Sheep breeding at home
Sheep breeding is now becoming more popular. Owners of private houses from time to time think about acquiring livestock for natural food or an additional source of income.
Sheep breeding at home
Sheep are bred for meat and wool, as well as milk, which is well suited for making homemade cheeses.
Of course, raising sheep at home requires certain skills and a supply of basic knowledge, but they are easy to acquire by familiarizing yourself with the basic nuances of caring for these animals. First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to the basics of proper nutrition of sheep, their breeding and care for them.
Choose a breed of sheep
The choice of breed is a task that must be solved first. The main thing is to pay attention to the basic characteristics: the level of acclimatization to local conditions, the availability of sufficient areas for grazing and the specialization of sheep breeding.
Sheep live on average about 14-15 years, but from the point of view of economic feasibility it is better to keep them up to 6-7 years, and then send them to slaughter. But when establishing a conditional time frame for slaughter, the features of the rock should be taken into account.
Sheep Breed Selection
Breeds of sheep are divided into groups by productivity. There are types of fine-fleeced breeds, characterized by homogeneous wool from small downy wools. The group of semi-fine-crowned is represented by larger individuals, which are notable for their high meat productivity. They also develop very quickly, while maintaining high quality wool.
Owners can get good meat and sheepskin from coarse-grained breeds, especially in this regard, the Romanovskaya breed, common in the northern part of the country, is different. She also usually leads a large number of offspring. For private farms, it is most often the breeds of meat lines that are brought in, since sheep are raised for slaughter.
Romanovskaya breed of sheep
The North Caucasian meat-and-wool breed is very popular. It is not only distinguished by its production characteristics, but also by a good heredity. Such sheep reach 55-65 kg of weight and give more than 6 kg of wool.
North Caucasian meat and wool breed of sheep
The Edilbaevsky breed of sheep is intended for breeding sheep at home. Due to their endurance, animals adapt well to climate changes, which is ideal for beginner sheep farmers who only learn the basics of this fascinating business.
Edilbaevskaya breed of sheep
Basic content basics
After deciding on keeping a sheep house, you need to start with arranging a shepherd, and only then make sheep. Before buying animals and breeding sheep, first of all, you need to decide how many goals you can keep, because this is only at first glance an easy profession. The size of the shepherd, as well as the amount of feed required, will continue to depend on this. When breeding sheep at home at home, it is advisable to determine in advance where the hay will be stored.
Caring for sheep requires compliance with the principles of proper feeding.
A person should calculate the approximate amount of feed. This is easy to do, given that at least 2 kg of hay per day must be given to one animal.
After resolving issues with providing food, you need to think about a place for walking: without this, the sheep will not actively develop. Well, of course, it is advisable to take care of the health of the livestock and agree in advance with the local veterinarian on a periodic examination and the provision of emergency care if necessary. Only after solving these basic issues do animals buy: without the necessary conditions they will not develop well.
Sheep feel better in the pack, so it is important to provide for the possibility of keeping at least a small flock. If the place allows, the farmer can also bring several dozen sheep: they will get along well with each other. When buying a uterus for breeding, it is advisable to calculate the place taking into account future lambs, because with the advent of the first offspring the number of livestock will increase. On average, a sheep gives one lamb, but representatives of the Romanovskaya breed give more offspring: from 2 to 4 newborns.
A cozy barn is suitable for a small flock, but if industrial maintenance is planned, a special shepherd with appropriate premises and branches is needed. Usually it is built taking into account the location inside separate animal pens, feed depots, a corridor for staff to work, a technical room for storing equipment and a vestibule.
A person involved in sheep breeding must make the right calculations. The optimal size of the total area should correspond to the number of animals: 3 m² are allocated per sheep for comfortable keeping. With smaller sizes it will be crowded, but too large a space also does not bring benefits: in this case, the livestock will not be able to fully heat its own heat.
In winter, the normal temperature regime varies between 5-10 ° C, so if the climatic conditions do not meet the declared standards, an additional warming room will be needed. Rational livestock production has certain requirements. There are separate requirements for the premises where sheep and sheep will live. It is important to provide peace for the ewe and protect it from the main flock. In the maternity room, the temperature should be above 10 ° C, so in winter, in any case, additional heating will be required, it is better to take this into account at the stage of planning the room.
