The sheep farming business has grown tremendously over the last decades. Production of sheep meat was originally developed as a by-product of the wool industry. Today, the sheep farming business has shifted to encompass meat production; there are large sheep operations around the world primarily meant for meat production. This is due to the realization of the unique taste and nutrition found in sheep meat thereby increasing its demand. In addition,sheep are generally easy to handle and require less inputs and infrastructure. They are among the most efficient of all domesticated livestock and can adapt to the most extreme environmental conditions. Due to these reasons, an increased number of farmers seek to partake in the sheep farming business. This article will outline how to start the mutton sheep farming business, and the mutton sheep farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Sheep farming is a lucrative business, providing income for millions of people, but there are some essential things you need to do before you venture into the mutton sheep rearing business. You have to decide on the size of your meat sheep farming project i.e. the size of your sheep flock; location of the mutton sheep farm, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the size of your target market.
If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your sheep breeding business overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the sheep to? At what price?) and write a good meat sheep farming business plan before you start the project.
NB: This article and business plan is about sheep for meat production only. We also have an article and business plan for both Wool & Mutton Sheep Farming.
The core focus here is selling mutton meat. You can sell live mature mutton sheep. You can consider their weight or you can simply charge when selling them. You could slaughter them and sell them as whole carcasses. Usually their weight is considered when selling them like this. When slaughtered you can also sell them as portions e.g. halves or quarters. Alternatively, you can sell the mutton meat by weight e.g. per kilogram or pound. Those are the main options when it comes to selling mutton meat in mutton sheep farming.
Land for Meat Sheep Farming
To run a successful meat sheep farming business, the availability of productive land is of the essence. Sheep are natural foragers thus require ample grazing pastures. Land should be evaluated prior to the onset of sheep farming. If all the forage dry matter produced on a hectare of land could be harvested as hay and measured in tons, you would have an estimate of your land’s productive capacity. This will help to determine whether or not the land is ideal for the mutton sheep farming business. Note that if the land chosen is not adequately productive, a lot of money will be directed towards purchasing supplementary feed. The grazing land should also consist of a readily available water source. Water lines should be provided if the land does not have a natural water source. These are somewhat expensive and so troughs can be used an alternative. Your meat sheep farming business plan should take into account the cost of purchasing or leasing the land.
Housing And Equipment
The appropriate housing and equipment for a meat sheep farming business depends on the breed, climate, lambing season(s), grazing availability and the farmer’s management preference. If lambing is to start in the cold season, animals have to be protected from the harsh weather conditions hence good housing is of the essence. However, if it is due during the warm season, outdoor lambing may be done. The upside of using outdoor housing is that feed and labour costs are reduced, and so is the risk of infectious diseases. With indoor housing, sheep are protected from harsh weather conditions. Farmers must consider fencing the the sheep farm. A three strand barb wire fence is usually not effective in keeping sheep inside the pen. Woven wire fencing or electric netting is often best. Take note that this is done to protect the animals from predators. Sheep require adequate space, for this reason, housing should have sufficient space, feeding facilities and be designed for ease of cleaning. Sheep housing can be in the form of sheep barns, sheds or similar structures. The equipment required for your mutton sheep breeding project include feeders to put the feed, and drinkers to put drinking water for the sheep. Your meat sheep farming business plan should outline the costs of housing and equipment needed for your meat sheep farming project.
Sheep breeding stock is composed of rams (male sheep) and ewes (female sheep). Selecting the appropriate breeding stocks goes a long way in ensuring a successful mutton sheep farming business. A flock is made up of individual animals with a wide range of physical traits, from body size to growth rates, fertility to sex drive and from milk production to mothering. The performance of breeding stock therefore depends on genes, hence the importance of having sound knowledge of various types of sheep breeds. Prolificacy is an important aspect to consider. Ewes that are twins are generally more likely to produce twins themselves. Also, awes born single but are daughters of twins have higher changes of producing twins. For this reason, it is essential to keep accurate records. In addition, ewes that have lambed well previously should be highly considered. Ewes that have had problems lambing or raising lambs, are persistently lame, have mouth or udder issues should not be selected. Only fit, healthy ewes that belong to good breeds should be put to the tup. When selecting rams for mating, their health is also important. Rams that are thickly muscled especially through the leg and loin are ideal. Smooth shoulders and straight backs are desirable traits in sheep. When selecting breeding stock for a sheep farming business, the ram’s testicles should be inspected. They should be firm, evenly sized, and move freely within the scrotum. Both the testicles and epididymis should be free from lumps. The mutton sheep farming business plan should include the costs of buying the breeding stock.
