Everything comes with pros and cons, and so does raising sheep. Sheep can provide myriads of benefits such as they are considered to be the best grass eaters, and they can provide proficient profits.
But don’t let this trap you because, despite these benefits, there are certain not-so-great aspects that you need to look out for before you go on purchasing your first flock.
As a shepherd, you may face numerous problems while raising sheep. From lack of knowledgeable help to poor management skills and resources, raising sheep can bring in a lot more disadvantages than advantages.
Let’s take a look at some of the major disadvantages of raising sheep.
1. There Aren’t Many Educated Vets for Sheep
You can’t start raising sheep if you don’t have proper knowledge and understanding about them. Now, in the case of sheep, it can be a lot tougher to gather.
Indeed, there are a lot more popular animals out there, and people want to raise other livestock more than sheep. This narrows down the people that know sheep and have knowledge about raising them.
The vets can be highly trained in treating cows, buffalos, dogs, cats, and other animals but not sheep.
In today’s times, they are still getting minimal training regarding sheep and goats. So, some trained and educated vets for sheep are hard to come by.
The main reason behind this is that there is not much need for sheep vets and their services. However, vets are becoming more educated regarding sheep with time but, still, it’s a long way to go.
2. Knowledgeable Help from Neighbors is Highly Unlikely
You don’t need advice from those shepherds who have failed to raise sheep. Now, you understand what we mean when we say knowledgeable help from neighbors?
If you live in an area where such folks are in abundance, you need to stay cautious. In fact, you don’t have to listen to them.
You can go to a local farm store or rummage online and get knowledgeable help from there. This will prove a lot more effective than relying on neighbors who have limited knowledge, exposure, and experience.
3. Sheep Predation can be Severe
We know that there are numerous areas where sheep can easily fall prey to a vicious predator. Predators are always looking for something that they can catch easily, and there’s nothing easier to catch than sheep.
If your neighbors have installed some predation controlling measures, you need to install them as well.
However, if your farm is the only place in your area that has livestock, you can catch a lot of unwanted attention from predators.
But we have a solution for this problem. You can always opt for electric netting or, you can take the help of livestock guard dogs. These predation control measures will certainly keep your predators at bay.
4. Sheep Need More Fencing as Compared to Cattle
Sheep need pasture! They tend to stay out for 365 days. That is why you’ll need a different kind of fencing as compared to that of cattle.
However, you don’t need to install a sturdy fence for your sheep; just a little more extensive than cattle would do.
When it comes to the electrical netting of the fence, a single electric strand won’t do. You will need multiple strands to keep your sheep from wandering outside the fence. This is particularly done for their safety.
5. Sheep Farm Require their Shepherd’s Keen Observation
We’ve seen numerous people missing out on this disadvantage, but we must cover this one because it’s the most important one of all! The health of the sheep solely depends on how well the shepherd observes them.
You may have heard people say, “I don’t know what happened with my flock. I just came back and found my sheep dead”.
Such deaths don’t happen out of the blue. When someone finds their sheep dead, it may be because the sheep’s health had been going downhill for a while, but the shepherd was too busy to notice.
Sometimes you pay attention to your flock but, you can’t seem to pinpoint whether your sheep is doing alright or not.
So, how can you tell when your sheep isn’t feeling well? It’s easy. Spend time with your flock because only then can you figure out what’s normal and what’s not, or you can have farm management software in place that could keep track of your sheep’s health.
If all your sheep are happily ruminating while one is just sitting in the corner, not paying any attention to her cud, you need to check up on her. If all your sheep are sitting while one is standing, you need to look after her.
It will take time and practice to learn the needs of your sheep. So, if you want to be a successful shepherd and want your sheep to survive for a longer period, you need to spend more time with them. A sheep farm software can help you understand what your sheep needs better.
6. Sheep Farm Management is Required for Sheep
Start by planning how you’re going to take care of your flock. A couple of things must happen on time; otherwise, small issues will turn into huge problems in no time.
The first thing you need to do is to timely plan the treatment of your sheep. This will help you to keep ahead of most of the problems that your flock and you can likely face.
Keeping your sheep in good shape can help you in getting rid of most of your sheep-related problems in time. In this regard, we’ve noticed that the feet of your sheep play a vital role.
No one likes sore feet, and neither do ewes. Sore feet may look like a small problem at first but, it can unleash a bundle of problems in the long run.
If your sheep has sore feet, she will sit down in a corner rather than standing up and eat that can make her lose weight. Plus, she won’t be able to take care of her lamb.
Since she’s not eating as she should be, she’s more vulnerable to parasites that, in turn, can lead to catastrophic and fatal diseases. This is how a problem as small as sore feet can turn into death.
You can avoid this by efficiently managing your flock with the help of sheep farm software and make changes where necessary.
Raising sheep brings some valuable aspects but, they are prone to having some not-so-great characteristics as well. Several problems are associated with raising sheep, such as the unavailability of sheep vets and knowledgeable help from the neighbors, the severity of sheep predation, installment of extensive fencing, and poor management skills. However, you can manage a lot of things by incorporating sheep farm software.
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