Sheep profitability is very high. These are quite unpretentious animals that bring many benefits to their owner. Some breeds are intended for the preparation of meat, milk, or sheepskin. However, more and more common types of mixed areas: meat and dairy, or milk and wool, etc. The content of these animals is very beneficial, given their rapid growth, weight gain and fecundity.
Features breeding animals
Sheep instincts are highly developed in sheep. This means that they always stick together and do not go far from the flocks. Therefore, for breeding and maintenance will be enough a small sheepdog, or stall. Part-hoofed unpretentious to food, prefer to eat juicy green food.
The most succulent feeds are on pasture.
In the warm season it will be enough to introduce a small bait to make the diet more diverse and nutritious. Sheep should be raised carefully, because they are prone to lung diseases and other organs of the respiratory system. Therefore, in the room is not allowed excessive humidity and drafts. When grazing, keep the flock away from wet places such as meadows and marshes, otherwise artiodactyls can easily get sick.
The first stage of preparation for sheep breeding is the choice of breed. Of course, you can buy mestizos, or even mongrels, but this is very risky, since the owner will not be able to predict the characteristics of such animals, as well as determine the level of health or fertility. In addition, the sale of young stock in this case will be very difficult and difficult. First you need to decide on the necessary type of product that animals give.
- Meat (Gorky, Texel, North Caucasian, Romney-march),
- Meat - greasy (fat tail),
- Meat - woolly (Gissar, prekos, Latvian),
- Dairy (karakul, sieve, sokol),
- Meat - milky - hairy (Romanovskaya, Tushinskaya, balabas, karachevskaya).
By type of sheepskin lamb are:
Types of content
Before buying animals, you need to decide on the place and the way of their maintenance based on the climate of the area and the financial possibilities of the owner. Sheep keeping systems are:
- Pasture. Animals all year are at the places of grazing and feed on succulent green fodder. This method is well suited for areas with a warm, dry climate.
- In the sheepfolds. Sheep housing is suitable for cold and wet regions with frequent precipitation. However, it should be borne in mind that they are mobile animals who need to walk. Therefore, a good owner should take care of the territory for walking.
- Combined. The maintenance of sheep in the winter in the room where they eat harvested food, and in the summer they go to pasture. Well suited for a temperate climate with a pronounced change of seasons.
It is not recommended to immediately start a huge flock with a few dozen heads. They are quite prolific, so with proper conditions of maintenance, care and a balanced diet, the livestock will increase by 2 or 3 times at no additional cost per year.
For a start, you can get 10-15 animals - this will be quite enough. You can get acquainted with all the nuances and subtleties of sheep breeding, develop your own skills and methods of breeding and care. The main criteria for the selection of individuals - their level of health, heredity, speed of weight gain and fecundity.
Depending on the type of animal you choose, the approach to feeding sheep will vary. If they are kept on pasture all year round, it should have good grass cover and not adjoin wet places and swamps. In the case when the grass and plants for animals will not be enough, then you need to enter additional feeding - roots, or feed.
Compound feed an excellent additive to the basic diet
If you decide to keep sheep in the stall, or sheepfold, you must stock up on food in advance. The optimal diet can be silage (grass and corn), grass hay, or legumes. It should be borne in mind that a day for 1 adult individual must be allocated at least 2.5-3 kg of silage. The approximate ratio of hay, roughage and silage should be 2: 5: 4. In this case, the diet will be full and balanced.
For weak, sick individuals, pregnant women and females during lactation, additional feeding with compound feed is needed. This also applies to breeding sheep at home. To ensure the necessary concentration of minerals in the body in the trough, you can put a few pieces of salt.
Salt - Lizun well suited for sheep
Additionally, you can feed with chalk, bone meal. For breeding woolen breeds, it is recommended to place emphasis in the diet on hay of cereals and legumes - the quality of sheepskin will increase, and the down will be brilliant.
You can not allow animals to drink standing water, you need only water well and clean 2 times in summer and 1 in winter. It is not allowed to give cold water.
Place of content
The room where pets are kept must be clean, dry and easily ventilated. According to the rules of sheep breeding, one individual should account for 2 square meters. m. free space. In the cold season, the stall does not need additional warming (especially if wool sheep breeding). In the warm season, it should be cool, as in this case, the wool grows better and faster. For this period, you can simply build a shelter protected from wind and draft.
When it comes time to drive the flock to pasture, the transition to fresh feed should occur gradually. If we ignore this rule of breeding sheep, then the whole herd can pick up an intestinal infection and seriously ill.
Grazing can begin when the height of grass, legumes and cereals reaches a minimum of 5 cm. During this time, the plants will have time to accumulate a sufficient amount of useful substances, vitamins and minerals.
After mowing, grazing becomes available after 25 days. Rearing sheep at home provides that animals must be at least 12 hours in the pasture for sheep. The daily consumption of grass and other plants is 10 kg per day per 1 adult.
For each breed of animals, puberty occurs at different times. On average, it is from 4 to 9 months. However, you should not allow mating before the first year of life - at this time the body is not fully bright yet, it will be difficult for her to give birth to offspring without harming her own health.
The case can be free and artificial. The artificial method requires less time and cost, therefore it is recommended for use in case of large livestock on the farm. The annual turnover of a flock of sheep is approximately 200-250%.
Pregnancy lasts about 4-5 months. At this time, the uterus needs enhanced nutrition. A month before the estimated date of lambing, you need to carefully cut out the hair near the udder and tail. One week after lambing, young animals can be given feed concentrates for quick weight gain.
A week after the birth of the lambs, they begin to eat juicy feed.
