When done correctly, choosing to raise sheep on your homestead can be an incredibly rewarding experience. They can provide you with milk, meat and of course wool. They’re a fantastic, multipurpose animal and addition to any homestead.
Let’s take a look at why we think you should raise sheep on your homestead and as always, please feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below.
1. Sheep Wool is in High Demand
Even though we now live in a world of synthetic materials, sheep wool is still being used and is in fact back on the increase. It is used for a number of things such as clothing, bedding and even home insulation due to a number of reasons such as:
- It is naturally flame-resistant
- It is non-carcinogenic
- It helps absorb toxins from your home
- It is recyclable
- It is sustainable
- It is a natural sound blocker
If you plan on selling your wool then you need to keep it as clean as possible.
Also, While everyone knows about black sheep, not so well known are those that produce blond, red, beige, brown, silver, and grey wool. Breeders of such relative rarities can do really well here as the best fleeces of natural colored wool command premium prices. New colors are being developed, fiber diameter is being refined, and the staple length is increasing. .
2. They Mow Your Lawn
One thing I think even the worst of gardeners can grow is grass, right? Scatter seed, water, sun and you have food for your sheep. There is nothing better than being able to raise animals that can give us meat utilizing the pasture that we already have available. By allowing the sheep to mow the lawn for you, you can save both time and money. Want to earn a little extra? Consider renting your sheep out to others that want their lawns mowed the eco-friendly way.
3. They are Easy to Manage
Sheep are incredibly easy to manage once you have learned to understand your flock and their temperament and requirements. They are fairly predictable and easy to care for. Grass. Water. Apple cider vinegar. Molasses, on occasion. Hoof trimmings a few times per year. A wee bit of care during lambing. That’s about it.
4. Sheep Meat is Amazing!
Their meat is absolutely delicious! You also have many avenues that you can take if you wish to sell the meat such as selling to local customers, to restaurants, farmers markets, online, etc.
5. They Provide You With Nutritious Milk
There are many nutritional advantages to sheep milk. It has a higher content of protein, vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, potassium, and magnesium than cow’s milk. There is also the added benefit that sheep milk can be frozen and stored for up to a year and still produce cheese. The most common use for sheep milk is cheese-making. Feta and Ricotta are made from sheep milk. The most common dairy sheep is the East Friesian. An ewe of this species generally produces 990 to 1,100 pounds during lactation, which lasts between 220 and 240 days on average.
Here are a few books that you may wish to check out if you plan on raising sheep on your homestead:
- The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh Eggs, … Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees
- The Complete Beginners Guide to Raising Small Animals: Everything You Need to Know About Raising Cows, Sheep, Chickens, Ducks, Rabbits, and More (Back-To-Basics) (Back to Basics Farming)