Modern Sheep Farming & Raising Sheep

May 19, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Sheep,Sheep Farming

Hello:), my name is Ffion Hooson, i am a 17 year old farmer’s daughter and agriculture student and i am from North Wales, and it is my dream to be a shepherdess, my one farming inspiration has to be Mr Gareth Wyn Jones a hill farmer from North Wales, he inspired me to follow my dream of becoming a sheep farmer as i follow him on twitter i have followed his farming  journey since 2013 and since then i have got more and more into farming. My farm is a family run business and we keep beef and sheep and we do a bit of arable crops too. Below are 2 blogs about modern sheep farming and how to raise sheep correctly.

Modern Sheep Farming

Over the years sheep farming has developed massively, although some aspects to sheep farming are the same as they were back in the days.

Ear tagging, these are used to identify livestock and other animals, this has upgraded over the years it has gone from using small plastic number tags on their ears to using an electronic tagging method, although most farmers still use the plastic number tags there is a rising number of farmers now being introduced to using electronic tagging, these make it easier and quicker to identify livestock, as all numbers are logged down in the machine and never get lost whereas just using the plastic tags they could fall off or be ripped off. Shearwell Data is the company that sells and makes these EID devices and essentially it is a stick that reader that will enable you to read, store and print a list of ID numbers which will be used to add to holding registers and other movement documents and records. Using electronic tagging also makes it easier when it comes to weighing sheep, as this weighing scale device here has a fitting where when the sheep enters the scale it can read what number the sheep is straight away this makes it easier and quicker to weigh sheep rather than doing it by using a normal scale. Another modern sheep farming method is when it comes to lambing time and there are a lot of pet lambs rather than feeding each with a bottle each there is now an automatic milk feeder, this allows the pet lambs to feed themselves when they need it, in my opinion this is the best and most effective way of feeding pet lambs as it is easier and less work for the farmer during lambing season. Feeding livestock in fields has updated over the years rather than feeding with feed bags there is a rising increase in farmers using a stock feeder ATV trailer this is an easier way as it enables the farmer to feed a lot of livestock in one go. Many years ago farmers used to walk around the livestock to check on them or bring them in, nowadays we have Quads or Gators these make it a lot easier and quicker to check up on livestock. Sheep handling has become more and more easier as there is a mobile race available this makes it easier to handle sheep in the field instead of bringing them into a sheep handling facility on the farm especially if the field is far from the farm yard.

Raising Sheep

If you are starting out in sheep farming there is certain breeds that are suitable for different types of land, so like certain breeds are more suited to lowland, upland and mountain land. Below i am going to list the types of breeds that are suited to certain types of land:

The sheep breeds that are suitable for hill / mountain land are:

Welsh Mountain / Scottish Blackface / Cheviot: these have good wool which keep them waterproof, they are a hardy breed so are able to look after themselves, they don’t need vaccinations, they have good strong feet, teeth and legs and they are comparatively small.

The sheep breeds that are suitable for upland are:

Welsh Mule / Border Leicester:

These are draft ewes which means they are too old for rough grazing and are moved out of the flock to better grazing.

The sheep breeds that are suitable for lowland are:

Texel / Suffolk / Charollais

These breeds tend to grow quite fast, they have a heavier frame on them and they are prolific.

This flowchart here is showing the sheep system of hill, up and lowland breeds and what breeds they cross with.

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