Sheep life is an average of 25 years. The age of a sheep or ram for breeding purposes should not exceed 7–8 years. Upon reaching 3 months, the first sheep appraisal should take place - distribution of individuals into value classes. From the individuals of one class of individuals the future structure of the herd is formed.
Meat breeds can be cooked for slaughter from 4–9 months. It should be borne in mind that the older the animal, the more rigid its meat. Slaughtering occurs by cutting the cervical artery.
Sheep shearing machine
The hairstyle of woolen breeds occurs 1–2 times a year. Rough sheep are sheared up to 3 times. It is recommended to cut animals in spring or autumn. If you are late, or it is too early to begin this procedure, then the fleece will significantly degrade its qualities and will be unusable. Too late haircut can break due to natural inter-seasonal shedding. Light-colored sheep are tagged with a tattoo on the ear, with a dark one - by pinching wool or rings.
Sheep biological features
Modern breeds of sheep for growing at home can show high productivity in meat, milk and wool. Most often, the attention of sheep breeders is attracted to species with high fecundity, rapid weight gain, pronounced unpretentiousness and good health. But in order for animals to show the expected results, their needs and the biological characteristics of the sheep must be taken into account.
Among the animals in the barnyard, sheep are famous for their herd and forgetfulness. Often, sheep farmers are confronted with the fact that the grazing population cannot find their home. Therefore, sheep and rams are taken to the walking areas along with intelligent goats or cows. In this case, it is worth one sheep to go after the “leader”, and the whole flock will be pulled after it.
The average duration of a sheep is 20 years. However, when keeping sheep in conditions of a private farmstead, only producers and pedigree queens can live up to 8 years. Young animals raised for meat are slaughtered until they are one year old, and woolly individuals are kept in the farm a little longer.
One of the indicators by which the merits of a breed or individual is judged is the number of lambing per year and the number of lambs brought.
Sheep that are bred most often produce offspring once a year at the end of winter or in the first days of spring. Pregnancy lasts about five months, in most breeds the appearance of one lamb is the norm. But there are exceptions.
For example, the Romanov breed of sheep, popular among Russian sheep breeders due to the frequent birth of several lambs at once and the ability to kitten twice a year. Such a feature of the breed and the precocity of the species as a whole allows for the development of a completely successful, quickly paid back business plan for breeding sheep.
What conditions do animals need? How to adjust their feeding? How to start breeding sheep at home for beginners?
Growing sheep at home in summer
Sheep grazing is the basis of their high productivity. By depriving animals of the opportunity to go out on a walk, a sheep breeder can seriously reduce their profits. In this case, the costs increase:
- to feed, collection and preparation of which from now on - the care of man,
- on the equipment of premises and pens for sheep.
If there are no suitable pastures in the vicinity of the farmstead, sheep are given a walking area enclosing the sites with shields. After exhaustion of the grass cover, the flock is transferred to the neighboring territory. Since sheep can bite the grass lower than goats or cows, even in the most meager places, they find enough favorite food for themselves. In addition, the transfer of grazing to another part of pasture helps to prevent infection of animals with helminths.
At home, when growing sheep without walking, animals are given mowed pasture grasses.
It is also advisable to arrange small streaks to the flock, driving them out of the limited space for a walk. Perhaps keeping sheep on a leash with a regular transfer to a new site.
Sheep are released to pasture with the arrival of spring and the appearance of the first vegetation about 8 cm high. If it is cool outside, animals should be protected from excessive moisture, whether it be rains or dew. Soaked wool does not dry out and causes various animal diseases. The same rules are followed with the onset of autumn coolness. In hot summertime, on the contrary, an early go to the meadow will help the sheep to find the most succulent vegetation.
Despite grazing, sheep are always offered water. Drinkers are replenished daily twice, and in a particularly hot season - three times a day.
This measure will help protect against dehydration and weakening of animals. In the same purpose equip canopies, where the flock can wait out the hottest hours. Here not only the troughs and troughs are put in place for the sheep, but also pieces of salt and lick salt.
Grazing grass is the most desirable and useful food for sheep. However, the breeding of sheep provides for their maintenance and in the cold season. Therefore, the sheep breeder needs to prepare hay in time, and in the autumn, fallen leaves will be a good help if there is a shortage of grass.
In summertime, sheep can suffer from blood-sucking insects, which not only use sheep as a source of food, but also lay eggs on damaged skin. To avoid the diseases associated with this and to facilitate the existence of the wards, animals are inspected, cleaned and disinfected wounds, special monitoring is established for weakened sheep.
Sheep keeping during the cold season
The arrival of autumn for the sheep breeder means that the flock will soon be relocated to the winter sheep houses and sheep pens. It is extremely important to protect the wards from drafts, excessive moisture and overcrowded content. Therefore:
- The rooms are equipped with ventilation.
- Arrange animals dry deep litter.
- On one individual allot from 2.5 to 3 meters of area.
- During the stall period, the temperature inside the sheepfold is kept within 6–8 ° C. This is quite enough for healthy strong animals to feel well, and with a well-chosen diet and grow.
- During the most crucial period in breeding sheep - during lambing the air in the sheepfold must be heated to 15 ° C.
In winter, the diet of sheep consists of silage harvested in the summer, shredded root crops and a small amount of concentrated feed. For 500 kg of grass hay and the same number of root crops should be only 100 kg of feed. Such a norm is enough to feed one adult during the stall period.
In the cold season to feed the livestock is best in the open air in the open pen for sheep. In bad weather they give food under a canopy. Do it 3-4 times a day. Sheep first get hay. For gaining weight and height it is useful to give hay from cereals and fodder legumes.
