How to Keep a Pet Sheep

Keeping a pet sheep can be a rewarding experience and a great tool for teaching children responsibility and respect for animals. Sheep kept as pets should be females or neutered males. They should not have horns. Any breed of sheep makes a good pet, with some miniature breeds making popular pets.

Be aware that sheep get the majority of their nutrients from grazing on plants close to the ground, such as grass, clover and weeds. The amount of land you'll need depends on how much rain your area receives; you can graze about 10 sheep per acre in wetter climates, where in more arid areas you may only be able to graze 1 sheep per 10 acres of land.

Keep hay available to feed your pet sheep if grass supply is low. Another food for sheep is grain, although they like it so much they'll sometimes eat it until they become sick, so amounts must be controlled.

House your sheep in a barn or similar structure, with hay or another type of material for bedding. In some areas sheep can be kept outside year round, but you need some kind of shelter for them in cases of severe weather. Another thing to keep in mind is protection from predators.

Plan to have your sheep seen by a veterinarian for vaccinations and general check ups. Research common ailments in sheep and learn to recognize the symptoms. Learn to care for your sheep's hooves from your vet, and with the proper equipment you can take care of that task yourself.

Shear your pet sheep annually, unless you have a hair breed of sheep, which don't need shearing. Shearing a sheep well, without cuts and undue stress on the animal, is a skill that should be handled by a professional. Sheep are usually sheared in the spring, so they don't get overheated in the summer months.

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