Feeding and storage of feed
The basis of the diet of sheep is hay, so when it is harvested and stored it is important to follow certain rules so that it does not disappear. Harvest hay in the summer season, when not only a large number of various herbs are abundant, but there are also favorable conditions for its complete drying. If there are not enough pastures in the district where you can mow enough grass, you will have to buy it. In order to save, you need to make stocks in the summer: at this time, hay is much cheaper than in the cold season.
Do not store harvested hay on the ground. For the floor you need to prepare wooden or cargo pallets. You also need to think about how to provide reliable shelter from rainfall. There is a little secret that allows you to save hay throughout the season: make or choose compressed bales, because in this case the probability of moisture penetration inside is minimal.
It is important to correctly calculate the necessary stocks of hay. On average, the volume of hay in rolls varies within 250 kg. If you take the bales as an example, then their weight is 10-15 kg, and the standard sizes are 1.2 x 0.6 x 0.4 m.
It all depends on the characteristics of the harvesting machine, how well it performs tamping. Do not forget. One animal consumes at least 2 kg of hay per day, so using simple mathematical calculations you can determine the approximate size of the room for storing feed. Unfortunately, due to the climatic features of Russia, the duration of cattle grazing on fresh grass is available on average only 3 months a year. That is why it is worth the effort to procure feed so that in the cold season there is something to feed the animals.
Proper organization of walking is half the success of a good sheep growth. If it is planned to keep young stock bought in spring before slaughter in the fall, then it is not necessary to organize walks. If you want to keep the ram stable and use it as producers, then you can’t do without them. They are needed to ensure normal coziness, because sheep are herbivores, and this cannot be achieved without their active movement.
Organization of sheep walking
Without long walks, sheep and sheep quickly weaken, which is especially detrimental to the course of pregnancy and lambing of the female. During pregnancy, it is better to pay a little more attention. Some solve this problem by arranging special pens. It is imperative to build a canopy, drinking bowls and feeding troughs in the place for walking, so that individuals can hide from the rain and drink some water if necessary.
Walking animals can be done if the following conditions are met:
- suitable temperature for walking;
- animals are healthy and can interact with each other for a walk.
Not a single animal is insured against the occurrence of diseases, but the owner must ensure the conditions under which such risks will be minimal. To do this, it is enough to follow the basic rules of care. An integral part of them is the organization of periodic preventive examinations at the veterinarian. It is necessary to consult with him about what means should always be kept at hand in a veterinary medicine cabinet.
In this case, in any case, there are special chemi or aluminum sprays that are used to treat damaged skin of the animal.
To cope with hoof rot, cubatol or ordinary tar will help.
It makes sense to paint together with the veterinarian a regimen for the use of antihistamines for the whole flock. The standard attributes of a “human” first-aid kit: bandage, tourniquet, cotton wool, syringes, are also suitable for a veterinary. Among the instruments here, a gastric tube and enema should also be present, because it is always difficult to predict situations where all this may be needed.
Breeding sheep and sheep involves the use of 2 main methods: the natural method or artificial insemination. Whether it is beneficial or not, each farmer must calculate for himself, based on conditions and opportunities. The latter method is most often used in large farms with a large number of females. Among the reasons for the spread of this method is the desire of the owners to use the strongest and largest producer to reproduce offspring. Usually, in this case, a healthy and high-quality offspring is obtained.
In private farms in the country there is no urgent need to breed sheep forcibly and resort to artificial insemination.
The organization of this process requires certain knowledge and skills in order to properly breed a sheep. It is easier to find a suitable male in a neighboring flock, if the maintenance of such a house is not provided. It is necessary to ensure that insemination does not occur earlier than the established deadline: for this it is enough to limit the joint stay of individuals of different sexes.
When the scheduled time comes, the animals are brought back together and their joint stay in the future is possible until the start of lambing. Before embarking on such an important stage as sheep breeding, you need to consult someone, you can watch training videos, photos, study the nuances, a consultation and the presence of a veterinarian are also required.
Nuances of keeping sheep in winter
Growing sheep and keeping sheep is currently very popular on slatted floors. In a private farm, it is advisable to grow healthy and active animals with this method. The stall content of the lamb is no different from other species, only you need to pay special attention to the insulation of the room.
The peculiarities of sheep care in the cold season are much dependent on the breed chosen. Cold-resistant sheep are much easier to tolerate wintering and practically do not require special conditions during this period.