Then the sheep offer juicy food. This may be a mixture of chopped root vegetables, for example, beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes with bran. Another option is silo. After such a meal, the herd is given a drink, and then comes the turn of concentrated and coarse feed. Sheep when grown at home quickly become accustomed to a single feed distribution schedule. In the evening, hay and brooms prepared in the summer are placed in the feeders.
What you need to know for beginners about sheep
Breeding and maintenance of sheep for beginners at home is based on the creation of a business plan. This will make it possible to calculate the financial costs for the purchase of sheep and sheep, as well as the choice of the place of pasture and the construction of a sheep farm.
It is also necessary consider all risks, the estimated income from activity and payback are calculated. Having determined all possible factors, you can evaluate the profitability of breeding these animals.
Then you need to pick a place for grazing animals and build a sheepfoldin which, possibly, will contain animals in the winter season. Experts recommend for 10 sheep with lambs a barn size of forty square meters. It is necessary to take into account that during the winter period in the sheepfold it is necessary to maintain the temperature at least 12 degrees of heat.
The room, also, is obliged to protect itself well from drafts and have a ventilation hole. Determining the requirements for the content, you can proceed to the purchase of sheep and sheep. Experienced farmers advise attention draw on the bright romanovskogo breed.
Today, the Romanov breed is very popular. Reasons for breeding and maintenance of this population:
- Romanovskaya sheep has a thick coat and even during strong frosts the costs are minimal for their maintenance.
- This breed of sheep is distinguished by its fecundity. A litter of one ewe is approximately 3-5 lambs per lambout.
- When breeding sheep does not require a large amount of feed for animals. Animals may eat coarse straw, moss, dead grass and leaves.
- Sheep and sheep grow quickly, because the farmer will receive meat in 6 months. One year old ram can reach a weight of up to 100 kg.
- Products of this breed are characterized by high quality. Because breeding sheep at home brings significant profits and quickly pays off.
- By the age of five months in animals puberty occurs. Throughout the year, the sexual activity is bright, as a result of which the tribe is growing rapidly.
A farmer who decides to purchase this breed needs to decide what he wants from the sheep? If the main task is set, you will need to calculate: the need for the construction of a barn or you have enough canopies, the amount of feed, how many sheep and sheep you need to purchase.
note that preferably buy adults, as their appearance will provide an opportunity to determine compliance with standards. Естественно, можно сэкономить и приобрести молодняк, однако, в этом случае вы можете ошибиться с продуктивностью.
Условия содержания овец
Для домашнего хозяйства романовские породы самые удобные, так как их несложно содержать. В зимнее время года на одно животное требуется до пяти м. кв. и на выгул три м. кв. закрытого помещения. Территория для выгула обязана содержать кормушки и навес.
When you have a room, before bringing it to the animals need to prepare. In the future, a stable should be well removed and thrown out the garbage. Then a special solution is disinfected. You can purchase this drug at a veterinary pharmacy. Before work, be sure to read the instructions. After treatment with this tool, the sheepfarm must be eroded for at least a week.
In the absence of a sheep house, a breeding room should be built. The stable must be warm. This is necessary so that the newborn lambs do not die. Much attention needs to be paid ventilation and humidity.
You can leave the floor earthen, clay or plank, you decide. Romanov sheep do not tolerate moisture, because the litter you will need to regularly replace, taking into account pollution. For this you can use sawdust or straw.
Sheep feeding at home
Installing the feeders and choosing a place for feeding is necessary so that it is convenient not only for animals, but also for their owners. The best option would be feeders with an inclined bottom, nursery type. In order to be comfortable for an adult animal, it needs a height of 22–27 cm.
During the construction of the yard for walking necessarily canopy construction requiredthat will protect animals in the hot season from the sun. Think of feeding the sheep need to pre.
Even in the summer, for the first time days after the acquisition, animals need to be held without a vigil at the sheepfold. So, animals can get used to a new place of residence. First time sheep need feed with mowed grass.
The main diet for one day for an adult animal:
- Oat-barley mix - 300 gr.
- Root crops - 2.5 kg.
- Meadow hay - 2.5 kg. If necessary, you can use 1 kg of meadow hay and 2 kg of straw.
- Young lambs eat 40–60% of the daily norm of an adult.
- Concentrates - 0.3 kg per day.
- in the morning - hay
- in the afternoon - roots and cereals,
- in the evening - hay and straw.
In summer, all animals graze on pasture and feeding costs are nil. In case of a poor herbage, animals are added to the ration of concentrates at the rate of 350 grams per individual. If it is not possible to graze the flock, then it is necessary to feed the animals with freshly cut grass. This is quite a time consuming procedure.
When breeding sheep at home, you need to consider what they need feed additives. You can purchase them at the pharmacy, after consulting a veterinarian. Animals must be constantly available water and salt-lizun, sheep even drink on pasture, it is necessary to take this into account.
Tips from experienced sheep farmers for beginners
So you bought the sheep, now you need to observe their behavior. Sheep behavior:
- Sex hunt Sheep and sheep begin to behave a little differently. This suggests that animals are ready for mating. However, the Romanov breed can be mated only when the sheep has reached 45 kg. Only in this case can healthy offspring.
- Fertilization is carried out twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.
- During the full and proper care bright can give year round offspring, and this is an excellent profit for the owner.
- One bran can fertilize up to 15 queens. But by all means get two rams, in case the other gets sick.
- Subsequently, a ram is selected, from which the offspring are more productive and healthy, and the second male must be neutered.
