Saturday, July 4, 2009

Feed is the single largest Expenditure with raising small ruminantsEstimated for 60% or more of total production costs. A balanced nutrition exerts a very large influence on flock reproduction, milk production, and lambs. Late-gestation and lactation are the most critical periods for ewe nutrition, with lactation placing the highest nutritional demands on ewes. Nutrition level largely determines growth rate in lambs . Lambs with higher growth potential have higher nutritional needs, especially with regards to protein. Animals receiving inadequate diets are more prone to disease and will fail to reach their genetic potential.

Sheep require energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Energy (calories) is usually the most limiting nutrient, whereas protein is the most expensive. Deficiencies, excesses, and imbalances of vitamins and minerals can limit animal performance and lead to various health problems. Fiber (bulk) is necessary to maintain a healthy rumen environment and prevent lactic indigestion though rarely encountered in grazing sheep and a frequent cause associated with laminitis and also to prevent digestive upsets. Water is the cheapest feed ingredient, yet most often neglected/overlooked.

Many factors affect the nutritional requirements of small ruminants: maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation, fiber production, activity, and environment. As a general rule of thumb, sheep will consume 2 to 4 percent of their body weight on a dry matter basis in feed. The exact percentage varies according to the size (weight) of the animal, with smaller animals needing a higher intake (percentage-wise) to maintain their weight. Maintenance requirements increase as the level of the animals' activity increases. For example, a sheep that has to travel a farther distance for feed and water will have a higher maintenance requirements than animals in a feed lot. Environmental conditions also affect maintenance requirements. In cold and severe weather, sheep require more feed to maintain body heat. The added stresses of pregnancy, lactation, and growth further increase nutrient requirements.

Your Ad Here

Hay is the primary source of nutrients for small ruminants during the winter or non-grazing season. Hay varies tremendously in quality, and the only way to know the nutritional content is to have the hay analyzed by a forage testing laboratory. Hay tends to be a moderate source of protein and energy for sheep. Legume hays --alfalfa, clover, lespedeza -- tend to be higher in protein, vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, than grass hays. The energy, as well as protein content of hay depends upon the maturity of the forage when it was harvested for forage. Proper curing and storage is also necessary to maintain nutritional quality of hay.

Earn for reading Ads on your mobile.

Silage made from forage or grain crops has been successfully fed to sheep; however, special attention must be paid to quality, as moldy silage can cause listeriosis or "circling disease" in small ruminants with the fungal toxins in high quality grain based /mixed silages an added risk of afflotoxins. As with fresh forage, the high-producing animal often cannot consume enough high moisture silage to meet its nutritional needs. Silage is typically fed on large farms, due to the need for storage and automated feeding equipment
It is oftentimes necessary to feed concentrates to provide the nutrients that forage alone cannot provide. This is particularly true in the case of high-producing animals. There are also times and situations where concentrates are a more economical source of nutrients. Creep feeding and supplemental feeding of lambs has been shown to increase growth weight, but should only be done to the extent that it increases profit.
There are two types of concentrate feeds: carbonaceous and proteinaceous. Carbonaceous concentrates or "energy" feeds tend to be low in protein (8-11%). They include the cereal grains --corn, wheat, oats,and ragi(finger millets). It is not necessary to process grains for sheep unless the animals are less than six weeks of age and lack a functioning rumen. One of the problems with feeding a lot of cereal grains is it can quickly cause lactic acidosis in sheep that have not been priorily sensitized to high energy diets and also the processing of these grains to semi powdered forms renders it very easily degradable to lactic acid formation.
Proteinaceous concentrates or "protein supplements" contain high levels of protein (>15%) and may be of animal or plant origin. They include soybean meal, cottonseed meal, and fish meal. Ruminant-derived meat and bone meal cannot (by law) be fed to other ruminants, including as sheep . Protein quantity is generally more important than protein quality (amino acid content) in ruminant livestock since the microorganisms in the rumen manufacture their own body protein. Livestock do not store excess protein; it is burned as energy or eliminated (as nitrogen) by the kidneys. Since parasites often cause blood loss in small ruminants, higher levels of protein in the diet may enable the animal to mount a greater immune response to parasites.
By-products feeds, such as fat, soy hulls, wheat middlings, and broiler litter may contain high levels of various nutrients and can be incorporated into small ruminant diets if they are cost effective. Due to its copper content, it is not recommended that sheep be fed broiler litter for sustained periods of time.
Many feed companies offer "complete" sheep -- pelleted or textured -- which are balanced for the needs of the animals in a particular production class. Pelleted rations have an advantage in that the animals cannot sort feed ingredients

