Advantages & Utilities of Sheep Farming
Multi utility purpose like meat, wool, skin, manure, and to some extent.
Since the two major products of sheep (wool and mutton) are entirely different in their production and utilization, the price of one may not necessarily have a bearing on the other. Wool may be stored and held for higher prices or sold at shearing time.
Mutton is one kind of meat.
In addition to wool, mutton and to some extent milk, sheep provide employment to about 3 million people in the form of self-employment, as hired labour for tending flocks during migration, and persons engaged in wool shearing and in wool and skin processing.
Most suitable of the small ruminants to utilize the sparse vegetation in dry land areas through rangeland management and developed (reseeded) pasture.
The production of wool, meat and manure provides three different sources of income per year.
Better adapted to arid and semi-arid tropics with marginal and sub-marginal lands, otherwise unfit for crops, due to their superior water & feed
Since sheep eat more different type of plants than any other kind of livestock, they can turn waste into profit and at the same time improve the appearance of many farms (i.e. excellent weed destroyer).
Sheep dung is a valuable fertilizer, and since they are grazed on sub-marginal lands, their droppings are the only means of improving the growth of plants in such areas.
Characteristics Of Sheep
1. Strong herd instincts of sheep make them excellent ranch animals as they keep together in tight and easily managed flocks and do not disperse widely all over the vacant land, which would make it difficult to safeguard them from predators and difficult to round up.
2. Excellent ability to survive over a prolonged period of drought and semi-starvation
3. Sheep have the ability to produce prime carcasses on roughage alone, thus they are well adapted to many areas unable to produce grain profitably.
4. The structure of their lips aids them to clean grains lost at harvest time, and thus convert waste feed into profitable products.
5. Less prone to extreme weather conditions, ectoparasites as well as other diseases
Unique ever-growing fibre which allows ventilation and also takes care of the skin from the burning sun, rain and abrasions
6. Sheep can also constrict or relax blood vessels in the face, legs and ear for control of heat loss.
7. Sheep can also constrict or relax blood vessels in the face, legs and ear for control of heat loss.
8. Sheep require less labour than other kinds of livestock.
Because of their hardiness and adaptability to dry conditions, the north-western and southern peninsular regions of the country have an enormous concentration of sheep. In the tropics, they are non-seasonal breeders and can be made to lamb throughout the year. “There is much variation in the external characteristics of sheep, manifested in the number and form of horns in the shape and size of ears, in an arching of nasal bones in some types, in length of tail and in the development of great masses of fat at the base of the tail and other posterior parts of the body. There are substantial variations too in colour of the face and other parts not covered with wool. Great variations exist in the quality and colour of the fleece. These variations have provided the basis for improving sheep for various products viz. Wool, mutton and pelt. Variations in wool were pronounced with respect to colour, staple length, fineness and other characteristics. The wool on the shoulder is finer than that grows on the thigh, belly and around the tail. Wool that grows on the folds in the skin is likely to be considerably coarser than that which grows between the folds.”