Sheep breeding, as a traditional form of farming, allows owners to receive significant profits and natural products for marketing. In order to increase production efficiency, the farmer must know where to begin work, how to properly organize the premises for animals, and most importantly, what should be the diet of sheep for their active growth.
Sheep farming is without a doubt one of the traditional farming activities around the world. Sheep have been raised as a pet since ancient times. Sheep breeding includes the cultivation of sheep on a commercial basis, for profit, from the sale of meat, milk and wool, as well as for personal use. Sheep breeding can be called a fairly profitable farm, sheep are prolific and unpretentious in care. Most of the time they feed on pasture food. Although sheep farming is not the best solution for milk production, however, it justifies itself in meat and wool productivity in full. If you have your own funds and want to start farming, in order to benefit, then sheep breeding will suit you best.
In a short time, the breeding of sheep may well justify itself, you will return the money spent and get a profit from the sale of sheep products. In order to start your sheep-based business, you need to correctly formulate your goals and develop a competent business plan. Take into account all costs, basic and indirect, in terms of costs. This article will describe the advantages and disadvantages of commercial activities based on sheep and the first steps in the development of their business.
Why sheep breeding
Sheep are raised to produce meat, wool, and skin. Sheep meat is nutritious and tasty. It is popular with different segments of the population around the world. Sheep farming, of course, is an excellent source of income, with proper organization of the process of breeding animals. Sheep feel great on any pasture and suitable for breeding in almost any climate zone. The advantages of running a sheep business include the following:
- Sheep breeding does not require huge investments.
- Because of their unpretentious care, sheep can live in any terrain and in any dwelling that meets the needs of animals.
- The labor costs of running a sheep-breeding business will be minimal.
- Sheep are distinguished by high rates of reproduction and growth. You can easily achieve an increase in the number of animals in half, for a relatively short period of time.
- Sheep are unpretentious in food, they eat any pasture plants, easily endure long distances in search of food on the range, eat weed. Most of the time, sheep graze on pasture, which will undoubtedly reduce feed costs.
- Sheep, unlike goats, do not eat the bark of a tree and do not harm garden vegetation.
- Sheep can easily tolerate the consumption of low-grade feed - and this is a savings, in contrast to the expensive diet.
- Sheep products are very popular and occupy almost leading positions in the areas of animal husbandry.
- Sheep are hardy and unpretentious, they easily tolerate temperature fluctuations, due to their wool, which creates a kind of microclimatic shell around the animal.
- Sheep have a calm disposition and are suitable for co-breeding with other species of animals on the farm or personal farms.
If you follow the rules of animal care and the proper organization of sheep breeding, this business can become stable and profitable for you. You will be able to give additional jobs, thereby providing assistance to the population in the fight against unemployment.
Sheep farming in the form of commercial activity plays an important role in the national income of the country. Sheep can be the basis of a profitable business in animal husbandry, as part of the economic growth of the state. With the right approach and proper organization of the sheep breeding process, there is an opportunity to enter international markets, to market their products, and also to contribute to an increase in national income.
How to start sheep breeding
Sheep are small in size, are distinguished by unpretentiousness and calm character, because the maintenance of the sheep will not bring you much trouble. But, as with any other farming business, you need to make a business plan, as well as an expenditure plan. Determine the payback period of your sheep business. Next you need to choose the right place for your future farm. The land should be away from major roads, should have a clean and fresh water source (if there is no communication), enough greenery for sheep grazing, the terrain should be protected from predatory animals. Try to take into account fairly simple requirements for the future site, so that later you will not have problems with the construction of the farm, and even more so when pasturing animals.
Nuances of care and increase in livestock
Although unpretentiousness is peculiar to selected animals, practice shows that novice farmers from romantics turn into skeptics. In order not to be disappointed in the idea, tune in to work. Your customers will be people who are picky about the quality and taste of meat, so there can be no compromises. But how to ensure the maintenance of sheep, proper care and increase in livestock, without going to very heavy spending?
Sheep Care: Some Important Rules
Pondering where to keep animals, keep in mind that the best protection for them is their own wool. Thanks to her, ewes require shelter indoors only in extreme cold or during the summer heat. Buildings should provide the following:
- protection from the sun or weather conditions
- conditions necessary for pregnant females or sick animals,
- safety from predators.
In the summer, it is enough to equip the sheds, and in the winter - to equip a heated room with a temperature of 15 C. The advantages are that animals emit heat that needs to be preserved: get rid of the cracks in the floor and take care of the good condition of the ceilings.
An important condition is the presence of ventilation, since animals are sensitive to high humidity. Ideally, the index does not exceed 60%, although 70% is sometimes allowed. Removal of moist air can be achieved through the design of the premises or the installation of fans.
What you need to know about feeding
Although there is enough pasture in the warm season, prepare for the fact that 60% of the cost of maintaining the farm will be related to animal nutrition. Reduce costs will be as follows:
- Feed the flock on schedule and do not give other food until it copes with the old feed. Sheep have a peculiarity: if you allow them to choose “tidbits”, the remnants will disappear. When you offer alfalfa to animals, they will first eat soft leaves and roots. Make sure that the feed is completely finished before giving a new one.
- Do not allow the situation when pets walk on fodder. This will lead to unnecessary expenses and the spread of disease.