Vitamins and minerals
Many minerals are required by small ruminants. The most important are salt, calcium, and phosphorus. Vitamins are need in small amounts. Small ruminants require vitamins A, D and E, whereas vitamin K and all the B vitamins are manufactured in the rumen.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Project report for sheep farming

For a detailed sheep project report please call:9902218805.

Project report on sheep farming:

A good project report should contain the following points, a thorough knowledge about the specific sector and also the type of activity in project, that is, if its will be a breeding unit /fattening unit /combined unit should be taken into account .Also first hand information of various governmental schemes and also subsidies for taking up such projects and if reserved for certain niche areas, and also for some particular community, and also if it’s gender based scheme, should be taken into account and with prior consultation with a veterinary officer or breeder with specific knowledge and expertise in the given field should considered. all the various aspects such as the primary health care facilities and, package of practices from the point of scientific importance like periodic immunizations , deworming and other methods to boost the productivity and minimize the losses and enhance the profitability of such a venture & specific training in the given field of the applicant should be mentioned with a special note to get the financial aid on a priority basis .The project report so formulated should be submitted to the nearest nationalized branch of bank. The bank's officers can assist in preparation of the scheme or filling in the prescribed application form. The bank will then examine the scheme for its technical feasibility and economic viability.

A) Technical Feasibility - This would briefly include

selection of quality sound and breedable animals & insurance agencies servicing the area of the project ,veterinary aids and newer techniques involved /to be incorporated that surpasses the existing practices

Viability of good quality animals in nearby livestock markets. The distribution of sheep breeds and facilities to procure them and transport them

Training facilities of major institutions providing training in Sheep farming and also personnel training on a periodic basis .affiliations /trainings already taken should be high lighted.

Availability of good grazing ground / lands (owned /leased /contracted /free of cost like goshalas/community grazing grounds.)

Viability of green/dry fodder, concentrate feed, silage, alternate feeding practices

Availability of man power for grazing /cultivating fodder, proximity to the bank branch, training center, veterinary aid, etc

B) Economic Viability - This would briefly include

Unit Cost - The average cost of Sheep units.

Input cost for feeds and fodders, veterinary aid, insurance, shearing etc.

Output costs i.e. sale price of animals,

Income-expenditure statement and annual gross surplus.

Cash flow analysis.

Repayment schedule i.e. repayment of principal loan amount and interest.

Other documents such as loan application forms, security aspects, margin money requirements etc. are also examined. A field visit to the scheme area is undertaken for conducting a techno-economic feasibility study for appraisal of the scheme.

Sanction of Bank Loan and its Disbursement

After ensuring technical feasibility and economic viability, the scheme is sanctioned by the bank. The loan is disbursed in stages against creation of specific assets such as construction of sheds, purchase of equipments and animals. The end use of the loan is verified and constant follow-up is done by the bank.

Lending Terms - General

Unit cost

Each regional office (R.O.) Of NABARD has constituted a State Level Unit Cost Committee under the chairmanship of RO-in-charge and with the members from developmental agencies, commercial banks and cooperative banks to review the unit cost of various investments once in six months. The same is circulated among the banks for their guidance.