Need to know that a sheep can only happen in two months after lambs were taken from the animal and preventive vaccinations were given. During pasture cultivation, the flock is given the best plots and, of course, fertilizing with compound feed (500 grams per individual). While kept in a stall, the ration is selected based on the condition of the animals.
What you need to know about okot
A pregnant lamb is obliged to receive an enhanced diet, that is, a rich diet of trace elements and vitamins. The owner is obliged to mark the time of mating and the name of the ewe. This is necessary for its timely separation from the herd before the lambing. In sheep, the lamb lasts about 150 days.
A few days before giving birth near the udder you need to cut the wool. It is imperative to prepare the cage where the lambing will be carried out. There must be a fresh and clean bedding. Shortly before giving birth in a pregnant sheep, the belly sinks, the udder swells, everything under the tail turns red and swells. Sheep before lambing often begins to lie down and behave restlessly.
- Open the birth canal. It lasts for two hours. Sheep at this time do not need to touch.
- Contractions. The abdomen is intensely reduced, the pharynx is opened and a lamb is born. During normal lambing, the umbilical cord detaches itself. It is imperative to check that the lamb does not have a film on its nose and mouth, otherwise it may die.
- Within 25–30 minutes a second lamb is born and the next.
- During the normal position of the fetus, lambs are born forward legs, but can go backwards. In this case, it is necessary not to allow the lamb's head to remain in the uterus for a long time.
- Almost always the sheep gives birth by itself. After the release of the last cub, the lambing is complete.
- If the afterbirth does not come out, then a veterinarian is needed.
After 30 minutes, large lambs already start to suck milk from an udder and stand on their legs. Weak animals should be placed under the udder. When the offspring of more than two individuals, you will need lure. The best option is goat's milk, as it is best absorbed by lambs.
Weak animals injected lure with the help of baby bottles. Milk is initially given in small portions, over time its quantity increases. In the case of a lack of natural milk allowed to use substitutes.
Lambs from the age of one month in the diet add concentrates. For this purpose, install small feeders with vitamin supplements, milled feed, chalk and salt. From the age of 4 months the grown-up animal is taken from the uterus. After that, they can lead a life of their own.
During the year, the sheep must be trimmed 3 times - in summer, spring and autumn. This is due to the molting seasons, since being late can lead to loss of wool quality. Romanovki are quite productive: the owner receives up to two kg of wool from a sheep, a ram can give wool up to 3.5 kg.
But, as a rule, the breed is grown as meat. The average ram can weigh up to 80 kg, some animals can reach 110 kg, sheep weighs approximately 45–60 kg.
Due to the constant readiness of animals for breeding, you can choose the most convenient time for the appearance of cubs. Usually, up to 3 lambs are bornThus, one queen can provide three high-quality fleeces and up to 100 kg of young mutton, when the slaughter of lambs occurs at 9 months.
Because of these qualities, Romanov sheep are raised for intensive meat productivity. The main advantages of Romanov sheep:
- Polyesthetics - this breed can be inseminated year round.
- High-quality fleece. Wool has a gray-blue color with a steel shade, durable core is not prone to stalling. The rest is related to down 1: 4–1: 10.
- High precocity. In the year the animals are always ready for insemination. Moreover, the ewes nurture the offspring for a week less, unlike other breeds of sheep.
- The first products can be obtained in six months - this is wool-colored. And in nine months - high-quality young meat.
- Large offspring. Approximately 400 lambs per 100 sheep, and the most prolific individuals can produce up to 10 lambs.
The disadvantages of the Romanov sheep
It is necessary to pay attention to such nuances:
- do not tolerate high humidity and drafts,
- very shy
- sheep are susceptible to diseases of the respiratory system.
Romanov sheep when sheep farming enjoy very hugely popular when breeding at home due to simple care and high productivity. What is of great importance for a novice sheep breeder. But we must not forget that you only need to buy an animal from responsible producers who adhere to breed standards and lead breeding work.
Breeding sheep at home - video
Breeding sheep at home - a profitable direction of agriculture. But, despite the calm nature and unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention, the sheep still need some care.
Features care and breeding of sheep are shown in detail in the video. From it you will learn how to properly keep animals, what to feed them and what other features different sheep breeding.
For the production of healthy offspring need only healthy individuals strong build. Therefore, when selecting, the overall health of the animal, its backbone and the development of individual parts of the body are evaluated.
In addition, breed-dependent features play an important role.:
- In individuals of the woolly direction, the skin and bones are well developed, and muscular tissue and cellulose are weak,
- In animals of the meat direction is the opposite: the main development is in the muscles and fiber,
- Productive dairy sheep should have a well-developed udder and digestive organs,
- In one-year-old animals of fine-wool breeds, the length of wool should be at least 7 centimeters. Thin wool indicates a fragile body of the animal that is not suitable for breeding,
- The representatives of the meat-wool and half-fine direction should have a good body weight and thick coat covering the legs and head,
- For meat-breeds, the determining role in the selection of producers is played by the exterior, the size of the fat tail, its shape, as well as body weight,
- For karakul sheep, the most important indicator is the quality of a smushka, but it can be assessed only in the first few days after the birth of the lamb. At another time, the evaluation of a douche is not an objective indicator for the selection of queens and sheep for breeding,
- When selecting Romanov breed sheep, it is necessary to pay attention to the ratio of awn and down in wool, as well as the level of fecundity and milkiness of females,
- Meat-dairy sheep breeds are designed to produce large quantities of meat and milk. That is why the selection must choose animals of medium size and strong build. In females, the udder should be well developed, the coat should be white, coarse, shiny and strong. The deposition of fat on the tail and abdomen should be moderate.
