Tag Archives: sheep

Sheep Blue Tongue

Blue tongue is an insect-borne, viral, noncontagious disease that occurs in some areas of New Mexico. It’s transmitted from infected animals to prone sheep by the bites of a small insect commonly called a gnat. The disease normally happens from midsummer until frost. Early symptoms sometimes embrace excessive salivation, reddening of the lips and mouth, and progressive darkening of the vascular areas of the mouth. Furthermore, the muzzle, lips, tongue, throat, and generally the ears and neck become swollen. Occasionally, sheep suffer from severe lameness furthermore. Not all signs of blue tongue appear in a very single sheep or maybe in a very single outbreak.

Best management methods involve controlling the gnat. Since this insect breeds within the mud along the edges of slow-moving streams or water tank overflow, strive to eliminate these breeding sites. Breeding sites also will be sprayed with insecticides.

A changed live-virus sort of vaccine is offered, however it is estimated that six to seven totally different viruses cause blue tongue. Occasionally, the vaccine may cause a reaction that’s nearly as bad because the disease itself.

Pregnant ewes, notably in the primary fifty days of gestation, should not be vaccinated. No satisfactory medical treatment has been found for animals with blue tongue. Typically, with proper care, most animals recover naturally at intervals fourteen days, although severely affected animals could recover additional slowly. Isolate affected animals in a shaded space with palatable feed and fresh water. Antibiotics are of no price within the treatment of blue tongue, but they’re helpful in preventing secondary infections.

Can i keep sheep and goats together?

Goats and Sheep are a very common beginner animal when one is looking to get into raising livestock for the homestead. Wether you are raising livestock for meat, milk or wool/fiber, both goats and sheep have something to offer. Many people will begin their livestock venture with either a few goats or a few sheep but further down the line, they decide they would like to add goats to their farm if they only have sheep or vice-versa.

For many, it is unclear whether those two species can be raised together, sharing the same shelter, same pasture, same feed, etc. Well the good news is, it is very easy to keep these species together just as long as a few precautions are followed.

The most important difference between goats and sheep is their nutritional needs. These needs are almost identical except for one very important thing. Goats require a copper supplement, whereas sheep do not. In fact, copper is toxic to sheep. If a sheep receives too much copper over time, it can be fatal. Most of the uncertainty of keeping these animals together, comes from this one nutritional difference between the species. Fortunately this nutritional difference is easy to work around.

There are two options here:

1. Both species are fed a general feed that is without copper. This can be an All-Stock Feed, a Sweet Horse Feed, many feed stores even offer a Sheep & Goat feed. The latter type of feed would be best. A general all species mineral can also be fed along side these types of feed. The only type of feed/mineral that can not be fed to both species is a Goat Specific Feed or Cattle Specific feed because these both have added copper that is not good for the sheep. If you go this route, many times the goats will not be receiving the proper amount of copper in their diet. This requires that the goats be supplemented with copper. A copper bolus is the most common and effective way of supplementing goats with copper.

2. The second option is keeping both species together but buying species-specific feed and mineral and feeding them separately at feeding time. This can work depending on your setup but if goats and sheep are fed in the same area, there is a good chance they will end up in each other’s feed so option one is really the best option.

All other aspects of feeding and raising goats are very similar. They both require a good quality hay. An orchard grass mix is best for both species. An alfalfa mix could be supplemented during lactation but it is not recommended to give alfalfa to sheep and goats that are pregnant as it could cause the kids/lambs to grow too fast inside the mom and cause labor problems.

Now that you understand their nutritional needs, here are a few other things to know about keeping goats and sheep together:

Their shelter requirements are the same. Both species require a 3 sided shelter at the very least. Goats dislike rain and just generally getting wet, much more than sheep do so keep this in mind when providing shelter. It should be adequate enough that both species can stay dry no matter what the season or the weather.

Goats and Hair sheep don’t require much in the way of grooming. Angora Goats and Wool Sheep require quite a bit more when it comes to grooming. Both of those woolier breeds will need to be sheared during the spring and sometimes the fall as well. When it comes to hoof-trimming, goats will require more frequent trimming than sheep. Goat hooves are also a bit softer than sheep hooves so be aware of this when trimming. It can take some adjusting when moving from one species to the next.

