We have you covered if you don’t know much about the basics of sheep supplies. If you are experienced with farm animals but know nothing about raising sheep, you probably want to learn all you can. After all, you’ve decided that having sheep is right for your small to large-scale farm.
We will go over the essential supplies that are required to have on hand when you own sheep. Don’t go anywhere because we’ll also talk about other factors to consider when you own a flock of sheep.
The 15 Essential Sheep Supplies
1. Proper Diet
It’s true. Sheep are grazing animals, meaning they get abundant nutrition from natural foliage and roughage. However, especially if your sheep live in a smaller space, you must offer a proper diet daily.
You can offer your sheep a variety of hay and grain to supplement their diet—especially in the winter months. If you buy a commercial bag of sheep food, you might see ingredients like grain and alfalfa.
You can find these bagged selections at local feed shops, commercial farm outlets, and online.
2. Feed Containers
The terrific thing about food containers is that you don’t have to spend any money whatsoever to get one. And if you do, you can buy something super inexpensive, like a 5-gallon bucket, to store their grain.
In addition to feeding containers, they will always need a water source available. Your sheep must stay hydrated, and having fresh, clean water available is absolutely essential.
3. Predator Protection
Sheep are really susceptible to predators if you don’t have the proper reinforcements. Just a single predator can do a world of damage to a flock if they have access. Predators will be different depending on where you live on the map. Luckily, you can do several things to deter predators from messing with your flock.
Consider a Guard
Sheep are herd animals that rely heavily on guidance to lead the flock. They are susceptible to many natural predators In various areas. Because sheep are slower animals that tend to flock together, they make perfect targets for wild animals like coyotes, mountain lions, And other larger predators.
If you can’t be on guard all the time for your sheep, many people rely on a protector. You can get other barnyard animals larger than sheep that deter predators, such as llamas. Lambs are also susceptible to two smaller predators like foxes, bobcats, lynx, and raccoons.
Llamas will actually challenge and potentially duel with a predator unapologetically. However, if you don’t have the room or space for a more considerable barnyard addition, many people choose specific dog breeds like the Great Pyrenees to guard livestock.
Unlike goats, sheep are pretty easy to maintain an enclosure. They don’t create a lot of fuss and intend to flock together without trying to jump over or escape. So, while you might not have to concentrate on heights, getting a proper fence is essential to avoid your animals getting loose.
If you don’t already have reinforcements, you’re going to have to secure a fence, even if it’s temporary. For temporary fences, you can use textile wire that is roughly 17 to 19 inches.
The best material to use for sheep Fencing is lightweight textile wire.
Many people also use an electric or barbed wire perimeter around the top of the fence to deter leaning or jumping.
You can use just about any widely available bedding for sheep. You can buy wood shavings, leftover sawdust, or a bale of straw. What you choose depends greatly on your budget and preference.
Most sheep owners prefer to use a straw because it insulates well, it’s cheap, and it’s easy to clean. But you can also use pine chips and sawdust if you prefer.
A single ewe can require 12 to 16 ft.² of space. So, you must have enough room for each one of your sheep. Overcrowding can lead to stress and quickly spread health issues among the flock.
Like goats, sheep do just fine with a three-sided shelter where they can escape the elements. It serves as a safe space to escape until they are ready to go back out into the pasture. You can typically buy your abilities pretty inexpensively.
If you purchase a pre-manufactured setup, you’re likely going to pay more than if you did the project yourself.
However, this will depend on your skill level and resources. Time is also a huge factor here, so you might not have the few days it’s going to take to build a shelter.
If you’re lucky, you might already live on a farm with suitable shelter for sheep.
If so, ensure that the shelter is big enough for the number of sheep you’ll get, and all else should be golden.
Because sheep are farm animals, they are susceptible to several viruses and infections that they can contract outdoors. To get ahead of any illness, you must check your flock’s temperature regularly with a thermometer.
Illness can pass through a flock quickly, so you must know as soon as possible to treat whatever ailment they have accordingly. It can get tremendously expensive to treat if an illness goes undetected.
8. Protective Gear
Even though you will love your flock to pieces, there needs to be an added layer of protection between you and them whenever you’re doing any care.
