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Sheep Blog

All you need to know about milking sheep

Filtering by Tag: Raising

Rearing Sheep - What Must You Do Before You Start Raising Sheep?

Rearing Sheep - What Must You Do Before You Start Raising Sheep?

Sheep are precarious animals if you do not know how to take care of them well enough but armed with the right information you will see that rearing sheep can be one of the most rewarding activities you can engage on as a young farmer-entrepreneur. Rearing sheep is good because there is a rising need for sheep products such as dairy, wool and mutton. It is said that in some parts of the world majority of cheese products are from sheep milk. Milk coming from sheep is superior to all kinds of milk out there as regards their nutritional value. Higher protein, calcium and fat is the mark of a sheep's milk. It is a preferred basic ingredient in ice cream and cheese like feta and ricotta.

Before you start rearing sheep choose the variety that best suits your goal or purpose, if you want to raise sheep for milk, the British Milk Sheep variety offers the most milk production capabilities. If you are for wool production Merinos which has a wool count of 60 to a little over 70 makes good fine wool. They started from Spain and are now abundant in Australia. Their wool is soft and fine. For meat production the Dorper is good. It is a cross between a Dorset Horn and a Blackhead Persian during the 1930s. It is good for meat production because they are easy to grow and maintain. It is considered a hardy breed that is able to withstand not so pleasant lands for grazing.

After choosing a breed of sheep to care, it is now time to invest on equipment and other implements in your sheep business. A good amount of land where pasture is abundant is necessary. If you intend to keep your sheep in a barn, a good building or housing for them is also essential. When they are grazing you can also create perimeter fence made up of portable electrical fences which you can buy online or from your local herding supply. A good halter to lead your sheep herd is a useful tool as well. When rearing sheep be conscientious about natural predators. A study has shown that wild coyotes account for half the number of sheep deaths in a year followed by wild dogs, bobcats, eagles and even bears. You can combine your sheep herd with other animals that serve as their guardians like donkeys, cattle, herd dog and even some types of Llama.

A good quality sheep does not come out of pure luck or genes alone. Giving them good nutrients composed of pasture, hay, silage and grains plus a supplementation of minerals and salts will help your sheep develop and avoid diseases that may plague you along the way. Rearing sheep takes time and a huge amount of commitment but the rewards can be enticing if you stick to it long enough.

Are you looking for more tips on rearing sheep? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit:

Don't forget to claim your FREE "12 Tip About Raising Sheep - What You Need To Know Before You Start" eReport!

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Dairy Goat Farming - All You Need to Know When Raising Dairy Goats

Dairy Goat Farming - All You Need to Know When Raising Dairy Goats

At the heart of dairy goat farming are the goats. These animals are the smallest ruminants humans have ever domesticated. Goats have been producing milk and meat for human consumption longer than sheep and cattle. These animals are also tough, surviving in arid, tropical and mountainous regions. Today, goats are continuously domesticated all over the world as a form of livelihood.

In the global perspective, there are more people consuming goat's milk than cow's milk. The better texture of goat milk is primarily because the fat globules are smaller than cow's milk. This aids in the digestion of milk, especially for people with sensitive stomach. Further, dairy goat farming is saved from too much feed because goats eat a variety of foliage. They are able to select nutritious parts of the plants. Thus, goats as tough survivors and can be seen living places where other livestock cannot.

Most efforts to improve dairy goat farming are focused on producing more and better milk. To do this, breed and animal health are given special attention. Particular breeds are more valuable as milk producers. The most common high milk producing goats are the Saanen, Toggenburg, Anglo Nubian, Alpine and Oberhasli. Each of these has different physical characteristics and lives at different optimum conditions.

In animal health, internal parasitic control is currently at the center of research because parasitic diseases often lead to sickly animals and low milk yield. Proper nutrition is also very important that's why what is fed to the goats is given considerable thought. Climate and weather are two other dictating factors on the quality and amount of milk. Goats can survive drought better than cows and sheep, but their milk production will also be less during dry periods.

