for 6 months. An ewe which is a non-dairy variety can have a lactation period of 90-150 days. The average milk produced by a lactating sheep is around 400-1100 pounds over the entire lactation period.

  1. How many babies do sheep have at a time?

Sheep can give birth to either a single or twin lambs. It is to be noted that multiple births can reduce the gestation period of the sheep. Normally it takes 142-152 days for a sheep to give birth.

  1. Where do most sheep live?

The sheep was considered the first animal to be domesticated. They are generally found in Asia, Europe, North America and Middle East.

  1. How much does it cost to buy a sheep?

Each different brand of sheep has a different price and also the price may vary with the location and state. The age of the sheep and its weight is also taken into account to estimate the cost of the sheep. On an average the price of a two year old sheep weighing 10-12 kg’s is priced around Rs 7500 in India. Similarly, in other countries, it is estimated that a 2-4 year old productive commercial sheep costs around $200-250. Younger lambs are priced at $75-150.

Sheep Cost.
Sheep Cost.
  1. What are five common breeds of sheep?

There are some exotic sheep breeds which have been introduced around the world. They are;

  • Dorset.
  • Suffolk.
  • Merino.
  • Rambouillet.
  • Cheviot.
  • Southdown.
  1. How many different breeds of sheep are there?

In India there are many different breeds of sheep, but a few breeds from south India are listed as below.

  • Deccani.
  • Bellary.
  • Nellore.
  • Mandya.
  • Hassan.
  • Mechari.
  • Kilakarsal.
  • Vembur.
  • Coimabatore.
  • Niligiri.
  • Ramnad white.
  • Madras red.
  • Tiruchy black.
  • kenguri.
  1. What is the scientific name for a sheep?

The scientific name of a sheep is Ovis Aries.

  1. How many breeds of sheep are there in Britain?

The native sheep breeds of Britain are:

  • Hebridean.
  • Black welsh mountain.
  • Kerry hill.
  • Cheviot.
  • Romney.
  • Herdwick.
  • Suffolk.
  • Swaledale.
  • Rough fell.
  • Ryeland.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What is the most popular breed of sheep?

The popular breed of sheep depends on the area where they are farmed and the variety. In India the popular breed is different for different states. Some of them are nali, chokla, Marwari, magra, jaisalmeri, Malpura, Sonadi, Patanwadi, muzaffarnagari, jalauni, hissardale, Deccani, bellary, Nellore, Mandya, Hassan, Mechari, Vembur etc.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers- What sheep give us?

The sheep are mainly reared for their meat, fleece and milk.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers- What countries produce the most sheep’s wool?

The wool produced from the merino variety of sheep is the largest in quantity and Australia (25%) is the leading producer of this breed’s wool and is worth $ 3 billion. It is followed in preference by china (18%), US (17%) and New Zealand (11%).

Sheep farming for Wool Production.
Sheep farming for Wool Production.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How many times a year do sheep give birth?

Since it is already known that the gestation period of a sheep is 150 days approximately i.e. 5 months. Therefore it is understood clearly that it can give birth to a lamb at least twice in a year.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What do you call a baby sheep?

A baby sheep is often referred to as a lamb. A newborn baby sheep until twelve months is termed as a lamb.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What do you call a bunch of sheep?

A group of sheep is generally called a herd, flock or drove. If the group of sheep is very large then it is referred to as a band or a mob.

Sheep Herd.
Sheep Herd.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How often do sheep reproduce?

The lamb becomes ready for reproduction after 5 or 12 months of age and the estrus cycle in a sheep is about 17 days. So, the reproduction of sheep may happen every 16 or 17 days until they breed or return to the anestrus stage.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What age should you wean lambs?

Weaning is the process of separating the lambs from the ewes after a certain period of time. It is a general practice to slowly start separating the lamb from the sheep, two weeks ahead of the actual weaning process. The weight of the lamb should be 45 pounds at the time of weaning. This may take around six months naturally, but due to commercial practices weaning is now being done within 60 days of the lamb birth.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Do sheep feel pain when sheared?

Shearing is the process of cutting or shaving the fleece of the sheep. This is just like a haircut and does not hurt or cause pain to the animal, but should be done carefully by skilled people. Although the process of shearing is not painful, the practices before the shearing, such as ‘Mulesing’ and ‘Disinfecting’ can be both very painful for the sheep.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Can sheep die if not sheared?

Generally the sheep can shed their wool naturally according to a certain time period because it’s a kind of protection to their skin, but domesticated sheep are sheared in spring for commercial purpose once in a year. The sheep do not die if not sheared, but if they are sheared in winter, then due to extreme cold the sheep may die.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Do sheep make good pets?

Sheep are a social animals and can be domesticated only along with two other companions forming a small flock. The domesticated sheep should not have horns and should preferably be female (ewes). They have to be cared well by proper feed, shelter and health care facilities. It is a common belief that if the lambs are fed through bottles, then they bond with the people exceptionally well.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How long do sheep live up to?