Goats are browsers and they prefer to eat bushes, tall weeds and low hanging tree branches before they will turn their attention to grass and short weeds. Sheep are grazers who prefer grass, forbs, or short weeds to bushes but they will definitely investigate low bushes and low hanging tree branches. They are just less inclined to spend as much of their time doing that as goats will.

When it comes to breeding, goats and sheep have about a 5 month gestation and depending on the breed of goat or sheep, they will either breed year round or seasonally. Sheep and Goats that breed seasonally, generally come into heat during the fall in order to lamb or kid in the spring. Knowing this, it would be easy to keep a mixed group of does and ewes and breed them all at the same time if you have access to a ram and buck.

When breeding, it is not recommended to throw both a ram and buck into a mixed flock of ewes and as this could cause a lot of stress and confusion in the herd. When it comes time to breed, animals should be split into species specific herds with the right male thrown in or does and ewes should be taken to the buck or ram for a visit. It is also not recommended to keep bucks and rams together when they are not being used for a breeding. A ram can seriously injure a buck, especially during rut. Rams tend to be stronger than bucks with stronger skulls and they have been known to kill bucks with just one head-butt. Bucks also like to rear up when head-butting, whereas rams like to ram in a straight line. This usually ends up with the buck received a serious blow to their abdomen which can be fatal. So it is important to keep the males of these species separate.

The last thing I would like to mention is that both goats and sheep are very social animals. Some people sometimes just want to start out with one animal just to get their feet wet. You cannot keep a lone goat or sheep, it will be a very happy and loud animal not matter how much attention you can give it. You must keep at least two. Similarly, it is not recommended to have only one of each species kept together. Two goats and two Sheep of the same sex, are the minimum one should have when keeping these species together. While sheep can bond to goats and vice versa, they will create a MUCH stronger bond with their own species because that is who they are most comfortable with. As someone with a mixed herd, I can tell you that in a more confined space, sheep and goats will mingle pretty regularly but no matter how long they have been together, when let out into the open, they will find the ones that look most like them and stick with them. It’s what is natural to them. So if you are thinking of adding either one species or the other to your herd, make sure whatever you are adding, has a companion of the same species to bond with or they will be very unhappy in the long run.

If one keeps all of these factors in mind and uses a bit of common sense for anything not covered here, then one can be very successful in raising sheep and goats together.

For more information about raising livestock and self-sufficient living please visit http://www.smallholderhollow.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Antonio_Pedulla/1414061

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Profit Machine: sheep farming

Sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Generally, sheep indicates the mammal which is hollow-horned, typically gregarious ruminant related to the goats, but stockier and lacking a beard in the male; one long domesticated especially for its flesh and wool.

Sheep Farm

A sheep farm is a place that use to sell wool and meat. It is not the latest concept of harvesting. Parenting this animal commenced really early occasion and it is one type of cattle farming. At that time sheep harvesting had been just for an ingestion goal. Nowadays, this type of farm is one sort of animal husbandry specifically handling the raising and breeding of domestic sheep. This harvesting is primarily based on raising lambs for meat, as well as raising lamb to produce wool.

Sheep Breeds

There are more breeds of sheep than breeds of any other livestock. You will discover several 1, 000 different sheep breeds over the world. There are more than 40 breeds in the United States only. At each birthing event Ewes usually give birth to one to three lambs. The process known as breeding, the technical term for all species is parturition. First-time Ewes are more likely to have single births, though twins are not uncommon in some breeds. Twin birth is more common in well-managed flocks and with many breeds of sheep.

Sheep Farming process:

Sheep farming with multi-face utility for wool, meat, milk, skins and manure, is not an easy task to do. You need to know, how to farm sheep? The concerns for farming are:

Sheep Housing:

Housing affects the breeding and parturition percentages. Usually the practice of shed parturition ensures higher breeding. Housing for sheep varies with the weather and season(s) of breeding. Management preferences of the shepherd are also important. If breeding will occur during periods of rough weather, more elaborate housing is usually required. On the other hand, if breeding will occur on pasture during periods of mild weather, plain housing enough.