Figure 1 shows the characteristic features of sheep in different directions. If during the selection process any difficulties or questions arise, it is better to consult with a veterinarian or a breeding specialist. An important role for replenishing the herd is the age of the animals. If there are no relevant documentary data, it is possible to determine the age of a sheep by its teeth.
Figure 1. Breeds and directions of sheep productivity: 1 - meat and wool direction, 2 - sheep of the Romanov breed, 3 - sheep, meat and fat production directions
There are 32 teeth in sheep. Of these, 8 incisors on the lower jaw and 12 molars on the top and bottom. From the age of one year old, the central teeth change from dairy ones to permanent ones, they are larger and have ivory color. All other teeth change with age, and from the age of four their destruction begins, and gaps appear between the teeth.
To breed sheep and sheep was successful, you need to make a business plan in advance and determine the main activities. First of all, several pastures will be required for cultivation, where the flock will spend most of the time in the warm season. It is desirable that the grazing was located next to a natural reservoir (Figure 2).
Note: Pasture for keeping sheep should be large enough, since about one hectare of land is required per female with lamb per year. If there is no such area, you will have to purchase additional feed.
For winter breeding of sheep it is necessary to build a sheep farm with a walking range. The building is insulated, and the walk is fenced. Indoors arrange ventilation and, if necessary, install heating equipment.
After preparing pastures and sheep farms, you can begin to acquire the sheep themselves. At the initial stage, you can limit yourself to several females without a ram, but in the future you will have to transport females to the male or perform artificial insemination for mating.
Figure 2. Summer and winter content
Sheep can be bred not only for meat, but also wool. The average life expectancy of an animal is 20-25 years, but it is optimal to send them for slaughter at 7 years, as in the future both in females and males the productivity is significantly reduced.
Keeping young and lambs
Grow lambs better under the female. Despite the high viability and the possibility of artificial feeding through the nipple, lambs better feed on breast milk directly (Figure 3).
Note: Growing lambs under the uterus lasts an average of 4 months. After that, the young are transferred to a separate pen and accustomed to an adult diet. Figure 3. Content of newborn lambs under the uterus
In addition, for lambs and uterus equip a separate warm room with clean feeders and constant access to water. In the warm season, animals should preferably spend most of the day walking, but since many lambs are born in the winter, they spend a lot of time indoors. At the same time, it is impossible to reduce the number of walks and bring the young to the fresh air every day.
Sheep breeding for meat
Breeding sheep for meat is a fairly profitable direction of agriculture, as animals quickly gain weight and are ready for slaughter in a few months. As a rule, young rams are selected for this purpose. The most active and viable are left for reproduction, and the rest are transferred to a special diet for quick weight gain.
During fattening for meat, the basis of the diet consists of grain concentrates, which are complemented by succulent, green and rough feeds. It is also advisable to mow sheep before fattening to increase the appetite.
Conditions for breeding sheep
Females (bright) reach puberty at about 7-9 months. But it is not recommended to carry out the first mating during this period, since the animal's body has not yet fully formed. Early pregnancy (sugaryness) will delay the development of the sheep, since all nutrients will be absorbed by the growing fetus, and after its birth will be spent on the production of milk.
However, too late mating harms the animals. If the pregnancy does not come before 12–18 months (the most favorable age for the first time), the nutrients are transformed into a fat mass. In the future, overweight females will interfere with fertilization (Figure 4).
Sexual hunting in females is accompanied by heat. It has the following features:
- The tissues of the external genitalia blush,
- The vaginal and cervical mucosa swells,
- Mucus begins to stand out, which first falls from the cervix into the vagina, and then out,
- At the initial stage of the hunt, the mucus is transparent, but gradually becomes thicker, and at the end of the cycle acquires a pasty consistency. It is for this indicator can determine the time of onset of ovulation.
Often the hunt causes maturation of the germ cells, and the process ends when the egg leaves the ovary. The duration of the hunt can be from several hours to several days depending on the breed, the general condition of the animal and the climatic conditions of its housing.
Sheep hunting is pretty easy. In addition to discharge from the genitals, the following symptoms are observed:
- Loss of appetite,
- Nervousness and restless behavior,
- The female does not run away from the ram and stands quietly when it tries to cover it.
Most bright ovulation occurs approximately 30 days after the start of the hunt. The last few hours of hunting are considered most favorable for insemination, but since this period is quite difficult to determine, mating is carried out twice: at the very beginning of the hunt and a day after that.
Note: When selecting females for replenishment, it is important to bear in mind that those who hunt for less than 24 hours often bring one lamb each. If the hunt lasts longer, there is the likelihood of multiple offspring.
If fertilization has not occurred, the signs of a hunt in a sheep will reappear after a few weeks.
Case and recommendations for its implementation
For a healthy and numerous offspring, both the females and the producing sheep must be properly prepared for the mating.
To do this, follow the recommendations below.:
- Uterus produce areas of pasture with good food, watered at least twice a day,
- It is necessary to include in the diet mineral supplements, and if necessary - and concentrated feed. It was found that the uterus, which before feeding, fed on high-quality green fodder, fertilized much faster than animals that were on a different diet (Figure 5).
- Rams-producers are fed with oats, crushed barley and high-quality hay. In winter, when the non-irrational period begins, the daily ration of the ram should consist of a kilogram of hay, half a kilogram of concentrated feed and 3-4 kg of root vegetables,
- Баранов в обязательном порядке подкармливают солью,В случной период производителям нужно давать больше концентрированных кормов (горох, ячмень, овес), а подготовку к случке следует начинать за полтора-два месяца до ее проведения.
