10 Winter Care Tips for Sheep Farmers


Sheep

SHEEP, a ruminant mammal usually kept as livestock, is the basic source of our warm, cozy and comfy woolens. In winters we keep ourselves covered and secured from the harsh, cold and dry weather, but we forget that this season can be harsh for the livestock also. As owners, we must take care of our animals and help ease this stress for them.

In winter season, sheep farming becomes all the tough the sheeps require extra care. Here are some ways to do that:

Keep them full: In winters, it is important for sheep to eat a lot, as it will maintain their body temperature to the optimum level. Plus the wool they have traps their body heat inside. But to produce that heat they do need to have adequate amount of activity to produce that heat.

Warm water in Abundance: In order to fulfill the above requirement, they also need to drink more water. But as the weather cools down, so does the water, so they tend to drink less in winters. This can put a negative effect on pregnant sheep if you are raising one. Using heaters for watering trough can be very helpful, but still, you too need to break some ice.

Extra Hoof Care: When we don’t trim our nails for a while we tend to hurt ourselves only, same goes for their hooves. Make sure to trim them every 1 ½ to 2 months, so that problems like ice damage and overgrown hooves can be avoided.

Keep Them Dry: They have wool in their body, but it can keep them warm only if it’s dry. As they love to stay outside, there might be a bit of a task for you to get them inside the barn during chilly or rainy weather.

Essential Windbreak: These are linear plantings of trees and shrubs basically designed to provide economic, environmental and community benefits. But its primary purpose is to slow the wind down which creates a more beneficial condition for the livestock.

It’s Good to be Outside: They do need to be out and breathe fresh air, as it can be very suffocating for them inside and it is beneficial for you as well, because then you won’t have to clean up that massive poop junk in the barn.

Sleeping Comfort: Fresh, clean and comfortable bedding is a must for them. In winters it won’t be an issue to deal with the stink and flies, so you can stuff up their sleeping quarters with clean bedding. It is important to keep the surroundings hygienic so as to avoid respiratory and parasitic diseases in winter.

Proper Insulation and Ventilation: When it comes to sheep, it’s not that ideal to install heat lamps for insulation in the barn containing straw bedding as it can easily catch fire. Doing so will be more of a hazard than help.

Exception: Although sheep do significantly well in winters and it’s not that troublesome, but you do need to be more vigilant and careful if your sheep is lambing or have lambed recently. You do need to show extra care for their little ones too as they are new to the surroundings.

For this, you have to keep the lambing ewes stay with their young ones inside so that the young ones can nurse and dry off in the barn itself. These above-mentioned ways are very helpful and easy to coordinate, but you can always improvise. Happy Farming to you all!

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