Interest Rate

Banks are free to decide the rate of interest within the overall RBI guidelines. However for working out financial viabilility and bankability of the project an assumed rate of interest of 8% p.a can be considered or the rate of interest in vogue for agricultural activities .

Margin Money

NABARD has defined the farmers into three different categories and where subsidy is not available the minimum down payment to be contributed by the beneficiaries are given in the following table.

Category 1- small farmer 05% of the project estimate.

Category 2- medium farmer 10% of the project estimate.

Category 3- large farmer 15 % of the project estimate.


Security will be as per NABARD / RBI guidelines issued from time to time and servicing policies of the concerned bank to which the project is sent for appraisal

Repayment Period of Loan

Repayment period depends upon the gross surplus generated. The loans will be repaid in suitable half yearly / annual installments usually within a period of about 5-6 years with a grace period of one year.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

can sheep be stall fed?

a commonly asked question is can sheep be stall fed like cattle?
yes there are methods to stall feed the sheep but it requires a first hand experience of sheep farming and sheep behaviour , lambs can easily be adjusted to stall feeding than aduult sheep a total confinement is the general term used to describe it

Total Confinement
Sheep can adapt to a complete confinement system of production. Confinement enables a producer to raise sheep or increase flock size in situations where land is a limiting factor due to availability or cost. Confinement can vary from dry (dirt) lots to buildings with expanded metal floors. Confinement requires intensive, year-round management. Because it tends to have a higher cost of production, higher levels of performance are usually required.

There are numerous advantages to raising sheep and/or lambs in total confinement. Predator problems can be eliminated by keeping sheep in confinement. Internal parasite problems are greatly reduced, and it is easier to control foot rot in confinement. Confinement lends itself well to automated feeding. It is common to fatten (feed) lambs in confinement. Less space is needed if slatted floors are used.

In fragile environments, confinement can prevent overgrazing or other environmental degregation caused by poor grazing management.

housing the sheep

· Housing needs of sheep vary by region, climate, lambing season, and preferences of the shepherd.the initial start up cost of the farm and its long term usage, these should be calculated and also help in depreciation of the building cost and hence the profitability of the farm can be accessed to a higher degree.
· lambing is one of the prime reasons to have good housing and the time of lambing will ascertain the type of the housing required ,If lambing will occur on pasture during periods of mild weather, simple shelters may be all that is needed. Lambing percentages are generally higher when lambing is with in the sheds
· Housed sheep have lower nutritional the energy losses in terms of movement and foraging is minimized ,
· Sheep raised on extensive method of farming have fewer respiratory problems.
There are many different types of housing that can be used for sheep. Traditional bank barns, pole buildings, and metal buildings, usually the cost is a limiting factor in the initial start up process and are usually the most expensive, but they provide the best protection for the shepherd, sheep, feed, and equipment.

A lower-cost alternative to traditional housing is a "hoop house."a housing similar to the one used in horticultural practice/floriculture but repeated cost of maintenance are a major challenge , A hoop house has an arched metal frame that is covered with a heavy fabric. Fabrics last for approximately10- 15 years.

Location of the shed/barn:

1.Should be located on elevated, well-drained sites.
2.The open side should face south, and away from the prevailing wind.
3.The barn should be easily accessible for deliveries and manure handling.
4.The site should allow for installation of water and electricity.
5.The animals should have easy access to the shelter and a better passage in case of huge flocks to avoid trampling and injuring the lambs.
6.Should allow easy accees to storage of feed and other equipments .
Space requirements

When confined to a building, a bred ewe requires 10 to 15 square feet of space.
Lambing pens should be 15 to 20 square feet in size.
In group housing, a ewe with her lambs needs 16 to 20 square feet.
Feeder lambs need 8 to 10 square feet.

Less space is required if sheep are raised on slotted floors or if they have access to an exercise area or pasture. Shearing before housing will allow stocking rates in the barn to be increased by up to 20%.

Monday, June 1, 2009

how to start a sheep farm?

