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.


RAJ said...

The blog is very informative .Basically i am an engineer working in bangalore ,we have around 8 acres of land near nelamangala ,Bangalore Rural Dist in which around 5 acres have been cultivated with cocount trees. I was contemplating starting a sheep farm in the land and looking for information on the web and i read ur blogs and the answers to the queries .
As you have rightly pointed out that time and patience is very much required and right now i personally cannot manage it but i have my uncles staying in the village they are not literate but have knowledge of sheep rearing as they presently rear around 10 to 15 sheeps by grazing .
My Idea is to start sheep farming in this land ,initially with low investment as i am very new to this field ,also i will be helping some rural lads with some job .Can you please suggest me how to go about it. My email id is

Dr. mahmood abbas said...

hi raj ,
its great that you have started to think about sheep farming i would suggest you to keep up the good work and also help people become more aware of shep farming , iam located in bangalore so i would suggest you give me a call on 9902218805.and may be we can visit your farm and visit for a complete set up plan for sheep farming

mahmood said...

Dr Mahmood sahab.I am Mahmood from Hyderabad.I come from a family with a diffrent type of Business background.Off late i have been toying with the idea starting something in terms of agriculture or sheep farming.I am into some funds now and planning to buy few acres and start something on lines with sheep farming.Your article is quite informative and it has helped me in forming some basics.Few things i want to know is 1) Apart from land (5 to 7 acres ) what would be the capital involved. 2) Kind of labour required for this and their source of availability 3)Time gap before the returns start coming. It would be great if you could help me with more email ID is i meet you when i am in Bangalore.i often travel.

Sys admin said...

Dear Dr. mahmood abbas,

I am very happy to see this Blog, My self i am venu from Andhrapradesh Near to Tirupati, I am B.Tech graduate,Right now i am working in Meghalaya.
My ambition to start any good business.... We have 3 and off acres
and for seeding we have 2 Acers this two places are not attached. It is enough to form 200 hundred to 500 hundred cattle.And i saw your mobile no in the comments i feed it in my mobile.

if it is possible i am interesting to meet on Jan 2010.

Email ID:--

farna said...

Dear Sir,
As-Salaam Alaikum,

I noor Farzin, verymuch intereted in sheep farming as we have few acres of land in malur taluk, near tekal, but the information related to sheep farming business is very less.. can u help me out by providing sufficient info on this business.. will be thankful to u for your guidance.

Noor Farzin

mohd abdul hafeez said...

Sir. I am from hyderabad We got some land at moinabad and vikarabad. I am interested in Sheep farming, I dont have much idea I want to make my profession as full time. suggest me where shd i go and look professional sheep breeding farm near to hyderabad. Hafeez 9160983881

Abdul said...

Assalam Alaykum Mahmood Bhai,

Firstly i thank for the very informative content. you have been educating to a certain level on the basics of sheep farming, yes as you rightly said planning to execute a sheep farm with knowledge on land, the fodder, the health, types of breed selection and much more as you would know. Am concerned on how do i go about researching all of these and educating myselves apart from following your blogs and you being the mentor. I will be really grateful if you could direct me with some sources of information to do a detailed study. will look forward to get in touch you with some basic knowledge.