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 .

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