A most frequntly asked question is how do i start a sheep farm and how to procure the sheep ? and which breed/s suits my venture?
To start a sheep farm one needs to understand that he is putting his first step towards rearing animals, and there are no fixed markers to start off! but defenitely one should start first by planning,like what he will feed the sheep?,how will he house them ?,what are the health care measures ?, and how is he going to insure them ?, how to ensure that they have the right ambience and right nutrition? etc
is it going to be a venture which involves traditional grazing methods or is it going to be stall fed ?

the answer to all these questions is simple
1. start with the breed selection and the criteria for raising them .
a>if the sheep are to be raised solely for meat or dual purpose like wool or for milch purposes also.
b>selecting the few breeds and short listing them,
c>select the best that will have better adaptability for the climate in which the farm will be located?
it would benefit a lot if you could do a preliminary survey of the breeds that are reared locally with in 50 kms of the proposed farm.

2. start up the farm with good quality fodder
a. a major part of the land must be utilised for optimum fodder production that suits the sheep fodder (remember sheep are not cows and will require additional care and also the fodder for sheep will differ from that grown for cattle)\
b.consult a veterinarian with good fodder management skills /agricultural officer who should be able to guide you in fodder production and management and also planning for the off seasonal crops.
c. start off with the fodder production as early as possible to get optimum results and to ensure you have right supply at the right time,
d.plan for more fodder/feed at a point close to the farm in case of short supply and must you need it .

Your Ad Here

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

fodder crops : lucerne alfa-alfa

Name of fodder crop:LUCERNE (Medicagosativa)
Soil type: Loamy to clayloam
Season of sowing: Oct first week
Seeds: 15-20 kgs /hectare
Method of sowing: Broadcast
Farmyard manure :20 tonnes
fertilizers: N-20 kg
P2O5-80 kg
K2O-30 kg
1st cutting :70-80 days
Subsequent cuts : 30to40day intervals
Yeild : :600-900 quintals/hectare

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Prerequisites to sheep farming

There are a few things that one needs to know and posses before he can embark on sheep farming,

1.sheep farming requires patience and dedication
as farming or any animal husbandry activity requires continuous monitoring and supervision a person about to engage in sheep farming must ask himself do i have the time and patience that is required to supervise my farm activities including human resources associated with it?
as i have mostly seen people start off in an enthusiastic manner with great zeal and fervour but after a few road blocks all the enthusiasm is lost , this happens due to
a )improper planning/incomplete work plan/no real plan & wrong/faulty execution of work plan/in co-ordination of Field staff.
b) high expectations in relation to financial returns from the farming activity.
c)ignorance of basic knowledge and working scenario.

2.requirements of suitable lands/grazing pastures /feeding resources .
its a utmost requirement that a sheep farmer plans his fodder resources well in advance not just in the season of plenty that is rainy season when there is lush green fodder but also during the summer where the feeding /fodder is scarce.
since the major chunk of investment on recurring expenditure ( that's about 65%-70%)of the activity is on feeding
it pays very richly to plan a few months or a year ahead in advance before the actual farming activity is taken up
this can be accomplished in consultation with a veterinarian/fodder development officer as to what kind of crops (seasonal) and perennial can be grown to feed the growing demands of the sheep

selection of the breed and the type of activity to be pursuedin the best int rests of the farm and also as a measure of precaution for the proper repayment of the EMI's (in case of loans/financial assistance's availed) and further to have a healthy financial output its best to choose /restrict the activity of the farm or a combination of these
a)a Breeding farm
b)a Growing lamb farm
c) its a Dairy farm( sheep are also raised for milk but in India its seldom practised but it has a scope if proper marketing channels are employed.
d) for wool production. ( not a huge market in India as most breeds have poor quality wool and sometimes the cost of shearing far exceeds the product!)
once the type of activity is decided
the breed/s can be selected to start the farm.
as suggested earlier the entire process is cumber some and time consuming hence patience is tested in the initial phases of the set up
once the healthy live animals are brought (usually from the traditional procurement channels like shandies and fairs, though a few established breeders of sheep are available usually the pedigree is questionable as most of the farms do not have/support proper record keeping
so if the concern is on breeding sheep its best advised to buy sheep from registered sheep breeders /those who have meticulously recorded the traits for at least 4 -5 generations and inbred the animals(if they are of native breeds)
or at least establish the fact as to how many breeds have been involved in breeding the animals supplied .