In dairy goat farming, milking is done once to twice a day at least 12 hours apart. A single doe can give an average of 2 liters of milk per day. Noncommercial farms can manually milk goats. More advanced commercial companies have mechanical machines to do this job.

Dairy goats usually end up as meat after they are no longer economically viable for milk production. Exceptions are when the goats die or when they are killed for other reasons.

Are you planning on dairy goat farming? Separate yourself from the usual goat owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for goats and how to raise goats correctly, please visit:

Don't forget to claim your FREE "10 Tip About Raising Goats - What You Need To Know Before You Start" eReport!

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Raising Sheep - A Profitable Grass Based Model

Raising Sheep - A Profitable Grass Based Model

When it comes to raising sheep many people have the notion of sheep being livestock animals which require significant care and work. We imagine them in softly lit barns with multiple plump little lambs at their side. All content.

Yet raising sheep does not need to be nearly as much work as people make it out to be. Sheep are versatile creatures and they can do very well without all the assistance afforded them in high labor, barn raised operations. So if you have often thought about sheep but are not enticed by the notion of living in your barn during lambing time there is an option for you.

The rancher with an eye on grass can do well with the right type of sheep. With the right type of sheep it is possible to run sheep on pasture year round therefore cutting overhead expenses, time and labor costs. Controlling these costs gives a rancher the ability to control his own profit.

But before you take the leap and buy sheep or switch your existing flock to a pasture system consider these tips. Not all breeds of sheep are created equal. The prolific breeds of sheep are less likely to thrive in a grass based set up. The dairy sheep will need more attention, and some of the hair breeds may not fair as well on a year round basis in colder and harsher climates

Have an idea of what a production year will feel like on your ranch. Are you really aiming for a grass based flock? Will your flock be out 365 days a year, will you be lambing on pasture, how will you manage through your winter season?

Consider what traits in the various sheep breeds are most important in order to work in your production year. Is lambing on pasture what you are after or prolific ewes who can produce multiple lambs? Rank all your traits in order of importance if you need to. Also consider what each trait will cost or save you.

Consider the climate in your area and what your ranch has to offer. What are the disadvantages? Having an idea of what will work in your favour and what may work against will save you some headaches and surprise expenses.

Next ranchers who are interested in raising sheep on grass will want to keep a few selection criteria in mind:

The right type of sheep is one who is of medium size, efficient on feed, lambs without assistance, does not produce litters of lambs (non-efficient), raises vigorous lambs and keeps good body condition on grass without the need for grains and other supplemental feeds.

Typically medium sized ewes will be efficient on grass and feed resources. Larger ewes (above 180 pounds) often require more food to maintain good condition yet they do not raise any more pounds of lamb. Ewes need to be hardy. Sheep are relatively easy to maintain during the grass season however the main concept of a grass based flock is feeding the ewes out on pasture during the winter season as well.

Ewes should be good milkers (not heavy milkers) with tidy udders who can raise lambs without needing extra feed stuffs. Focus on heavy milkers is not ideal in a grass flock as heavy milkers are not efficient animals. Good milkers will raise a hefty lamb without trouble.

Ewes being raised on pasture need to lamb without assistance and have excellent mothering skills. More often than not members of the flock will lamb when you are not there so it is best if they can manage on their own. The ewes mothering skills will assist with lambs getting to their feet after birth.

You may also want to pay attention to the members of the flock that are capable of finding shelter from storms. This is a learned survival behavior that needs to be passed onto lambs. And select for strong flocking instinct. Safety in numbers is one way sheep are able to protect themselves from predators. But if they do not flock together this criteria is lost.

When raising sheep for a living the selection of rams should receive equal consideration. Having a ram from a grass based background is important. The rams should have been allowed time to reach maturity on grass, not pushed on grain.

Being allowed to reach sexual maturity at a natural rate is highly important to the hormonal development of the animal. If the rams can grow up and flesh out on grass you know they will be okay for your grass flock.

The rams should not be so large the prove to be inefficient feeders or throw lambs too big for easy birthing by the ewe.

From here the grass based rancher will be able to develop a flock of animals that are prime candidates for thriving in a natural grass based system and move onto the goal of developing those grass genetics.

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