Sheep Food:

Nutrition plays a major role in the overall productivity and well-being of the sheep flock. It is important that producers consider nutrition management a top priority. Mostly sheep eat grass, clover, hay, and other pasture plants.

Benefit of Sheep Farming:

Sheep farm is an excellent business prospect as you can start small and grow from there. It is very beneficial for a lot of reasons. A sheep farm can answer; where to buy sheep, is there any sheep for sale, does it have alpacas? Etc. However, the success of your sheep farming business will depend on three basic parameters that include the choice of their food, breed, and the overall management of the animals. Benefits of Sheep farming are given below –

  • Anybody can start with low capital and low experience.
  • It does not need an expensive housing to house them.
  • Sheep have multi-faceted utility like meat, skin, wool, manure etc.
  • The initial livestock are relatively cheap and it breeds rapidly
  • Usually sheep eat varied kinds of plants and weed compared to other kind of livestock.
  • It is not too much harmful to damage any tree.
  • Sheep dung is also used as a valuable fertilizer.
  • And, finally production of wool, meat and manure provides three different sources of income.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Md._Ziaur_Rahman/1608866

The best profit of the desert: sheep farming

In the time when Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States he used sheep for grazing in the White House Lawn. They sold the wool to raise money for the Red Cross in World War 1. Over the years since ancient times to the modern days sheep has been a form of life for many people do to the fact that they are very productive and can reach high production in less years. Has been stated that sheep will produce more lambs in less time than a cow. In many ways it can be a more profitable business and reach exceptional numbers of head in a very little time. The biggest losses in the sheep industry and where they affect the most occurs when the herd is attacked by predators which will immensely affect the production of sheep do to the stress that many ewes go throw. Predators will likely go for the smaller lambs but the herd can stress out to the presence of the predator that most ewes in gestation can result in abortion.

Predators are the main reason many farmers do not like to produce sheep, or they prefer to keep their sheep in the barn and avoid letting them loose for grazing. Among the most deadly predators is the coyote, do to his size he will most like attack a sheep rather than cattle, unlike the mountain lion that has more strength to kill cattle. The coyote is a bigger treat to the sheep industry and must be controlled before they can finish of the herd. Figure 1 shows the probability of attack of the most common predators farmers can encounter on desert areas; this study was made at Ranch Ojo Caliente in Mexico. As it shows in the graph the coyote is the first and most deadly animal on the sheep farming business, then the bob cat and at last the mountain lion. Even tough the Mountain Lion has more strength and apparently he will be the biggest threat, he prefers to attack bigger and tastier animals. The profitability of the business is greatly affected by them. The sheep when they are at a predator’s sight they bunch up together so they can protect themselves and predators will reach the outside sheep. The most common predators are, coyotes, lions, bob cats, wolfs, etc. Schoenian Susan, (n.d).

There are many types of losses on the herd and not necessarily includes predators but new born diseases and lack of protection from the cold. Is very common for a sheep and mostly on lambs that are on the feeding program to get sick from a high consumption of grains and cereals. Another cause of losses on the herds is a poor management by the shepherd or the omission of vaccines and dewormers. It is important to avoid every type of losses in order to profit form the business. First is the need to control predators from attacking the herd. In this area it is important to accompany the herd with a shepherd when they are loose and grazing. Also have a guardian dog with the herd at all times. The guardian dog must be raised form his moment of birth with the sheep this way he will feel he is one of them. Schoenian Susan , (n.d). Guardian dogs bond with sheep’s from their birth till they reach their adult age and becomes their guardian at all costs. Guardian dogs may have a difficult time blending in and at many times they get rammed by the sheep in the herd. The shepherd must be equipped with a small rifle for warning shots to keep the predators away. For avoiding natural losses it is important for all lambs that are going to enter the feeding program to have pre feeding period that will get their rumens ready for grain consumption. This will avoid diseases further on the program. To avoid other type of diseases every sheep must be vaccinated twice a year and dewormed. Many times it is necessary to supplement minerals on their daily ration to strengthen his defenses and be ready to receive the winter.