- Daily dose the feed, give the necessary minimum. Most of the time your wards can spend in a state of light hunger.
- For food use grain, hay bean and cereal, clover, alfalfa. Straw from barley or pea is used as a top dressing.
To minimize feed losses, equip pens with bunkers or grain guards. Proper installation will protect workers: since the animals are slightly hungry, they try to quickly get food, pushing at the feeders. Since adult ewes are massive, they can injure a person who brought hay or grain at this time. By installing the feeders on the outside of the pens, you will solve the problem.
The need for water in sheep is low, because they are able to spend without it for several days. In winter, they can do with snow, but without access to fresh moisture, ewes have problems with pregnancy and lactation. To avoid difficulties, equip pens with heated troughs.
Breeding sheep breeding as a business
Beginners wonder whether it is possible to earn on breeding sheep breeds. After all, for a tribal sample asking for a few hundred dollars! But in practice, the main source of profit is the sale of meat. The shades associated with the breed are unlikely to be discerned by the consumer. Age remains the main criterion: the difference between the meat of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old ram is immediately noticeable.
For this reason, beginners should not spend money on the purchase of expensive animals. You are unlikely to be able to acquire a high-bred sheep, besides, due to lack of knowledge, you will make mistakes in keeping and breeding. It will take you 1-2 years to gain experience, so buying a pair of sheep for $ 500 each is not the best idea. Animals may die just because you did not give anthelmintic on time!
In addition, starting with a good breeding material is expensive. The purchase of livestock and fodder will require investments that are impossible at the starting stage. And the status of a breeding loudspeaker can only be obtained with 5 years of experience, so simply find healthy animals that are inexpensive and inexpensive to keep breeds.
It is not always profitable to use breeding cattle for breeding meat, usually farmers come to a pure breed for 5-6 years, working with more budgetary options during this time.
Financial aspect: what to consider
Drawing up a business plan for sheep breeding includes estimates of the costs of organizing and approximate profits. It is advisable to make an analysis of the situation for at least 3 years and, if necessary, make adjustments. Establish long-term and short-term goals in advance to see how the business justifies itself. But what to consider when drawing up?
The costs of organizing a sheep farm
A flock of 1,000 heads is considered large, but 300 sheep are enough for a start. Taking into account that 1 animal costs 3,000–4,000 rubles, the purchase will cost 1,200,000 rubles. You will also need to rent pasture, and the price is 100,000 rubles. annually. The same amount is needed for the repair of existing pens or the construction of new ones.
Separately, consider the salary of employees: shepherd, milkmaid and handyman. Consumption can reach 700,000 rubles. in year. But an experienced shepherd is more expensive, although hiring it in the long run leads to savings: you do not have to pay veterinarians or shears.
If you are going to harvest hay yourself, then the cost of feed (grain) will amount to 60,000 rubles. Add another 50,000 for unforeseen expenses, and you will need 2,000,000 rubles for the first year.
Sheep breeding income
If you decide to download sample business plans for sheep breeding from the network, you will see that they imply revenue from the sale of sheep wool. Such a mistake made by the compilers can be expensive. In practice, hiring a shear is more expensive than wool itself. To find a buyout at a bargain price for individual entrepreneurs, you will have to try and provide fine wool. Alas, sheep need to be cut anyway, otherwise they will suffer from overheating.
For the rest, count on approximate figures:
- for the surrender of live sheep in the amount of 100 heads, you will gain 300,000 rubles,
- profit from the sale of meat reaches 500,000 rubles.,
- for dairy products can get 200 000 rubles.
The average income per year is 1,000,000 rubles, which will allow recouping expenses for 2-3 years.
Sheep breeding profitability
Practice shows that sheep breeding makes a profit, but it is necessary to take into account a number of factors: location, availability of competitors and food supply. To save yourself from unpleasant surprises, find out in advance about sales opportunities. For example, with demand it is advantageous to keep sheep for milk, but objectively it will cost 2 times more than a cow. Saving on feed and maintenance in this case will not work, since milk animals need good nutrition. But the income will be tangible: sheep cheese is 2-3 times more expensive than usual.
Ready business plan for a novice sheep breeder: free download
If you are taking the first steps in sheep farming, you will need a business plan that you can download for free or order from specialists. But keep in mind that breeding animals will be guaranteed to be profitable when you keep them for your own needs and sell surplus. In the remaining cases, it is necessary to take into account many factors, among which the presence of pasture feeding remains decisive. If you have a similar opportunity, then you will provide animals with grazing and food, reducing waste. In other cases, you must consider the cost of grain and hay in your area.
Do not believe and assurances that from the queen of a certain breed (for example, Romanov) can get 6 lambs. To achieve this indicator, you need to cover the uterus, which still feeds the offspring. As a result, you will get barely alive lambs, and you can not count on good performance. The average result in practice is 3-4 lamb per year from 1 uterus. Be realistic in the calculations, and save yourself from failures.
Sheep breeding is considered a promising direction, since there are few competitors in the region. Practitioners in the forums claim that you can definitely make money. The questions raise the level of profit, since it is impossible to count on super-profits. But you will get a stable support, and with time you will put your business in a big way: when you acquire experience, you will take into account all the factors in your region.
And what do you know about sheep farming? Tell us in the comments!