since the male sheep (Ram/stud is said to be half of the breed )that is it will influence the progeny /off springs to an extent of 50% and will pass down the genes and will constitute the characteristics of half of the future progeny and an important criteria to make or break the financial success of the farm ,selection of Ram plays a vital role and most of the breeders charge a premium price on the established breed with definitive body characteristics and traits and usually a endorsed breed cum pedigree certificate is issued along with.and usually will cost more than thrice that of the ewe/ram of the same weight. the ram selection process is a very important phase and its worth investing the time and also consulting a good breeder /or a expert veterinarian is a must, and comparing the Rams of the breed able age and in between the breeds.
since the technical aspects of selection of Ram is based on the breeding soundness,inherent traits , heritability of characteristics , adaptability in the Indian sub continent, adjusting to the agro- climatic conditions and also to the natural vegetation,
resistance to diseases and also to internal and external parasites,etc.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Twinnig sheep -A Boon to shepherds in India.


India has a high potential in the sheep industry and also a very diverse genetic resources through which , if scientifically bred the production in sheep industry can be enhanced ,

Indian shepherds have from long been breeding the sheep for various traits and also without much genetic improvements ,as the approach and attention has always been on improving the quality and quantity of wool , to have Superior much heavier breeds and on producing better tasting meat,

A fact that is only know to a few is that sheep can also give birth to twins , triplets & yes sometimes quadruplets, -and that's because of a gene The Booroola gene now known as - The B-Fec gene . ( the same gene that was instrumental in the explosive growth of the Australian sheep industry in the 19th cenctury,probably originated in an Indian breed known until then as Bengal sheep

This gene is found in the the small sheep breed of the Bengal region the Garole.
Mr.B.V.Nimbkar, Founder and founding President of Nimbkar Agricultural research Institute (NARI)- Maharashtra, a pioneer of modern agricultural techniques in India in the 90's established the Animal Husbandry Division of NARI , with a view to finding ways to improve the efficiency of small ruminants ,has extensively studied the breeds of sheep in India and sheep breeds of the world. the AHD of NARI became operational in 1990 and its dexterous research and hardwork resulted is the NARI-SUVARNA sheep , known for its prolificacy and better average adult weight ,better motherability, higher average birth weights , higher milk yields ,faster weaning and higher weights at slaughter/marketing than its ancestor the Garole and the the Deccani

Dr.Chanda Nimbkar , who now heads the AHD of NARI is also working on the genetic improvement of the breed for other different traits that can benefit the Socio-Economic status of the shepherding community of Maharashtra in particular and soon plans to extend the benefits of this superior breed to other parts of the country.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

