The content of the article:
As a domestic farm animal, sheep have been grown for thousands of years. In this case, depending on the breed, the sheep are bred for the purpose of obtaining meat, milk, sheepskin and warm quality wool.
In the conditions of a personal farmstead, the maintenance of sheep will not be difficult. Hardy, unpretentious animals rarely get sick, they are sufficiently prolific and very early in comparison with cattle. At the same time, for the sheep, there is no need for a completely built-up premises:
- In summer they are satisfied with pens and grazing grounds.
- Winter is contained in sheepfolds, where the temperature is slightly above zero.
Animals grow well in feed, which other species will clearly not be enough to meet physiological needs. Sheep even have scant vegetation enough to grow, give wool and gain weight.
With due attention to animals, the breeding of sheep at home and the beginning sheep breeders will not seem a difficult burdensome occupation. Good care, adherence to the rules of keeping and feeding is sure to result in a high meat productivity in the first year, obtaining tasty fat milk and home wool.
Biological features of sheep
Modern breeds of sheep for growing at home can show high productivity in meat, milk and wool. Most often, the attention of sheep breeders is attracted to varieties with high fertility, rapid body weight, pronounced unpretentiousness and good health. But in order for animals to show the expected results, their needs and biological features of sheep must be taken into account.
Among the animals in the cattle yard, the sheep are famous for their herdness and forgetfulness. Often, sheep breeders are faced with the fact that a pasture for grazing livestock can not find their home. Therefore, the walking areas of sheep and rams are taken with clever goats or cows. In this case, one sheep will go for the "leader and after it all the flock will be pulled.
The average duration of sheep is 20 years. However, when keeping sheep in a private farmstead, only producers and pedigreed uterus can live up to 8 years. Young animals, grown for meat, are slaughtered up to a one-year-old age, and individuals of woolly orientation are kept in the farm a little longer.
One of the indicators for judging the merits of a breed or an individual is the number of lambs per year and the number of lambs brought.
Most often, the sheep that breed are breeding only once a year at the end of winter or in the early days of spring. Pregnancy lasts about five months, in most breeds the appearance of one lamb is the norm. But there are exceptions.
For example, the Romanov breed of sheep, popular among Russian sheep breeders due to the frequent birth of several lambs at once and the possibility of killing twice a year. This feature of the breed and early maturity of the species as a whole makes it possible to develop a quite successful, quickly paid back business plan for breeding sheep.
What conditions of the maintenance are necessary for an animal? How to arrange their feeding? How to start breeding sheep at home for beginners?
Growing sheep at home in summer
Pasture content of sheep - the basis of their high productivity. Having deprived animals of the opportunity to go out for a walk, the sheep breeder can seriously reduce their profits. In this case, the costs increase:
- forage, collection and preparation of which henceforth - human concern;
- for the equipment of premises and pens for sheep.
If there are no suitable pastures in the vicinity of the farmstead, the sheep are arranged with walking grounds, enclosing the plots with shields. After the depletion of the grass cover, the flock is transferred to the neighboring territory. Since sheep can bite grass lower than goats or cows, even in the most meager places, they find a favorite food for themselves. In addition, the transfer of grazing to another part of the pasture helps prevent the infection of animals with helminths.
At home, when raising sheep without walking, the animals are given sloping pasture grasses.
It is also advisable to organize a small flock of jogging, forcing them out of limited space for a walk. It is possible to keep sheep on a leash with a regular transfer to a new site.
On the pasture sheep is released with the advent of spring and the appearance of the first vegetation about 8 cm high. If the yard is cool, animals should be protected from excessive humidity, whether it's rains or dew. Wet hair does not dry out and causes various diseases of animals. This rule is followed with the onset of autumn coolness. In hot summer time, on the contrary, early access to the meadow will help the sheep find the most succulent vegetation.
Despite the pastoral maintenance, the sheep are necessarily offered water. Drinkers are replenished daily twice, and in a particularly hot season - three times a day.
This measure will help to protect against dehydration and weakening of animals. In the same purpose they equip awnings, where the flock can wait out the sultry hours. Here for the sheep are put not only drinkers and feeders, but also pieces of salt-lick.
Pasture grass is the most desired and useful for sheep food. However, the breeding of sheep provides for their maintenance and in the cold season. Therefore, the sheep breeder needs to prepare hay in time, and in the autumn time, fallen leaves will be a good help in case of deficit of grass.
In the summer, sheep may suffer from bloodsucking insects that not only use sheep as a source of nutrition, but also lay eggs on damaged skin areas. To avoid associated diseases and to facilitate the wards existence, animals examine, clean and disinfect wounds, for weakened sheep they establish special supervision.
Sheep in the cold season
The arrival of autumn for a sheep breed means that the flock will soon be relocated to winter sheepfolds and paddocks for sheep. It is extremely important to protect the wards from drafts, excessive humidity and crowded content. Therefore:
- The rooms are equipped with ventilation.
- Arrange the animals with a dry deep litter.
- One individual is taken away from, up to 3 meters square.
- Inside the sheepfish, during the stable period, a temperature of 6-8 ° C is maintained. This is enough to make healthy strong animals feel good, and with a properly selected diet and grow.
- During the most critical period in sheep breeding - during lambing, air in the sheepfish should be heated to 15 ° C.
In winter, the sheep ration consists of hay silage harvested in summer, chopped root crops and a small volume of concentrated fodder. For 500 kg of grass hay and the same number of root crops must account for only 100 kg of mixed fodder. Such a rate is sufficient to feed one adult in the stall period.
In the cold season, feed the livestock best in the open air in an open pen for sheep. In bad weather, food is given under a canopy. Do this 3-4 times a day. First sheep get hay. For weight gain and growth, it is useful to give hay from cereal crops and fodder legumes.
Then the sheep are offered a juicy forage. It can be a mixture of chopped root crops, for example, beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes with bran. Another option is silage. After such a meal, the herd is given a drink, and then comes the turn of concentrated and coarse fodder. Sheep when grown at home quickly get used to one schedule of distribution of feed. In the evening, hay and summer brooms are laid in the feeding troughs.