If you are administering medication or reforming any bodily care, having on a pair of sick rubber gloves is an outstanding idea. She can pass certain illnesses to humans, so it’s nice to have that outer layer of protection.
As a sheep owner, there are certain medications and supplements that you need to always have on hand. Also, it’s essential and crucial that you pick up needles to administer certain types of medication to your flock. You can count on buying a series of these items to get you started.
You’ll have to deworm your flock routinely. Luckily, they have both oral and ingestible dewormers to choose from.
Antibiotic distribution will be a common theme in your routine flock care. While some antibiotics require veterinary prescriptions, many you can buy at feed stores and other farm outlets.
If you ask any flock owner, vitamin B 12 complex is a highly recommended and necessary supplement to give your sheep any time they’re feeling a little bit under the weather. This boosts their immune system, encouraging wellness.
10. Drenching Gun
You won’t get by without a drenching gun on hand. These items are available at pet shops and all over online. These guns allow you to divvy out medication, precisely measuring and administering the fluids. Trust us, this will be one of the most useful tools for your sheep.
Wound care is absolutely imperative. Your sheep spend all of their days in a pasture and can get cuts on the terrain or encounter an injury due to predators or other environmental factors. Antiseptics are incredible, as they washout wins, keeping an infection from starting.
You can buy the best choice, but here are some suggestions.
As we mentioned a few paragraphs, there are certain illnesses that she can transmit to humans and to each other. Whenever you’re cleaning, you should always have a disinfectant on hand to kill any bacteria that might be lurking around. Keeping your sheets enclosure and bedding suitable will prevent the transmission or beginning of many potential issues.
Even if you don’t plan on walking your sheep with a halter for leisure, having regular rope holders on hand can be incredibly convenient. Having a lead is ideal if you ever need to tie up your sheep for any reason or restrain them for their own good.
You can buy several to have on hand, or just buy one—that’s totally up to you and it depends on how many sheep you own. But it’s definitely an item you’re going to want to have in the barn. You can find them at any feed or farm store or online.
14. Hoof Care Supplies
Hoof care is going to be one of the primary components of caring for your flock. You must have these tools on hand so that you can keep your sheep nicely trimmed and healthy.
Once you learn, it won’t be very difficult to get it done. You can hire a farmer to do the job or have your own supplies at home to save yourself some cash. Plus, the sheep only need total hoof care once a year in most cases.
You can find kits here.
Even if you’re not keeping your sheep for wool purposes, it is awesome to have shears on hand. They’re going to get pretty toasty in the summer, and a little relief would do them good. Most breeds need to get a haircut once a year.
Some prefer to have their sheep sheared at a shearing shed facility. While you can get electric or manual clippers for the job, make sure you’re comfortable performing the task—it’s not an easy one!
If you still haven’t completely committed to the idea of getting a flock of sheep, let us tell you why you absolutely need some.
Unsurprisingly, sheep are used for wool—they have been for millennia. It’s an excellent market, making it a lucrative thing for sheep owners to think of selling.
Using your flock for meat isn’t as common as for utility, but sheep offer a rich, healthy red meat.
Sheep are incredibly docile and sweet animals. While they get a reputation for being less than intelligent, that’s not always true. They are herd animals, meaning they carry that mentality.
But they make very good companions for smaller children or even adults. You will get attached to your sheep as you get to know their personalities.
Milk might not be one of the first things that come to mind when you think of owning sheep, but their milk is incredibly excellent, and production is usually high, especially in certain breeds. If you produce enough, you can use the milk for your family or even use it as another selling point.
Breeding sheep can be a pretty lucrative business to get into. If you have a system set up to manage and care for the young properly, you might be surprised how much revenue this brings to your farm, small or not.
Like goats, sheep are our regular lawn mowers. They will graze and chow down on any of the delicious grasses you have in your pasture. However, they are a lot less ornery and can jump much shorter heights than their goat cousins.
Now that you have a basic overview of everything you need to get started, you can begin your search. Stock up on supplies that you need, and we also want to make a note to look at the specific sheet breed that you have chosen. Some require special care that we haven’t listed here. This is especially true depending on the purpose of the sheep on your farm.
For instance, if you’re butchering or something of that nature, you will have to have those supplies on hand as well. These are just the bare-bones basics for you to start your excellent flock.
Featured Image Credit: Vinding, Pixabay