Sheep mating usually occurs at the same time of year: from late summer to mid-winter. However, in different climatic zones these periods may vary. When making matings, it is necessary to take into account that the lactation period must occur in the season with the greatest variety of feeds.
Note: On household farms, it is recommended to perform mating at the same time as in large farms. To do this, you can enter into a lease agreement for the sheep or the provision of artificial insemination services.
Depending on the type of mating, it is necessary to carry out preparatory work.:
- Females are collected in one flock and kept in a separate pen next to the site of artificial insemination,
- If free mating is carried out, rams and queens are kept in the same pen for one and a half to two months. In order for the ram to retain sexual activity, it is allowed to the uterus only during the daytime, and the night is transferred to a separate pen and heavily fed.
You can also give the sheep a rest during the day, translating it to the womb at night.
Preparing and conducting lambing
For the birth of healthy and viable lambs, it is necessary to provide nutritious food to syagny uterus. At the end of pregnancy, the need for nutrient-rich feeds increases to 75 percent.
Under no circumstances should pregnant or spoiled food be given to pregnant mothers, and the feeders should always be clean. In winter, sugary females are kept in the yard during the daytime, and they are transferred to a closed room only in frosty weather and at night.
You also need to carefully monitor the condition of the pregnant sheep, and at the first sign of illness, seek help from a veterinarian. This measure is necessary because many infectious diseases or helminthic invasions can cause abortion and death of the uterus.
To conduct lambing need to prepare in advance. About ten days before the alleged lambing, the room where the lambing will be held is removed. The floor is thoroughly cleaned of manure and covered with clean bedding. The room should not be damp or drafted. The internal temperature should be 15-17 degrees. It is also recommended to cut the hair between the hind legs of the uterus.
Figure 6. The process of natural lambing in sheep
Sheep birth is often easy. The onset of lambing is indicated by the restless behavior of the uterus, it begins to bleat, often looks back and constantly lies down. Such an animal should be transferred to the room for lambing.
Note: Normal labor begins with an effort, during which the amniotic bubble comes out of the genital tract. It bursts quickly, and you can see the front legs and the head of a lamb. The average duration of labor in healthy and strong queens is 40 minutes (Figure 6).
However, there are cases when the lambing is delayed and in this case the animal needs help. Possible complications may include too large a fetus or its wrong position:
- The legs come out of the birth canal, and the head is thrown back,
- The legs are tucked under the breast of the lamb,
- The lamb comes out with its legs bent over.
Possible pathologies during childbirth in sheep and cattle are shown in Figure 7. To alleviate and speed up lambing, you need to thoroughly wash your hands, smear them with iodine or liquid paraffin and introduce sheep into the vagina. Between attempts, the fruit is slightly pushed back and straightened. If the lamb comes out backwards, the legs should be tied with a clean rope and the fetus should be slightly pulled out during the attempts. How to conduct a pathological lamb in a sheep is shown in a short video clip.
A qualified veterinarian will be able to provide the right assistance during the lambing period, so in this case, seek help.
Note: About two hours after the delivery, the last of the sheep should be separated. In no case can it be cut off or pulled out; he must separate himself. If the afterbirth does not come out within five hours, you should seek help from a veterinarian, since the preservation of the afterbirth can cause blood poisoning and death of the animal. Figure 7. Course of pathological labor: 1 - turning the head to the side, 2 - throwing the head behind the back, 3 - legs bent in the wrist, 4 - legs bent in the hock
After this, the afterbirth and dirty litter should be removed, the room should be disinfected, and the sheep should be washed with warm soda solution and wiped dry with a clean cloth.
Growing and caring for young stock
Newborn lambs are sometimes very weak, but even if the animal is healthy, it requires careful care. If complications occur, proceed as follows.:
- If the lamb does not show signs of life after birth, its nose and mouth should be cleaned as quickly as possible from mucus. After that, the animal is placed on the bedding and inhaled the air through the mouth, at the same time pressing the front legs and patting the lamb on the sides until breathing appears.
- If a lamb is born in an unexploded amniotic bladder, its shell is pierced so that the animal does not suffocate.
- Normally, in newborn lambs, the umbilical cord separates independently, but if this does not happen, it can be cut off from 8 to 10 centimeters from the abdomen, and the edge of the cut should be treated with iodine solution.
- Immediately after birth, the lamb must be warmed and dried. For this purpose, heaters are installed in the premises.
About forty minutes after giving birth, a sheep is ready to feed its young for the first time. The first few servings of milk should be poured into a separate jar and destroyed. For the first few days, the lambs suck the mother every few hours, and for the baby to find the udder more quickly, it must be kept under the uterus during feeding.
After lambing, attention should be paid to the uterus. Usually, after giving birth, the animals are very thirsty, so after two hours they need to be drunk with warm water. In the first few days after birth, the mothers do not give concentrated feed, and the basis of the diet is high-quality hay. Juicy feed, concentrates or other components of good nutrition can be entered only in 3-5 days after lambing.
Note: One and a half hours after each feeding, the uterus must be given water, and there must always be salt in the feeder. If the lamb does not completely suck the udder, the sheep must be additionally sown.
In the first month of life, lambs need a lot of nutrients that they can only digest with milk. Therefore, it is important to establish a complete diet of the sheep. As they mature, the lamb begins to introduce feed: hay, concentrates and chopped succulent feed. Already from the second month of life, the amount of sub-feed is gradually increased, transferring the young growth to solid feed.
