How Many Sheep Per Acre?

Whether you are planning to start a sheep farm or bringing a few to accompany you, how many sheep can you own? How much space do you need? And questions like how many sheep per acre? start bothering you.

You can only move forward with your sheep farming plan once your question “how many sheep per acre?” get satisfactorily answered.

Sheep farming is a profitable profession but it does put you under a great responsibility; raising sheep in a favorable environment.

You will be required to be careful with so many things but more importantly, the farm owner has to provide good nutrition, a favorable environment, continuous access to food and water, and a good amount of space to live a healthy balanced life.

As this question “how many sheep per acre?” usually remain unsatisfactorily answered, it’s the need of the hour to address that in detail. Let’s find out how many sheep can be kept or raised in an acre of land?

How Many Sheep Per Acre?

For the record, an acre is sufficient to give six to ten sheep a favorable space to live a balanced healthy life. An acre is a unit we use for land measurement, one acre has 43,560 square feet, 4840 square yards, 0.4047 hectares, or 4047 square meters.

In simpler more understandable words, an acre is pretty much as big as wide as a football field visually.

So as you can judge now, an acre is a small piece of land that is not suitable for sheep farming, however, the said space is enough to keep or raise six to ten sheep out of love and admiration.

It is recommended by the experts to confine six to ten sheep in an acre, however, in some cases raising six to ten sheep in an acre would be an underutilization of nature’s resources.

The businessmen are always looking for ways to utilize the resources fully to gain more, it’s one of the reasons why this question of how many sheep per acre keep coming up. Even though it has been addressed many times.

Breaking the Fact Sheep Manure vs Cow Manure

Raising Sheep on one Acre

Frankly, it can or can not be the full utilization of an acre of land. However, it may or may not be bringing enough profit but an acre of land or pasture would be providing a good space for sheep to eat and roam around in peace.

It would be full utilization of an acre of land for one livestock farmer whereas, for the other one it might not be.

It is so because a few factors determine the number of sheep a livestock keeper in an acre of land. The factors that impacts the number of sheep kept in an acre are;

  • Breed or size
  • The grown grass or pasture
  • Climate

Breed or size

Breed or sheep size plays a huge role in determining the accurate number of sheep you can raise on an acre.

Like every other animal out there, the sheep breeds have been blessed with different sizes; small, medium, and large.

The small-sized sheep would require little space whereas the other two sizes would be more demanding comparatively.

So, if you are planning to raise the smallest sheep breed called Ouessant, six to fifteen sheep can be raised on one acre of land. Whereas, the medium and large-sized six to ten sheep-like Suffolk and Lincoln an acre of land would be the full utilization of natural resource; land.

Grass or pasture

Cattle, horses, sheep, and goats are the few grazing animals that we love to raise and keep.

All these grazing animals except horses are supernaturally hardy, all they need is a good quality pasture grown on a piece of land.

So they can roam around and graze all day long. The type of pasture or grass can also directly or indirectly influence the number of sheep raised on an acre of land.

If the grass or pasture grown for the sheep to graze on is sufficient for 12 to 15 sheep, a livestock farmer can keep or raise 12 or 15 sheep on an acre at that time.

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Climate

Climate indirectly influences the number of sheep a livestock keeper can raise on an acre of land. It impacts the grass or pasture being grown as well.

Two types of grasses are used as a pasture; cool and warm-season grasses.

The cool-season grasses grow actively in spring and fall, so if the land has been covered with cool-season grass, more sheep can be kept in spring and fall.

Whereas for the rest of the month, pasture is not actively growing, not raising more than six to ten sheep is recommended.

In the other case(warm-season grasses), more sheep can be kept in warmer months.

However, the climate factor can also be ignored as raising six to ten sheep an acre option is not only available but profitable as well.

There would be some other factors as well but we have decided to list down the important ones. Now that you have got the idea, let’s find out how can you calculate the required space yourself.

How Do You Determine or Calculate the Number of Sheep Per Land?

As mentioned above, six to ten sheep are just a recommended number, it may or may not be full utilization of resources.

Only the livestock keeper himself can determine the number of sheep he can keep on an acre of land he owns.

The simplest way to get the accurate answer is by multiplying the number of space one sheep need with the total number of sheep.

By multiplying so, you would get the area you need for a certain number of sheep you can raise. On average, sheep need at least 20 to 25 square feet least to remain healthy. Do some maths and find out how many sheep can you raise.

If this mathematical way sounds old school, you can use the online sheep calculator available. If the information demanded is accurate, the livestock keeper would get an accurate answer.

Resources

  • R Robinson has done his degree in Agronomy and Animal breeding from the CAU (China Agriculture University). He is serving as a livestock expert in local farms.

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