Sheep content in winter
They can easily winter in cold sheds with only a deep litter. Another thing is with the southern breeds: for them it is necessary to equip a shepherd, where additional heating will be provided. Representatives of the Buubei meat breed are one of a kind, for them there are no differences between winter and summer living, so in the cold season such a lamb can remain only under one canopy. This breed is worth it to familiarize yourself with it, to watch various videos and photos.
Features of the diet of coyotes and single ewes
The technology for feeding lamb at home should be fully respected and no worse than in industrial pastures and plants. For lambs, if the farm is small, it is more advantageous in the warm season to ensure the possibility of grazing on fresh grass - only feed chalk and salt are added to such a diet. In the summer it turns out to significantly save on the nutrition of sheep, in addition, they are much easier to feed. Among other things, it should be borne in mind that the feeding ration should be balanced, and the sheep should not be sharply transferred from grass to hay and vice versa: such a transition should be made gradually by mixing different proportions.
To switch to a new feeding regimen, a week and a half will be needed so as not to cause additional stresses on the gastrointestinal tract and its disorders. As for the winter diet of ovule ovules, in the period of the first half of seugency it does not differ from the diet of unfertilized females. It is better that there is no separation of sheep in the flock into pregnant women and not.
At a certain stage, differences in nutrition arise, so this gives additional troubles in the process of care. The main diet of sheep consists of hay and concentrates, and root crops, chalk, and sulfur are introduced as additional food to provide the animal with a complex of necessary vitamins.
It is necessary to provide the sheep with vitamins
In nutrition, a significant place is given to the correct diet. There is an erroneous opinion that in winter it is possible to reduce the amount of water, which is a big mistake that can result in illnesses and an oppressed state of individuals in the flock. Water cannot be replaced with snow, as some have suggested: snow is distilled water and does not contain the necessary nutrients and substances.
It is important to pay attention to the temperature of food for feeding, the same applies to water supply: cold sheep should not be given to ewes. It must be at room temperature, and on the walk provide for the installation of a heated drinking bowl.
How to organize a mating
It is important to observe the behavior of the female in order to notice the first signs of sexual hunting. When ready for mating, the sheep’s vulva blushes and swells. From the loop, mucus of different consistencies begins to flow out, by which the estrus period can be determined: the longer the period, the thicker the mucus, it becomes like sour cream.
At the time of mating, the female should not be oily and exhausted: these extremes adversely affect the possibility of successful fertilization.
There are some tips when it is best to mate. It’s better to calculate the time so that the lamb comes just in time for the appearance of green grass. Usually a favorable period falls in the winter, just in the second half of pregnancy, when enhanced nutrition is required - the sheep will be able to graze on the grass on their own.
Sheep at birth
Before lambing it is necessary to prepare a sheep. First of all, the hair is cut near the anus and genitals. This is done in order to maintain hygiene so that the newborn, after being born, minimally comes into contact with dirty hair. A separate room is prepared for the female, which should be dry, warm and clean. On the floor lay straw or hay.
The prolapse of the abdomen and swelling of the vulva are evidence of the onset of labor. From this moment, the female begins to choose a comfortable position for lambing. Most often this occurs while lying or standing.
The female can choose a standing pose, and therefore it is necessary to remove all unnecessary objects and ensure the softness of the floor so as not to injure the lamb. If the sheep has a multiple pregnancy, then the interval between births must be counted: usually it is 20-45 minutes. At the end of childbirth, it is necessary to check whether the placenta is fully released in order to avoid infection and the development of diseases. If you know how to properly help the female during childbirth, then even a novice farmer with the help of a veterinarian will cope with this task.
The first days of a newborn lamb
After the birth of the newborn, they wipe it with a straw tourniquet. After that, the lamb is given to the sheep so that it completely licks it. It is important to ensure that he tastes colostrum and can feed himself. Moreover, this process should take place in the first minutes after birth, because this is a natural way of obtaining immunity from the mother.
Unfortunately, the sheep’s resources for feeding offspring are limited: it can provide only 2 of its calves with full-fledged milk nutrition. If the number of offspring is greater, then the owners are engaged in feeding, using milk substitutes. Of course, there is an option to carry out the growing of lambs together with the female in large quantities, but in this case it will be necessary to feed everyone.
Having become acquainted with the main points of how to raise sheep and properly maintain animals, you can see that they are very unpretentious and do not require the creation of special conditions. To make the right choice, you need to focus on choosing the right breed: this will make their content even easier.