The type of feeds that sheep eat will represent the profit at the end of the year. For high meat production is important that all male lambs enter the feeding program, this will permit to gain weight on the lambs. Every lamb entering the program needs to pass the pre feeding period applying the method of creep feeding which consist of supplementing grains at a low doses in traps in which the ewe does not have access to. Once they reach the feeding department they have to be fed on stretch feeders so every lamb eats the same portion of food. Otherwise the dominating lambs will eat an extra portion. All lambs must be weighted before entering the program so the farmer can measure the success of the program at the end. Food must be supplemented daily and available every day of the feeding program. If the farmer sees a sheep that is preventing the rest of the sheep to eat the same portion of food, that sheep must be separated from the flock for the sake of the sheep and the flock. Every ewe that is in gestation must be introduce to the flushing method of feeding which consist on supplementing high quality forage and grains to the ewes on their last 50 to 30 days of gestation. This is with the intent of producing more milk on the ewe to deliver and feed his new born lamb for the next two to three months.

Management can be the difference between profit and no profit. A well managed farm can produce high success in the business. Is important to follow farm guidelines to the letter; from vaccine dates to small operations on the farm. Is important to maintain the premises clean and provide sheep with clean water every day. Keep a record of every aspect of the farm and make annotations of every concept or things that are predicted. Ear tagging is another way of keeping and organized control over the flock, marking every lamb from the moment of birth till it reaches the sacrifice age or the breeding age. This will help the farmer know when and what ewes can be used as replacement ewes. Record should include birth age, mother and father records, type of birth, birth weight, weaning weight, vaccine dates, and breed. Rams must be kept well fed and in different departments until the breeding season begins. The ewe must be well fed, so she can be strong to support upon the rams exposure. It is important that all tails are cut on birth to prevent diseases cause by the excrement of the sheep. Is also of important to the program success to weight every lamb before they start the feeding program and after they finish unless there are rams that are going to be left for breeding; which has to be every month.

Figure 2 Production in the future

2009 2010 2011 2012
Production Ewes 50 116 269 624
Total Lambs 150 348 808 1872
Additional Ewes 66 153 355 823
Lambs for market 66 153 355 823
Deaths 12% 18 41 96 224

There are several hair breeds that have a high production conversion. Production refers to the quantity of heads that can be produced in a given period as shown in Figure 2. Historic fact, According to Schoenian Susan (n.d) , Over the past 200 years, the U.S. sheep population has come full circle. From 7 million head in the early 1800’s, sheep numbers peaked at 56 million head in 1945, and then declined to less than 7 million head on January 1, 2003. At the same time, industry emphasis switched from wool to meat production. Sheep numbers increased slightly in 2005 and 2006, the first time since 1990.

The Katahdin breed that was originated in Main USA and has his name in honor to Mount Katahdin that stands in this state and is also the most prolific breed among the hair breeds and is very resistant to cold weathers and can adjust to any kind of climate. They are white hair animals and robust. They have long neck and short legs; their back straitens out and gives this breed a taste of elegance. One of the most profitable breeds in the market. The Dorper breed originated in some place of Africa and has blood from the famous Dorset wool breed. It is a very strong breed that can adjust to any environment and has the strength to support very cold weathers. The main characteristic of these animals is that there hair is white but the head is covered with black hair. Is also a very robust breed and has a high meat conversion. The Pelibuey breed has exceptional maternal instinct and can give birth to three or four lambs in one cycle. Their hair is light brown and many of them can show a black circle, like mole type just above the eyes.

One of the ways to increase profitability of the company and have bigger meat conversions is by applying cross breeding in the system. To have the best meat conversion is to cross breed two hair breeds; is recommended to cross Pelibuey ewes with a Katahdin ram or a Dorper ram. This way it can gain the maternal instinct and prolific characteristic of the Pelibuey and the strength to support any kind of whether from the Dorper or Katahdin. This will result in a F1 hybrid. To this cross a third breed will be implemented which will be a wool breed like the Suffolk to give the crossed lambs higher meat conversions. This is called a terminal cross where every lamb from this cross will go to the slaughter, sex does not matter. Even tough the saml ewes can be used as replacement ewes it is not recommendable because do to that third cross coming from a wool breed can bring additional operating costs to the farm. That is why it is important to send all lambs from the last cross to the slaughter house and convert that extra income instead of bringing more operating costs to the farm.

