Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Outdoor Industries/Sheep Husbandry

Sheep Husbandry
Outdoor Industries
General Conference
Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 1944

1. What kinds of areas do sheep naturally inhabit? edit

Wild sheep are mostly found in hilly or mountainous habitats.

2. What kind of vegetation furnishes the feed most ideal for sheep? edit

Ideal pasture for sheep is not lawn-like grass, but an array of grasses, legumes and forbs (herbaceous flowering plants ).

3. What type of shelter or barn should be provided for sheep? edit

Sheep are kept in mobs in paddocks; in pens or in a barn. In cold climates sheep may need shelter if they are freshly shorn or have baby lambs. Freshly shorn hoggets, especially, are very susceptible to wet, windy weather and will succumb to exposure very quickly. Sheep have to be kept dry for one to two days before shearing so that the fleece is dry enough to be pressed and to protect the health of the shearers.

A shed with three sides, with the fourth being open to the south (north in the southern hemisphere) provides adequate winter shelter for sheep. If you are planning to lamb during the winter, a closed barn that can be partially heated is vital to the success of your operation.

4. How much space is needed for each animal in the following conditions edit

a. Loose barn space for adult sheep edit

b. Outside lot space for adult sheep edit

c. Loose barn space for large lamb edit

d. Loose barn space for small lamb edit

e. Pasture required for one ewe edit

f. Feed trough space for mature sheep edit

g. Feed trough space for lambs edit

h. Lambing edit


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5. What are the most favorable seasons of the year in which to make a start in sheep raising? edit

6. What considerations should be taken into account when selecting the breed of stock? edit

First you need to understand why you want to raise sheep. Sheep have been bred to optimize their wool production, meat production, milk production, and even multi-purpose breeds. Do some market research before deciding. If there is no market in your area for wool, you should consider raising a meat or milk breed. Likewise, if the market for mutton is weak, you should go with a wool breed. Choosing a multi-purpose breed might be a good way to hedge your bet, but these animals do not produce as well as a breed dedicated to a specific end-product. Also think about how much time you have. Do you have the necessary dedication to get up early every morning to milk your ewes?

Once you have chosen a breed, you will need to choose stock. Older ewes (3–5 years old) will have fewer problems lambing than younger ewes, and they can (and do) teach younger ewes to be good mothers. If you intend to become a profitable shepherd, it is vitally important to choose animals that can produce and raise twins. It is very difficult to break even unless most of your ewes can do this. Those that cannot should be culled.

Be extra particular when selecting a ram, as his genetic contribution to the flock will represent half of the total gene pool. Each ewe's contribution will be limited to the lambs she births, but every lamb will have the same father. The ram should not be related to any of the ewes.

7. What is the ideal size of flock for inexperienced beginners in sheep raising? edit

Inexperienced shepherds should start out with a flock of 25 sheep or fewer.

8. What winter feed is most ideal for sheep? edit

9. What type of care should be given to lambs? edit

10. Know the meaning of the following terms edit

a. Castration
Castration is the act of removing the testicles of a male animal.
Castration is commonly performed on domestic animals not intended for breeding for the following reasons:
  • To reduce or prevent territorial behavior
  • To reduce or prevent aggression
  • To increase growth and weight of the animal.
  • To improve the taste of the meat.
b. Commercial
A commercial flock is one that produces lambs for sale as meat rather than as breeding stock
c. Concentrate
Food high in nutrition, low in fiber, and easily digested.
d. Cross bred
A cross bred lamb has a sire (ram) from one breed with a dam (ewe) from another.
e. Dam
A dam is the mother of a sheep.
f. Dock
Docking is used as a term for the intentional removal of part of an animal's tail or ears. The term cropping is also used, more commonly in reference to the docking of ears, while docking more commonly—but not exclusively—refers to the tail. The term bobbing is also used. Many breeds of sheep have their tails docked to prevent fly strike.
g. Drench
A drench is an oral veterinary medicine given to an animal to rid it of intestinal parasites, such as roundworm and tapeworm.
h. Ewe
A ewe is an adult female sheep
i. Flushing
Flushing is providing especially nutritious feed in the few weeks before mating to improve fertility, or in the period before birth to increase lamb birth-weight. It can also mean removing unfertilized or fertilized egg from an animal; often as part of an embryo transfer procedure.
j. Forages or roughages
Forages are grass, shrubs, and plants that can be used as food for sheep. Roughages are high fiber foods such as hay and some pasture plants.
k. Gain
The increase in weight of a lamb over a period of time.
l. Gestation
Gestation is the carrying of an unborn creature in the womb; pregnancy.
m. Grease weight
The weight of the fleece from a freshly shorn sheep.
n. Heat
A time period when a ewe is receptive to mating.
o. Lactation
Lactation is the production of milk by a female mammal.
p. Polled
A polled animal is one that has had its horns removed. Some breeds of livestock are "naturally polled" meaning they do not develop horns (and thus do not need to be polled).
q. Purebred
An animal whose parents belong wholly to the same breed is called a purebred.
r. Ram
A Ram is an adult male sheep.
s. Ration
A mixture of different types of feed.
t. Registered
An animal which has been issued a certificate by a breed association. A registered animal is guaranteed to be a purebred.
u. Scours
Diarrhea. It can quickly kill a lamb.
v. Scurred
Possessing the rudiments of a horn - hardened skin tissue where a horn would normally grow. The scur is not skeletal tissue.
w. Sire
A sire is the father of a sheep.
x. Wether
A wether is a castrated male sheep.

11. Care for two or more lambs until marketed or until three months of age. edit

References edit