loan for sheep farming in india

NABARD, as an apex development bank in the country has always been keen on promoting projects based on innovative technologies, which can accelerate capital formation in the rural areas in the agricultural and allied sectors as also in the non farm sector, specially in the thrust areas of livestock and dairy products, with accent on export are being promoted by NABARD on priority basis through appropriate policy initiatives. Brochures on model bankable projects, which have high export potential, have been brought out for the use of banks, entrepreneurs and other agencies which are keen on promoting such projects especially entrepreneurs for taking up the activity as a commercial enterprise through bank credit.
The present Model Project for sheep project is yet another venture in this direction.
Scope for Sheep Farming and Its National Importance
According to Livestock census 2003, there are about 61.47 million sheep and 124.36 million goats in the country. About five million households in the country are engaged in the rearing of small ruminant’s sheep & goats and allied activities. The wool production was about 45.1 million kg during 2006-2007. There are 15 export-oriented integrated modern abattoirs and 16 meat processing plants registered with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority exporting raw meet (Chilled and frozen) to about 56 countries During 2005-06,. 7177.51 MT sheep/goat meat valued Rs. 80.37 crore was exported. Sheep skin in the form of leather and leather products is also exported.
Sheep contribute to the livelihood of the economically weaker sections of the society. Amongst the livestock owners the shepherds are the poorest of the lot.
Realizing the importance of sheep in Agrarian economy the Central Government had established the Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI) at Avikanagar in Rajasthan. Number of sheep breeding farms were established during various plan periods throughout the country for evolving (I) new fine wool breeds for different agro-climatic regions capable of producing 2.5 kg of greasy wool per annum, (ii) new mutton breeds capable of attaining 30 kg live weight at 6 months of age under intensive feeding conditions. Sheep development activities were initiated under DPAP, MAFAL and SFDA programmes. Intensive Sheep Development Projects (ISDP’s) were introduced in many of the sheep rearing districts. Setting up of wool boards in important wool producing states was envisaged and States of Jammu & Kashmir and Karnataka have already set up these boards. Some of the states have set up wool development corporations / federations.

Financial assistance available from banks / NABARD for sheep farming
1. NABARD is an apex institution for all matters relating to policy, planning and operation in the field of agricultural credit. It serves as refinancing agency for the institutions providing investment and production credit for agriculture and rural development. It promotes development through a well organized Technical Services Department at the Head Office and Technical Cells at each of the Regional Offices.
2. Loan from banks with refinance facility from NABARD is available for starting sheep farming.
3. For obtaining bank loan,
a) The farmers should apply to the nearest branch of a Commercial, Co-operative or Regional Rural Bank in their area in the prescribed application form which is available in the branches of financing bank.
b) The Technical officer attached to or the Manager of the bank can help / give guidance to the farmers in preparing the project report to obtain bank loan.
4. For sheep development schemes with very large outlays, detailed reports will have to be prepared. The beneficiaries may utilize the services of Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) or consultants having experience in developing livestock projects for preparation of the project report to avail the bank loan for the items such as purchase of breeding animals, construction of sheds, purchase of equipment etc. The cost of land is not considered for loan. However, if land is purchased for setting up a sheep farm its cost can be treated as margin money of beneficiary.
Source :india /sheep development.
Visit :

Monetise your tweets

Friday, May 1, 2009

a concise and easy to use web page that gives the breed details of sheep and goat of India can be found here ,click on the link below
sheep and goat breeds of eastern India on :
breeds of sheep and goats of south India on :
the sheep and goat breeds of the north western India
their distribution patterns , Climate, Breed characteristics,Flock structure,Reproduction,Mortality etc can be found here though the pictures of the breeds are of black and white and of poor quality , and census numbers of 1972, it still gives the broad classifications on which a sheep farmer can decide as to which breed of sheep would he like to start off his sheep farm,
the website also provides a information on soil quality and fodder types and would be of great help,
i am though trying to get newer, clearer pictures with the latest stats .
also try :

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Grazing the sheep

A sheep farmers primary concern is suitable and sustainable grazing grounds for the sheep, also its one of the most crucial factors that determines the flock strength, traditionally shepherds in India have followed the nomadic life style with the drier months spent in journey across vast distances tending their sheep, with a few hounds keeping an eye and doing rounds and the oxen/ donkey carrying the make shift tents that acts as a shelter in the night .

the shepherds stock the sheep in a particular location - grazing and tending them in the day and stocking them in the near by plantation crops /post harvest seasonal crop Fields , this is to ensure that the excellent manure of the sheep's fecal pellets is manured to the farm lands directly and as goodwill gesture the shepherd in turn is favoured for a day or two with his ration by the land lord . the sheep are moved after a few days to new location where the fodder is aplenty,the other alternative grazing grounds for sheep are scrub forests , waste lands , and community grazing grounds like the goshalas.