QUESTION: first, is there a difference between a sheep and a lamb? the reason I ask because I want to produce meat (veal, lamb chops ect.)so which one do I raise? if there is a difference, what is it? I want sheep for the wool to produce textiles,how many sheep is safe to start on one acre of land? what is the best thing to feed sheep or lambs?
Difference between sheep and lamb: lambs are sheep that are less than one year old.
Breeds have everything to do with what you desire from your flock.
Meat breeds are Suffolk, Hampshire, Crossbred, Southdown. They do not produce adequate wool to do both. Their wool is sheered twice a year, is short and coarse, so it is used for industrial blankets,etc.
Breeds for sheep that produce wool, but not the best for meat are:
Columbia, Lincoln, Icelandic, Polypay, Rambouillet and Romney. You may want to consider doing half and half, but also have 2 rams as well!!
How many sheep per acre? It really depends on the quality of grass you have there for them to eat, keeping in mind during winter months breeding and birthing season, you would probably have to supplement their feed; I thing you would be safe with 5 ewes per acre.
Good quality hay, fresh water and 14% protein feed (corn based) is a really good start. Don't forget their vaccinations: Overeating Tetanus shots twice a year, and a good oral wormer twice a year as well.
If you live in the states, check your county extension office, they have free literature to help you as you proceed.
Good luck! Happy Holidays!
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QUESTION: If I was to cross breed the sheeps will that work to get the wool and the meat? Can sheep by raised in a building or barn? how many lambs can I sheep have at one time? Thanks for your response.
My personal opinion is that if your try to get "Two for One" you get average or below average meat/wool. Alpacas get along well with sheep, and their wool is more valuable in the market place. Just a thought.
Sheep need sunshine for good bone health, so if they can be inside out of bad elements and outside when the weather is good, that would be an excellent situation.
Normally, ewes give birth to either singles or twins. They can handle both well. They can have triples or quads, but you will have to bottle feed at least one- that has been my experience.
If you breed polypays, they can have multiple births easily... be careful what you wish for!!
Hope that helps!!