Any body that wants to go into the sheep farming business it is important to reduce predator attacks and minimize looses on the herd. Always be sure to accompany the herd with a guardian dog that sleeps, eats and spends the day with them. And the use of a shepherd, when the sheep are out grazing and that he is equipped with a weapon in case a predator presence in the area. Lamb survival is a crucial part in preventing losses as well, and in this particular case the shepherd has to be well informed on what days each ewe is going to give birth. Sheep farming in general is a very outworking job but the profits will make out for all those days of hard work. If the farm has all the necessary equipment and well managed the company must succeed.

Reference Page
Schoenian Susan , (n.d). Sheep 101. SHEEP 101. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from http://www.sheep101.info
SHEEP WORLD. (2003). Sheep Farming. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from http://www.sheepworld.co.nz/
Farmers Weekly (Ed.). (2007). SHEEP BETTER RETURNS PROGRAMME [University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-Text]. NORTHUMBERLAND, UK Ltd.: Red business information. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from University of Phoenix, rEsource, Web site.

Dwyer, C. M.,. (2004). How has the risk of predation shaped the behavioral responses of sheep to fear and distress?. ANIMAL WELFARE, 13 (3), 269-281 . Retrieved April 24, 2008, from EBSCOHOST database.
Snowder,, G. D.,., Stellflug,, J. N.,., & Van Vleck,, L. D.,. (2004). Genetic correlation of ram sexual performance with ewe reproductive traits of four sheep breeds. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 88 (3-4), 253-261. Retrieved April 24, 2008, from EBSCOHOST database.

Ernesto Beall

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1266631

Australia live sheep export industry

The live sheep export industry is an important industry to Australia, providing a vital market for sheep producers to sell their livestock to and underpinning the domestic sheep farming industry.

The majority of sheep are exported from the port of Fremantle in Western Australia, with almost three quarters of Australian sheep exported from this port in 2009. Over 50% of sheep from the sheep production industry in Western Australia are exported live overseas, making the industry especially important to the Western Australian economy. Other ports that export live sheep include Portland and Port Adelaide.

Australian sheep are exported to countries across the Middle East, primarily Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE. In 2009 over 3.5 million sheep were exported to these countries, with Kuwait taking 950,000 head and and Bahrain taking 747,000 head of sheep respectively. The number of sheep exported in 2009 represented a drop of 15% on the previous year, with demand for the live export of sheep far outstripping supply in the Australian sheep production industry last year. This has resulted in calls for the sheep farming industry to rebuild sheep flocks in the coming years.

In 2009 the live export of sheep contributed A$323 million to the Australian economy.

Australia also has a live cattle export industry and a live goat export industry, primarily exporting to countries throughout South East Asia. Indonesia is the primary market for the live cattle export industry, and Malaysia is the primary market for the live goat export industry. The live cattle export industry contributed A$662 million to the Australian economy in 2009, and the live goat export industry contributed A$11.5 million.

Australia is also involved in the meat export industry, exporting chilled and frozen beef, sheep and goat meat products to countries across the world in addition to exporting livestock. This is because there is demand for red meat products as well as livestock from overseas countries, and Meat and Livestock Australia invests in promoting all of these products to consumers overseas.

This is why arguments that Australia could cease supplying live sheep exports and replace them with sheep meat exports are not realistic. The two trades are complementary, and it is not as simple as replacing one trade with the other as they serve the needs of different consumers in Middle Eastern markets.

Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp invest heavily in improving the welfare of sheep, cattle and goats throughout the livestock export industry.

This investment involves programs to improve the welfare of live sheep exports once they arrive in the Middle East. This includes employing a team of animal welfare experts that work with local veterinarians, stockmen, truck drivers, feedlot operators and port staff to improve how Australian sheep are cared for in the region.

This team provides training courses to local workers, upgrades facilities and installs new equipment and infrastructure to improve the care of Australian sheep overseas.

