Posted 05-11-2004 at 11:27:40
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Care of sheep is similar to goats. As I said below, we've got 2 sheep along with the goats.
First off, the sheep are ok, they're friendly, but they're not very endearing to me...I really love the goats (they're like very smart dogs or cats but better). Sheep aren't very smart, and have a habit of always doing the wrong thing that is frustrating.
Sheep don't bark trees like goats do, and they don't jump on things or over fences. Mine will push through fences if there's a gap or hole, and then they aren't smart enough to get back in (unlike the goats, who will normally come right back or at least try if they happen to get out.)
They require shearing at least annually. This can be a problem because many shearers won't come out to do just a few. So you either have to learn to shear yourself, or move your sheep to a farm with a big flock to get them sheared.
They need hoof trimming, but not as often as goats. I guess I trim the sheep hooves about twice a year. Regular worming, depends on your area but about once a quarter is average.
They need access to, at a minimum, a shed with overhead cover and 3 walls to block wind. My guys have free access to an old bank barn, so they're quite spoiled. If it rains or snows, they're in hollaring for feed.
Mine will eat mostly grass but some weeds too. They do munch a little bit on browse--leaves off of wild rose, perhaps lower young leaves off small trees but nothing like the goats. I don't know what buck brush is.
Sheep are somewhat prone to lambing problems, so if you breed them you need to get smart before lambing time comes. Storey publishing has a good book on raising sheep, too.