The queen and the lambs should be kept separate, and an open pen for walking animals should be made near the premises. The site should be warm and windless. Separate maintenance of queens and calves is necessary in order to preserve lactation. With this method of keeping the uterus can safely eat, because the lambs do not bother them. Cubs also grow stronger from this content, as they learn to lure faster and become more resistant to diseases (Figure 8).
Separate feeding recommendations concern lambs from multiple litters or those who have lost mothers.
To feed such a lamb, you need to follow these recommendations.:
- First of all, it should be planted in a high-milk uterus, which has only one lamb,
- In order for the female to accept someone else's lamb, it is smeared with mucus from the uterus of a nursing sheep or slightly sprinkled with milk. So the womb will not distinguish the smell of your lamb from the stranger,
- It is better to feed someone else's lamb in the morning or in the evening, when the sheep are calm and have difficulty seeing,
- You can feed lambs from the nipples, using goat or cow's milk. The initial daily rate is 200 grams, and already from two weeks of age, the dosage begins to be doubled.
Upon reaching the lambs of three or four months, they are separated from their mothers. Young sheep are immediately transferred to a separate pen, and females are weaned for approximately two weeks from their mothers, after which they can be kept in one pen again.
Figure 8. Room equipment for keeping and walking queens with lambs
For the rapid cessation of lactation, after weaning, the lambs give more dry feed during the week and are watered only once a day. After weaning, the lambs are fed with succulent feeds and concentrates, and they are watered at least twice a day. Grazing lambs during the weaning period is better not far from the pen, so that in case of bad weather they can be quickly transferred from open pasture to a room.
Note: An important step in caring for fine-fleeced and semi-fine-fleeced lambs is tail trimming. The procedure is carried out on the 5-7 day of the life of the lamb. This measure is necessary because the long tail of the lambs is constantly polluted with feces and urine, which can lead to infection or deterioration of hair.
Trimming the tail is a fairly simple process. One person holds the lamb by the legs, and the second, using a sharp, disinfected knife, cuts off the tail at the border of the third and fourth vertebra, after which the cut is treated with iodine.
It is also necessary to conduct the castration of the rams unsuitable for breeding. Castration takes place at two or three weeks of age. This will allow adult castrated sheep (walhuks) to gain weight faster.
Breeding sheep for beginners
Breeding sheep at home is no different from raising sheep. Males, like females, require constant walking to pasture in summer and a warm room for winter.
The only difference is that in most cases rams are fattened for further slaughter for meat, selecting one or two for reproduction. The remaining sheep are transferred to a special diet that promotes rapid weight gain.
What should a newbie know?
Breeding sheep at home for beginners is based on the development of a business plan. This will allow you to calculate the financial costs for the purchase of animals, the erection of a sheep farm, and the choice of pasture sites. In addition, all risks are taken into account, payback and possible income from activities are calculated. Having identified all the nuances, you can evaluate the profitability of the business.
After that, you should find a place for sheep grazing and build a sheep farm where it will be possible to keep animals during the cold season. Experts have found that for 10 females with lambs enough room in 40m 2. It should be borne in mind that during the cold period in the sheepfold it is necessary to maintain the temperature at least 10 degrees Celsius. Also, the facility must have a vent and be well protected from drafts. Having determined the conditions of animals, you can go to the purchase of sheep. Experienced breeders recommend to pay attention to the bright Romanov breed.
Breeding sheep of the Romanov breed at home
The Romanov breed of sheep is very popular. The main reasons for breeding this population are:
- The breed is fertile. Outrigger 1 ewe is 3 to 6 lambs.
- The Romanov sheep possesses thick hair, and even in the period of severe frosts, the cost of their maintenance is minimal.
- Individuals grow rapidly, so the farmer will receive meat in six months. One year old ram reaches 80 kg.
- A large amount of feed is not required for raising animals. Sheep can eat moss, coarse straw, leaves, and withered grass.
- By 5 months of age, puberty begins in individuals. During the year, bright shows sexual activity, as a result of the livestock is rapidly increasing.
- Products of the Romanov breed are of high quality. Therefore, breeding sheep at home quickly pays for itself and makes a significant profit.
A farmer who decides to buy this breed should decide what he wants from the sheep? When the goal is set you need to calculate:
- How many individuals you have to buy.
- Amount of feed.
- The need to build a sheep farm or you have enough sheds.
Pay attention to get better than adult animals, because their appearance will determine compliance with standards. Of course, you can save and buy young. But in this case, you risk to make a mistake with productivity.
Romanovka households are the most convenient, since they are not difficult to maintain. In the cold season, one individual will need 3 m 2 of enclosed space and up to 4 m for walking. The platform for walking should contain a canopy and feeders.
If you have a room, you must prepare it before bringing it in. In the future sheepfold should carefully remove everything and throw garbage. After this disinfection is performed with a special solution. You can buy the product in a veterinary pharmacy. Before work, be sure to read the instructions. Sheep farm after treatment should be eroded for at least a week.
If there is no room for keeping sheep, it should be built. Sheepfold should be warm. It is required that the newborn lambs do not die. Special attention is paid to humidity and ventilation. You can make the floor plank, clay, or leave the ground, you decide. Romanovki do not tolerate moisture, so you will need to change the litter constantly, as far as pollution. It is possible to use for these purposes straw or sawdust.
Feeding the sheep
Pick up a place for feeding and install feeders should be so that it was convenient not only for sheep, but also for their owners. The best option are feeders with a sloping bottom, nursery type. For an adult to be comfortable, it requires 20-25 cm.
