Sheep are one of the multi-purpose animals which are being reared for various purposes- for getting wool, milk, meat, skins and even hides. Apart from providing these stuffs, sheep are also used as a research model. Interestingly, some have even developed new businesses for supplying the animal and its products (blood, etc.) to bio-science. For centuries, sheep are being used for controlling unwanted vegetation, but now, for the sheep producers, grazing as a service has become a new opportunity.
For the farmers who are into sheep farming business, their main source of income comes from selling lambs and sheep in the market for their wool and other products. There are several selling and buying markets especially for farmers and agricultural businessmen where they can sell and buy sheep and their products to others. Australia has even come up with several online selling and buying services meant for farmers and agricultural needs. There they can easily put their sheep for sale and can expect a good deal of money in return. The more they sell sheep and their products, the more their business will expand.
However for a shepherd, the most important decision to make before getting into this business is to choose the aspect of the production. And based on the purpose of the flock and market condition, production practices vary.
Advantages of Sheep Farming:
As already mentioned, sheep is a multi-purpose animal. One can get milk, wool, meat, skin, manure and other stuffs from a single animal only. So, it helps in boosting the agrarian economy.
A shepherd can have three different sources of income by producing meat, wool and manure, which are the most important and widely produced products of sheep. Hence the price of one will not bear on the other.
Since sheep is considered as a domesticated animal, it has some great grazing qualities which help in improving or maintaining the landscape of the shepherd. As compared to other livestock, they are capable of eating variety of plants and can transform the waste into profit. Because of their size and mixed diet, they are an ideal choice for landscape preservation.
Besides providing mutton, wool and milk, it also provides self-employment, like, wool shearing, tending flocks, skin processing and so on. Moreover, in places like arid regions where crop production is a big problem, sheep farming becomes an important occupation for the people.
Unlike other animals, like goats, sheep do not cause much damage to the trees.
Sheep can adapt to harsh climate conditions and can survive greatly in arid and semi-arid regions with sub-marginal and marginal lands.
Since sheep can graze on sub-marginal lands, their droppings can only aggravate the plant growth in such areas, as their dung is considered to be a valued fertilizer.
Sheep can also be a great learning experience for kids. These creatures are very gentle in nature, and thus this particular form of animal husbandry serves to be highly beneficial for kids, especially who are home-schooled, aged above 5 years.
Compared to other animals, sheep are easier to handle and contain, they are less destructive and are ideal for landscape maintenance. And because of these reasons, sheep farming is so very popular all around the world.