The average life expectancy of a sheep is about 10-12 years. Some sheep breeds live longer such as the merino breed.

Sheep Lifespan.
Sheep Lifespan.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What time of the year do sheep breed?

The estrus period starts when the length of the days starts decreasing. The natural time for the sheep to breed is during the beginning of winter i.e. October and November.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How old are lambs when they start eating grass?

Lamb generally feed on mother’s milk for certain duration of time, but they do nibble grass and hay just two or three days after birth. Lamb starts eating grass frequently after 3 weeks of birth.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How do you tell the age of the sheep?

The age of sheep can be guessed by looking at its teeth. Lambs have 4 pairs of milk teeth, after one year a pair of middle teeth is replaced by incisors, the next year they develop two pair of incisors and at the age of 4 years the sheep have 4 pairs of incisors. By the time the sheep attain five years the teeth separate and get ready to fall out.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Does sheep need grass to re-grow wool?

Yes, sheep feed on tall grass and grass blocks during daylight which helps them re-grow their wool.

Sheep Eating Grass.
Sheep Eating Grass.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Which breed of sheep is best for wool production?

The Kashmir and the merino breed of sheep from the northern region of India are considered to produce the best quality wool in the world. And the state of Rajasthan with chokla, magra, Marwari, pugal, Malpura, Sonadi etc. breeds of sheep produces the largest quantity of wool in India.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How long does it take for a sheep’s wool to grow back?

The sheep can re-grow sufficient amounts of wool by 6 weeks of shearing, but for this to happen, it needs good feed and water to maintain the body temperatures and grow wool.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How much is a sheep’s wool worth?

The raw sheep wool is priced around Rs 900-1200 per kg. The price may vary depending on the breed and the quality of wool. Also the imported quality of wool is expected to cost a bit higher than the local quality.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What not to feed your sheep?

It is observed that sudden change in the diet of the sheep can create catastrophe. The introduction of the feed into sheep diet should be slow. Any substance which contains mycotoxins, cathartics, coumarin, molybdenum, ergot, selenium, copper, nitrates, mustard glycosides, alkaloids etc. are all poisonous to the sheep health.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Do sheep need shelter?

Yes, like any other living being sheep require shelter to protect them from heat, rain, etc. The requirement for shelter depends on the season of lambing because adverse climatic conditions may harm the animal. Also, it is easy to care for the sheep if they are housed properly. The sheep have wool on their body to protect them from climate variations, but once sheared they need a shady place such that they don’t get sunburnt or heat stressed.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How much does a sheep drink in a day?

Typically a sheep may consume half to 4 gallons of water in a day. This may largely depend on the climate of the area, the physiological state of the sheep, type of feed etc.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How old is a hogget sheep?

A hogget sheep is a domesticated sheep which is one or two years old. The meat of the hogget has a bit more fat and flavour. It is also darker in colour than the lam and sheep meat.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – How much do you feed a sheep a day?

The feed needed by the sheep for a day depends on its weight and the stage of the sheep because lactating sheep, sheep in the gestation period and breeding sheep all require a different amount of nutrition. In general a 150 pound ewe for its maintenance has to be fed with 2.6 pounds of dry matter (amounts to 1.7% of the body weight), 1.5 pounds of total digestible nutrients (TDN) and some portions of crude protein and phosphorous on a daily basis. The sheep in the late gestation period needs 4 lbs of dry matter, 2.8 lbs of TDN and some portions of calcium and phosphorous. Similarly, the lactating ewe needs 5.5 lbs of dry matter, 3.6 lbs of TDN and some portions of calcium and phosphorous. It is worth noting that the feed concentration for lambs is practically different from the sheep and can be found in detail at Sheep Feeding.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What grains can be given to sheep?

Places where paddock is not available in sufficient quantity, then there may be a need for supplying food grains to the sheep such as barley, wheat, corn, oats, milo and rye. The grains can be fed without processing to the sheep, but for lambs below 6 weeks of age such whole grain diet is not given due to lack of a functioning rumen.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What is sheep fencing and how high does a sheep fence need to be?

The sheep farm area is protected from predators by creating a structure using poles and wires on all sides which is termed as fencing. Sheep fencing is of basically two types; perimeter and interior. Perimeter fencing is around the boundary of the farm area and is the first line of defence whereas an interior fencing is small temporary fencing for grazing. The height of the fence depends on the location of the farm, but an average height of a sheep farm fence is 4 ft.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What diseases do sheep carry?

The most common diseases in sheep are;

  • Clostridial diseases.
  • Soremouth.
  • Internal parasites such as tapeworms, coccidia etc.
  • External parasites such as lice, keds, mites etc.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Foot scald.
  • Caseous lymphadenitis.
  • Listeriosis.
  • Abortive diseases such as campylobacter, Leptospirosis, Qfever etc.
  • Polioencephalomacia.
  • Mastitis.
  • White muscle disease.
  • Pregnancy toxemia.
  • Lactic acidosis.
  • Copper toxicity.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Can sheep be aggressive?