When building a yard for walking, it is imperative to erect shelters protecting the sheep from the sun during the hot season. Think about feeding the sheep to be in advance. Even in the summer, the first days after the purchase, the sheep should be kept in a sheepfold without running out. Thus, they will get used to the new place of residence. At first, the animals are fed with mowed grass.
The main daily ration for an adult:
- Meadow hay - 2 kg. If necessary, you can use 2 kg of straw and 1 kg of meadow hay.
- Root vegetables - 2 kg.
- Oat-barley mix - 250 gr.
Juveniles eat 30-70% of the daily norm of an adult animal.
- Morning - hay.
- Happy - cereals and roots.
- In the evening - straw and hay.
In summer, the flock is grazing on pasture and the cost of feed equals zero. In case of poor herbage, sheep are added to the diet concentrates, at a rate of 300 grams. on 1 individual. If there is no opportunity to graze the flock, then feed the animals with freshly cut grass. This is a very time consuming process.
When breeding sheep at home, be aware that they require feed additives. Buy their pharmacy, after consulting a veterinarian.
Salt-lizun and water should always be available to animals, even in the pasture they drink sheep, consider this.
Newbies on the note
So you bought the animals, now you have to watch their behavior.
- Sexual hunting in sheep. Females and males begin to behave a little differently. This indicates that they are ready to mate. But the case of the Romanov breed is possible only if the individual has reached 40 kg. Only in this case will get healthy offspring.
- Fertilization is carried out 2 times a day, in the morning and in the evening.
- With proper and proper care, they give bright offspring all year round, and this is a good profit for the owner.
- One bran, able to fertilize 20 queens. But be sure to buy 2 males, in case the second gets sick.
- Later on, a ram is selected, from which the offspring are healthier and more productive, and the second male is neutered.
You should know that it is possible to have a sheep, only 2 months after the lambs were beaten off and the preventive vaccination was given. When pasture maintenance, the flock is given the best plots and must be fed with compound feed (400 gr. Per 1 individual). When kept in a stall, the diet is selected based on the condition of the animal.
What should I know about saling?
Pregnant uterus should receive enhanced nutrition, rich in vitamins and microelements. The owner must record the date of mating and the name of the ewe. This is required for the timely separation of her before the lamb from the herd. In the Romanov breed, the gestation period is 145 days.
2 days before giving birth, it is necessary to cut the wool around the udder. Be sure to prepare the cage in which the lambing will occur. It should be clean and fresh bedding. Shortly before giving birth, a udder swells near a sheep, its abdomen falls, everything swells and reddens under its tail. Before lambing, the female begins to behave restlessly and often lies down.
- The birth canal is revealed. This continues for 2 hours. The animal at this time can not be touched.
- Contractions. The pharynx is open, the belly is rapidly contracting and a lamb appears. In the normal course of the lambing, the umbilical cord detaches itself. Be sure to check that the lamb does not have a closed mouth and nose with a film, otherwise it may die.
- Within 20-40 minutes a second lamb appears and the following.
- In the normal position of the fetus, lambs come forward with their legs, but sometimes - backwards. In this case, it is necessary not to let the lamb's head remain in the uterus for a long time.
- Almost always, the uterus gives birth independently. После выхода последа ягнение закончено.
- Если послед не выходит необходимо вызвать ветеринара.
Уход за новорожденными
Крупные ягнята через полчаса уже становятся на ножки и начинают сосать молоко из вымени. Слабых особей необходимо подставить под него. Если приплод более 2 особей требуется прикорм. The best option is goat's milk, since it is well absorbed by lambs.
Weak individuals are given supplements with baby bottles. Milk is given first in small portions, over time the volume increases. Allowed to use substitutes, in case of lack of natural milk. From one month of age, lambs injected into the diet concentrates. For these purposes, install small feeders with milled feed, vitamin supplements, salt and chalk. From the age of four months, an adult sheep is removed from the uterus. Now they can lead an independent life.
The sheep trim their hair three times during the year - in the fall, spring and summer. This is due to the molting seasons, since being late can lead to loss of wool quality. Romanovskaya breed is very productive:
- The ram gives up to 3 kg of wool.
- A farmer gets 1.5 kg of wool from a sheep.
But breed, basically, gets divorced as meat. The average ram weighs 70 kg, some individuals reach 100 kg, sheep - from 40 to 50 kg.
Due to the constant readiness of sheep for breeding, you can select the most convenient time for the appearance of offspring. Basically, up to 3 lambs are born, that is, one queen is capable of providing up to 100 kg of young mutton and 3 high-quality fleeces, if the lambs are slaughtered in 8 months. Because of these qualities, Romanov sheep are used for intensive meat production.
- High-quality fleece. Wool has a bluish-gray color with a steel shade, is not prone to stalling, the core is strong. The rest is related to the fluff 1: 4-1: 10.
- Polyesthetic - the breed is able to inseminate year round.
- Large offspring. There are 300 lambs per 100 queens, with the most fertile individuals producing up to 9 young.
- Earliness is high. In the year the animals are ready for insemination. In this case, the ewes per week less bear the offspring, compared with other breeds of sheep.
- The first products can be obtained in 5 months - this is wool. And at 9 months - young meat of high quality.
Attention should be paid to the following nuances:
- Animals are susceptible to diseases of the respiratory system.
- Overly shy.
- Do not take out drafts and high humidity.
Romanov sheep are very popular for breeding at home due to high productivity and easy care. This is of particular importance for a novice sheep breeder. But it should be remembered that it is necessary to acquire an animal only from responsible producers, who are breeding and adhere to breed standards.