What is Sheep Farming?


Sheep farming is a branch of animal husbandry. Sheep are raised principally for their meat, milk, and fiber (wool). Sheep with its multi-facet utility for wool, meat, milk, skins and manure form an important component of rural economy particularly in the arid, semi-arid and mountainous areas of the country. It provides a dependable source of income to the shepherds through sale of wool and animals.

Sheep can be reared as free range (where there is no shortage of land) or under housing inside a shed. It is a very important component in the dry land farming system. With very low investments sheep farming can be made into a profitable venture for small, marginal farmers and landless labourers.

Farmers can select from various breeds suitable for their region and market conditions. 

Indian sheep breeds:- Mecheri, Chennai red, Ramanadhapuram white, Keezhakarai Sal, Vembur, Neelagiri, Trichy black, Coimbatore, Deccani, Nellore, Mandya, Marwari, Gaddi etc.

Exotic sheep breeds:- Dorset, Suffolk, Merino, Rambouillet, Cheviot etc.

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Advantages of sheep farming

  1. Sheep do not need expensive buildings to house them and on the other hand require less labour than other kinds of livestock. 
  2. Sheep are economical converters of grass into meat and wool.
  3. Sheep will eat varied kinds of plants compared to other kinds of livestock. This makes them excellent weed destroyers.
  4. Unlike goats, sheep hardly damage any tree.
  5. The production of wool, meat and manure provides three different sources of income to the shepherd.
  6. The structure of their lips helps them to clean grains lost at harvest time and thus convert waste feed into profitable products.
  7. Well adapted to the environment and poor management practices.
  8. The meat rate is increasing day by day.
  9. Sheep are suitable for wool and meat.
  10. Average of 1-2 kids per delivery per sheep.
  11. Average meat recovery of 22-30 kg/goat.

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