Interested in making a small investment? Better do it with sheep. The question that equips would-be owner’s minds is how much does a sheep cost? A sheep farmer needs to cost out all the expenses of owning and raising a sheep. To be mindful of all the affairs associated with keeping a sheep and close control of expenses assists in the remunerative outcome.
Sheep generate revenue from the sale of wool, milk, and meat. Many factors influence a sheep’s price. Prices are different for sheep of a different breed, age, size, and gender.
Lambs are usually sold within the limits of $75 -$100. A younger non registered ewe (two to four years of age), with no records of ancestry, is priced between $200 – $250. A purebred registered sheep may cost up to $500 plus.
Because of declined productivity, older ewes are priced less. Show sheep can be priced at $1000 and up. Prices of sheep vary for every country. Besides the purchase price, upkeep costs include feed, shelter, medical, shearing, and bedding expenses.
Sheep, scientifically known as Ovis Aries, belongs to the family of Bovidae. There are 1000 or more different sheep breeds around the world. Sheep are well known for serving mankind by providing milk, meat, dairy products, and fleeces.
How much does a sheep cost?
A sheep costs you around 300$ and lamb for 40 to 80$.It depends on the breed, size and gender of sheep. Valais Blacknose can cost over £1,500.Boreray for 100 to 250$.Merino sheep costs around 150$ to 300$ depending on location and registration cost. Some other breeds like Lincoln, Dorset, Dorper and Tsigai costs at the same price.
What factors drive the price of a sheep?
The number of elements the buyer has in mind to reach a final decision of how much he is willing to pay for a certain sheep. There is no fixed price for each sheep. The following factors are the determinants in fixating a price.
Some appreciated sheep breeds like Merino costs more than the rest. Purebred, registered sheep breeds generally corner the market in fetching higher prices. Valais Blacknose can cost you above 1500 pound and they are mostly available in Switzerland. Other breeds are cheaper and costs around 200$ to 400.
Sheep have their productivity at a premium when they are 2-4 years old. 5 years old and up sheep are sold at an economical rate. Lambs are usually cheaper than the younger ewes. A lamb can costs around 60$ to 80$ and sheep around 300$ to 500$.
The sheep’s ability to produce wool decides the price. On average, sheep produce 9-11pounds of wool. Some breeds produce 3 pounds while others reach up to 20 pounds. Sheep with higher wool production win the race in fetching higher prices. Here are some common wool production sheep and their estimated cost.
|Wensleydale||300$ to 400$|
|Merino||500$ to 550$|
|Shetland||350$ to 500$|
Some other factors like registration cost, state sales tax and availability resource put an impact on the cost of sheep. State sales tax vary from state to state in the US. For each breed online resources are available. You can buy from local livestock farms.
Weight & Body Condition
Male and female sheep weigh 45 – 160 kgs and 45 – 100 kgs, respectively. Skinny Sheep weighing less than the supposed weight is moderately priced. Source
How much does sheep feed cost?
Sheep feed includes hay, grass, silage, and other plant materials as they are herbivores. Sheep can graze on pasture for 6-8 months. If the sheep farmer has pasture, it would not be included in the cost of feed. Sheep need hay feed for 4 months a year or in some cases 6 months.
Sheep needs hay equivalent to 3% of their body weight per day. For instance, a 160 pounds ewe needs 4.8 pounds of hay a day. If the sheep farmer buys hay of $200 per ton it will cost around $0.10 per pound. A ton contains 2000 pounds.
If a 160 lbs ewe eats 4.8 pounds of hay costing 0.10/lbs. A per-day cost of hay would be $0.48. For four months of hay feed, the expense will reach around $58.
How much does it cost to shear a sheep?
Shearing a sheep is done in the early spring. A Shearer generally charges $10 – $12 per sheep. Some flock shearing services are offering the services at a lower rate of $3 – $6.
Cost of shearing a sheep
A sheep farmer is often charged standard shearing rates or half or full-day rate. Besides shearing, the cost may include driving to the site, catching the animal, and rescheduling in case of unexpected events.
If not charged per sheep, the farmer is often charged half or full day rate. The half-day rate may go from $300 to $375. The full-day rate is charged at around $600.
These rates fluctuate depending on the size of the flock and sheep and site condition.
Where you should buy sheep?
Find a trusted local breeder or check with the extension educator to find out who is selling sheep and where. Buying a sheep from the sale barn might cause trouble later. Most of the animals on barn either have health or behavioral issues. Purchasing from a well-cared flock is a sound choice.
Raising a sheep
Raising a sheep is not as easy as pie. Here are all the costs associated with raising a sheep.
If the farmer owns a hayfield or a pasture, the prices are cut into half. Hay may cost around $50-60 per sheep for the winter season. The cost of grains and corn may reach up to $58 or more per sheep.
If its just one or two ewes or rams, a medium-sized backyard would do. Raising a flock requires a sheep farm. Electric fences, woven wire fences or barbed wires covering the top and bottom of the fence must be installed for sheep’s security. A 5 strands electric fence may cost around $1000-1200. Bedding is valued in the realm of $6-10 or up.
Medical Expense includes costs incurred to vaccinate, treat parasitical infections, and worms. Lamb vaccination costs $6 approximately. Sheep often get infected with internal and external worms so deworming is required from time to time. Sheep dewormers are available in the market at more or less $40.
Ovine progressive pneumonia, Mastitis, sore mouth, foot scald and internal parasites are some common diseases associated with sheep. Treatment of these diseases can cost you around 300 to 400$ annual.Deworming is also important. If you consider the best wormer in the market, it will cost you around 50$.
Sheep wool Insulation cost
Sheep wool insulation, a popular practice help in keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Sheep wool has a thickness of 60mm expensed approximately around $22 to $30.
How much does it cost to feed a sheep per month?
It takes 4.5 pounds of hay a day for a 150-pound sheep that is 3% of body weight. If you buy $200 hay per ton, a pound of hay will be bought at 0.10/lbs. If we take this data, approximately $13-15 is the feed cost per month. Feed requirements change when the sheep are young or pregnant. Prices fluctuate depending on the changing hay cost and the area.
Are sheep easy to raise?
In comparison with bigger animals like horses, cows, and pigs, sheep are small and easier to handle. They don’t need the perfect pasture and settle with grass and bushes.
What is the most profitable sheep?
Finn Sheep is the profitable sheep having the ability to give birth to 8 lambs at once. Finn lambs are market sensitive for highly sought after meat.
Is it profitable to raise sheep?
Yes, the lamb meat, wool, and sheep dairy products are in demand. With control on expenses, one can expect a better outcome.
What is the best grain to feed sheep?
Wheat, barley, sorghum, corn, and oats often used for feeding sheep. This inclusion of a healthy grain diet in the feed is good for sheep’s health and weight.
Sheep are relatively cheaper and easier to keep than other bigger animals. Besides business purposes, they make adorable pets. A buyer is not burdened much with the purchase and upkeep cost. A profitable small investment for the ones looking to build sheep farm one day.
Shumaila Ejaz is a passionate farming writer. She has done her basic farming and animal care course from Agriculture university. Shumaila serving as animal care consultant in the area. Relevant to farm desire is research in poultry and livestock. Agriculture and animal farming is a vast field, suggestions should be appreciated.