Sheep farming is not only just about the field. While important, simply buying the best plot of land available on the market at the time won’t do, even if it does have something resembling a barn that you may plan to fix up and save some money as a result. This may be a good plan in some cases, but not always, as there is more to a barn than just the four walls and a roof. Here will provide you with the most essential information about how sheep are best housed and how poor housing can affect your enterprise.
First, it’s important to remember that a shelter is not just about the sheep. Beginner sheep farmers are often surprised by the amount of storage they require for equipment and feed. Keeping both dry is vital, as feed can become moulded and cause disease and equipment will simply rust. So if you already have some kind of barn on your land, perhaps it can be used storage with a sheep housing barn built from scratch.
When building a sheep housing facility, weather is the primary concern. And it isn’t necessarily even about the sheep, as much as you and how you prefer to manage your flock. The fact of the matter is that there is no shame in creating comfort for yourself as much as the sheep. Managing your flock in indoor conditions while warm and dry is easier. If you live in areas with cold and windy winters wand abundant precipitation, you’ll need to construct a barn that may be a little more complex than you had originally planned, with some ways to maximise warmth while maintaining airflow. If the weather is mostly mild year-round, very simple structures will do the trick.
From the sheep-side of the equation,
lambing is of the primary concern. Sheep don’t need much shelter as such. But
when it comes to lambing, a ewe will lamb more productively in a warm, dry
environment than a cold and wet one. The reasons for this are rather obvious –
the ewe requires less energy to keep itself warm if its inside, so more energy is
available for the lambing process. This also means that the ewe will require a
little less volume of nutrition when housed indoors.
It must be noted, however, that improper housing can be counter-productive. If there is a lack of space for the size of your flock, or a lack of ventilation, all kinds of diseases may flourish, respiratory problems being the primary culprit. That is why proper housing can become complex and, therefore, expensive, so having a well-calculated plan is important.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to build your barn brand new. If you are purchasing a farm that kept livestock, such as cows or pigs, the housing used for those can be cleaned out and remodelled to accommodate your flock perfectly. So the exact building does not matter much as long as certain criteria are met both for the sheeps’ comfort and your own convenience.