Saturday, June 20, 2009

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%.

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