Highlights of this work in 2009 included the development of a sheep trolley, which assists local workers in the Middle East to move sheep humanely and efficiently. The trolleys have been distributed to each major importing country in the region and allow sheep to be comfortably wheeled from feedlots to processing facilities.

It also included the installation of new port discharge facilities in Kuwait, which have ensured sheep are able to be unloaded in Shuwaikh Port safely and securely.

This work has made a significant difference to the welfare of live sheep exports from Australia, and the live sheep export industry is committed to continuing to improve animal welfare in the countries we export to.

Learn more about live sheep exports [http://www.liveexportcare.com.au/GetTheFacts/AboutLivestockExports/] and cattle live exports [http://www.liveexportcare.com.au/] by visiting the Live Export Care web

Treatment of Sheep and lambs

Treatment of foot rot


Separate sheep with foot rot and scald whenever sensible to reduce spread within the flock.


Inject with one long-acting dose of antibiotic (ensure the right dose, under-dosing delays recovery).

Do not trim the hoof horn, this delays healing.


Mark affected leg of treated sheep.



Ear tag

Cause of lameness


When cured, come sheep to the main flock. Sheep ought to be sound within two – ten days of treatment.

If still lame after fourteen days, check diagnosis is correct and retreat.

Cull sheep lame with foot-rot and/or scale more than twice a year or not responding to treatment.

how to feed sheep

Sheep are some of the most rewarding animals to raise. There are several benefits you can gain, such as getting sheep milk, sheep skin, and of course the companion that sheep offer. More than anything else, raising sheep teaches you to become more responsible. As with any animal you need to raise, sheep require a considerable amount of your time, effort, and even your money. The first of your concerns is how to feed sheep the right way.

To achieve proper feeding, you must do a little research on the kind of sheep you have. Ewes, lambs, and rams have to go through unique feeding stages. Some have more stages, while others need to follow only a shorter process. Plus, different kinds of sheep need different kinds of food. Once you figure out what kind of sheep you have, you can design the right kind of feeding system.

Your next step on how to feed sheep correctly is to find out the nutritional requirements involved. Through this, you can learn the various guidelines that have been created and develop to help sheep producers from all over the world to feed their starter or growing flocks the right way. If you’re raising sheep for profit, you need to prioritize your sheep’s health in order to yield better results. Of course, your sheep’s health relies largely on the nutrients they are getting. In short, if you want your business to succeed, it is imperative that you invest in healthy, sustainable food for your sheep.

If you wish to master how to feed sheep properly, you also have to take into consideration where you get your primary feedstuff. Study the forage type you rely on, such as pasture forages, range forages, and many others. Forages are sheep’s best source of protein and energy. However, you may have to use feeding supplements to give your sheep minerals and vitamins. Do consult an expert on this. The supplements must match the nutritional requirements of your sheep.

Finally, don’t ever forget your sheep’s share of water. Water is crucial to your flock’s health, especially because sheep are known to be big drinkers. They can consume to as much as four gallons every day. Make sure that you clean not only the feeders but also the water containers to avoid the spread of damaging and potentially fatal diseases.

Remember all these important tips on how to feed sheep and you can significantly increase your chances of success at raising sheep.

Looking for more tips on how to feed sheep? Visit the how to raise sheep site today to discover everything you need to know and how easy it is to raise your own sheep and avoid costly mistakes.

Greenbelt Assistance Service

        Sheep house can assist you with filing applications, defending your claim to qualification, developing supporting documentation, and provide recommendations, management plans, etc. for better qualifying your property for the Greenbelt Agricultural Classification; ie.,  If you are attempting  to qualify with livestock even better since we can provide you with the commercial practices of a sheep, goat or cattle operation. our service will cover every step from  site planning, livestock acquisition, local licensing and  property appraiser meeting. We can walk you through and assist you with the entire process whether you are a new owner, have been denied a previously approved Classification, or have concerns over the appraisal value. 

      We can assist you with meetings with the property appraiser and appeals to the VAB, and can assist you and your attorney with litigation. 

    We can review appraisal physical data, including land use classification, acreage, and productivity; we can review appraisal economic data, including  costs, prices, yields, rents,  timber stumpage, and capitalization rates.   

We can help you with any Greenbelt application, qualification, and appraisal issue.