Have you raised an animal at any point in time? Raising animals is an adventure you might not want to end the moment you start it.
Nowadays, backyard farming is becoming quite popular, as people now train a wide range of animals with the bit of space they have left in their backyards. But the thing is, raising animals like sheep in the backyard is not quite common.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should ditch the plan of raising sheep in your backyard. But get enough information before you jump right into it.
So, if you’re thinking of raising sheep in your backyard, this post is for you. But then, before you give it a go, you have to be sure it’s something you can do. Read before you get on with your plans.
Can You Keep a Sheep as a Pet in Your Garden?
Firstly, nearly every sheep on the face of the earth can make great pets. Sheep are gentle, quiet, and boasts a range of characteristics that makes them a wise choice as pets. However, most people might not even consider sheep when thinking of animals to keep as pets.
But this doesn’t mean it’s not possible to keep sheep as a pet in a garden. If you’re willing, and it’s legal in your area, you can go ahead. Nevertheless, you still need to understand certain things before moving ahead with your plans.
Alright, so here are factors you need to consider before keeping sheep as a pet in your yard.
1. Providing the needed attention
Please, note that sheep is not the type of animal you can throw into a building, lock the door, and walk away for days or weeks. It needs proper care and attention. So, if you’re a busy fellow, you can make plans to care for your sheep pet.
Arrange with someone to deputize on for you while you’re far away. The person can be your family member, friend, worker, or neighbor. Just ensure the sheep is getting regular care.
2. How much you know about the animal
Every animal is unique. Consequently, you would need different approaches when caring for one animal species to another.
How much you know about your proposed pet matters a great deal. You need to know what the sheep eat, including alternative foods and more. If you don’t know these things, your pet might not survive for long. And you clearly wouldn’t want that to happen.
3. Available space
You need to consider the space you have in your backyard before you start keeping sheep as a pet. Do you have enough space for one, two, or more sheep?
If you have limited space, don’t overstock your backyard farm. Keep the number of sheep that suits your available space.
4. Proper fencing is necessary
Sheep isn’t the type of animal you can raise in a building or backyard. It would help if you fenced the area, so it won’t wander and get you into trouble.
If you don’t put a fence around your backyard to prevent the sheep from running away, get ready to experience the unimaginable. One day, you may return from work to find your neighbors complaining about their damaged grasses, all thanks to your sheep.
Nobody is against allowing your new sheep pet to wander in your backyard. Just ensure that the area is adequately fenced. You can use an electric fence to protect and prevent the sheep from running away. The fence would also prevent predators from attacking your sheep.
5. Is it unlawful?
Does the law in your area permit you to keep sheep in your backyard garden? If yes, then you have one less problem to think about. But please ensure you do proper research and ask questions, if need be, before keeping sheep in your backyard.
A Pro Tip: Don’t be put off by claims that sheep don’t have any intelligence; they do. Sheep can recognize a person’s face throughout their lifetime. They can even remember you once you have stayed with them for a long time.
Can You Keep a Single Sheep?
Yes, it’s possible. It would be best if you also didn’t forget that sheep happen to be flock animals. What this implies is that they need company. Sheep don’t enjoy being alone. Thus, if they can’t get the company they long for, they may seek such from other animals.
So, if you plan on keeping a single sheep, be ready to provide the needed company it needs, now and then. If you don’t have the luxury of time, someone can deputize in your place. Just be ready to make plans to provide company for your single sheep pet.
A Pro Tip: A sheep can stay on its own for some hours if provided with enough water, adequate shelter, and food. Proper fencing is also encouraged to keep predators at bay.
Are Sheep Difficult To Keep?
Though several sheep breeds exist, all of them are a breeze to keep, compared to animals like goats, cattle, and horses. Again, sheep don’t require much space as cattle, and several animals. So, if the law permits where you live, raising sheep in your backyard would be a great adventure.
You can have three or four ewes together with their lambs on one acre of land. Sheep’s small figure and gentleness make them a breeze to keep, compared to a host of other animals.
Again, you don’t need to spend a fortune to raise sheep. Sheep can survive on a not-so-perfect pasture. Sheep eat grasses, brush, and weeds growing on not-so-fertile soil. Unfortunately, many animals can’t survive where sheep do.
Do Sheep And Dogs Get Along?
Well, it depends. There are cases where some sheep coexisted with dogs peacefully, but it’s rare. The reason it’s so is because of dogs’ aggressiveness and constant chasing. Most dogs view sheep as prey, while sheep, on the other hand, see dogs as predators.
A Pro Tip: If you have dogs and sheep on the same piece of land, it would be best to shield them from each other. Provide a fence around the portion of land your sheep are occupying. And if possible, try to discourage both from seeing eyeball to eyeball.
The reason is that, even though there’s no physical contact, sheep can experience exhaustion and distress due to the chase in the hands of the dogs. Your sheep could miscarry or die as a result.
How Long Do Pet Sheep Live?
Sheep’s natural lifespan is 10 to 12 years. But when given proper care and attention, a sheep could live longer.
For the records, most of the diseases that affect other animals don’t affect sheep. The gastrointestinal parasite is the most prevalent health issue, sheep, especially lambs, experience.
Can Sheep Live on Grass Alone?
Yes, sheep are ruminant animals and can live on grass alone. Just ensure the grass is of high quality and can meet the animal’s nutritional needs. Sheep don’t need grains or concentrate, such as pelleted feeds. They can survive on grass and forages, such as hay.
A Pro Tip: Just because sheep can survive wholly on grass doesn’t mean you should neglect water, including relevant minerals. Grass does contain water, but that shouldn’t substitute for actual water. You need to provide enough water now and then. Providing loose minerals and a block of salt would also be a wise decision.
How Long Can Sheep Be Left Alone?
Sheep are social animals and don’t enjoy being alone. But if you provide your sheep with adequate food, water, and shelter, it can withstand being alone for 8 hours or a little more. Nevertheless, remember to check on your sheep in the morning and at night before retiring to bed.
Providing adequate fencing is also very crucial when keeping sheep. The reason is that while you’re away, a predator may try to attack your sheep. If it succeeds in getting past the fence, the unexpected could happen before you arrive home.
Is Raising Sheep Expensive?
Compared to cattle and several other animals, sheep are inexpensive to keep. Sheep also require minimal space, making them a wise choice for homeowners who don’t have the space to raise cattle but want to raise an animal for meat or other reasons.
Sheep do reproduce quickly, making keeping them a wise choice. Before you know it, you would have a good flock, even though it’s only a backyard farm.
How Much Does Sheep Cost?
The price of sheep varies. If the ewe is young (two to four years), unregistered, and productive, you can get it for $200 to $250. Registered ewe does cost more. Lamb costs $75 to $150, depending on their age. Older ewes, usually above five years, cost less but boast fewer productive years.
Can I have a sheep in my backyard? Well, if you’re planning to start raising sheep in the available space in your backyard, this question should be important to you. Firstly, you must be sure it’s not against the law to raise sheep in one’s backyard where you live.
You also need to consider other factors and make the right decision before you start raising sheep in your backyard. We answered a long list of questions in this post, which you can read through to make a sound decision.