Generally, sheep are very docile animals with a non-aggressive nature, but rams (male sheep) are very aggressive during the breeding season and may cause injury to people. Female sheep or the ewes become aggressive after lambing sometimes to protect their young ones.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What are the symptoms of worms in a sheep?

When the worm infection is severe in sheep the following symptoms can be observed.

  • Bottle jaw.
  • Ascites.
  • Abdominal pain causing humped back.
  • Cough and pneumonia.
  • Anaemia.
  • Lethargy .
  • Loss of weight and loss of appetite.
  • Inflammation in the gut resulting in diarrhoea.
  • Nodular lesions.
  • Hypersensitive gut.
  • Jaundice.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What does it mean to drench a sheep?

When ‘drench’ is used for livestock management, then the term refers to administering drugs to an animal by force. Drench is of two types; broad and narrow. To drench a sheep, a drench gun is used and the dose of drug is given orally. Drenching has to be done by skilled people and care should be taken while doing this.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What kind of worms do sheep get?

The types of worms found in sheep can be listed as;

  • Gastrointestinal worms such as roundworms, nematodes, stomach worms
  • Tapeworms.
  • Lungworms.
  • Liver flukes.
  • Meningeal worm.
  • Coccidia.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Why do we dip sheep?

Dipping of sheep is a kind of disinfecting technique in which the sheep is immersed into water containing insecticides and fungicides. The reasons why sheep dip is essential are;

  • Targets the external parasites.
  • Does not develop anthelmintic resistance in animals.
  • Quick method to kill the mites and prevent the animal skin surface from severe inflammation.
  • This technique provides longer protection to sheep from scab mites.
  • One product can kill all external parasites such as scab, ticks, lice blowfly and keds.
  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What is Cydectin sheep?

Cydectin is a chemical compound used to treat sheep for gastrointestinal parasites, lungworms and itch mite. The sheep when administered this compound become resistant to internal and external parasites. The active ingredient in the compound is Mexidectin solid.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What is a barber’s pole in sheep?

It is a parasitic infection caused by the barber’s pole worm or the Haemonchus contortus. This worm lives in the stomach of the sheep and sucks its blood often leading to anaemia and ultimately death. The symptom of the disease can be known by observing the eyelids of the sheep which turn pale white instead of pink color. Another symptom is that the jaw of the sheep gets accumulated with liquid. Generally young sheep or lambs are more susceptible to these worms.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What is bottle jaw in sheep and what causes bottle jaw?

This is a condition in sheep caused by the blood sucking worms living in the abomasom and the small intestine. The worms suck the blood of the animal and make it anaemic. The blood is devoid of red blood cells and leaks out under the skin as edema. As the sheep lower their head it gets pooled under the jaw as hence it is termed as bottle jaw.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What does ‘FAMACHA’ stand for?

It stands for Faffa Malan Chart, which is a method to treat only selected sheep among the flock for the barber’s pole worm. The treatment procedure is analysed by a colour guided chart which indicates the level of anaemia. The level 1 on the chart indicates red-pink mucous and level indicates white mucous. Depending on the level of severity the sheep are chosen for administering the required drug. The programme was developed in South Africa.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – Do sheep have horns and do they grow back?

It is a general belief that all male sheep (ram) have horns and the female sheep (ewe) may or may not have horns, which depends on the variety of the breed. The horn is a hollow structure with a keratinous sheath attached to the skull of the sheep. The horns of a sheep start growing when it is two or three years old and continue to grow during its entire lifetime. It is to be understood that the horn of a sheep has blood flowing through it, so sometimes when it is broken or cut it bleeds, but can re-grow. The horn dry up and become hollow from the interior when the sheep dies.

  1. Sheep Farming Questions and Answers – What is sheep measles, its causes and treatment?

It is a condition in sheep when lesions are observed due to the presence of tapeworms. This condition is also known as cysticercus ovis. The symptom of the disease is known by the hard white cyst on the surface or below the muscle tissue of the sheep. This worm is passed on to sheep by dogs. The eggs from the tapeworms in dogs found in the pasture land infest the sheep by forming cysts in the muscle tissues. Blemishes can be found in sheep meat infected with measles. The control of this condition is difficult in a single attempt, but regular treatment procedures can help overcome the condition. Most important of all is to stop the transmission of the parasites from dogs to sheep.

  1. What is culling the sheep?

When people undertake sheep arming practices, it is very important to maintain high performing sheep for good output. Therefore, culling refers to removal of low performing sheep to improve the breeding potential of the flock.

  1. What is flystrike in sheep and what are its causes?

This is a condition more serious in sheep which have not been sheared for a long time because the foul odor of the fleece attracts blowflies (most often by the green bottle fly) and lay eggs on the fleece. The eggs produce maggots which penetrate the sheep tissue and feed on it by releasing toxic ammonia secretions. The sheep eventually die due to the poisoning from ammonia. Regular timely shearing is one method to prevent unwanted blowflies on the sheep.

Read: POULTRY FARMING QUESTIONS and ANSWERS.

Read: DAIRY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.

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