Breeds of Meat Sheep
The selection of specific sheep breeds for mating is an important decision in a sheep farming business. There are currently over 1000 breeds of sheep worldwide and farmers have to choose a breed that is suitable to their environment. It is important for farmers to have adequate knowledge about their characteristics so as to select the most ideal breed. Some meat breeds of sheep are easily identified by the nature of their hair. They are often referred to as a ‘haired’ variety because they produce little or no wool, instead they have hair coats similar to goats. However some meat breeds also produce wool, and are often black faced. Meat sheep breeds are primarily known for their superior meat quality and growth traits. The common breeds for a meat sheep farming business include Suffolk, Dorper, Hampshire, Southdown, Montadale, Dorset, Shropshire and Romanov. Some sheep breeds are generally hardier than others, whereas some are more reproductive and grow at a faster rate. Breeds such as the Katahdin are growing in popularity due to their hardiness, meat production, growth and fertility. They are also very tolerant to parasites. The Hampshire and Suffolk breeds are highly famed due to their hardiness, desirable growth traits as well as carcass traits. They tend to grow larger than most sheep breeds hence are ideal for a sheep farming business. It is advisable for farmers to select a breed that is more tolerant to the climate, diseases and parasites prevalent in the area.
Feed and Nutrition for Mutton Sheep
A sound nutrition plan is the backbone of a mutton sheep farming business and will dictate herd health, reproductive rates and longevity of the sheep flock. A sheep’s daily energy requirement can be generally achieved by grazing pasture alone, except during dry periods when the grass is poor. In such cases, nutritious supplements should be provided. The essential nutrients sheep require are: energy (fat and carbohydrates), protein, vitamins, minerals, water, and fibre. These 6 essential nutrients are key in the roles of growth, production, and reproduction. Sheep can get these nutrients from feed such as grain, hay and silage. Supplementary feed that is high in proteins, for example lupins, should be given. Supplementary feed is used to:
- reduce grazing pressure on pastures that have minimum groundcover for erosion control
- meet the sheep energy and protein requirements
- improve production of meat in order to achieve a high produce
- reduce the grazing pressure on pastures to ensure that pasture is available during the winter season
Health And Disease Management
Regular Inspections Are Necessary
Regular inspection of your mutton sheep flock is important. That way you can detect any anomalies sooner. There are a number of tell-tale signs you can spot. For instance, the mutton sheep can be sluggish, their posture can be unusual, or they can be unusually isolated. There can be slimy discharges from the orifices. Their droppings can be abnormal in some way. It could be that their feeding patterns can be lower or erratic. Their bodies can have unusual discolorations or patches. There could even be swelling on parts of the bodies. These are some of the examples but they are many. The principle is to daily inspect your mutton sheep. Early detection of diseases helps in making quick interventions possible. If it is say, one mutton sheep infected you can immediately quarantine it to avoid disease outbreaks.
Prevention Is Much Better
Some of the common diseases that affect mutton sheep are blackleg, pulpy kidney, tetanus, Johne’s disease, sheep pox, anthrax, and foot and mouth, amongst others. The best way to deal with diseases in mutton sheep farming is by preventing them. One of the potent ways to do that is by getting your mutton sheep vaccinated. Diseases such as anthrax, foot and mouth, sheep pox, and tetanus can be vaccinated against. Ensuring your mutton sheep are not stressed helps prevent diseases. Stress can stem from poor living conditions and poor nutrition. It is also important to ascertain the mutton sheep are not diseased when you source them. When diseases do emerge use applicable chemical methods as prescribed by animal health experts.
Management And Labour for a Mutton Sheep Farm
The number of employees you require for your mutton sheep rearing project will depend on the size of your sheep farming business. You will need sheep keepers who will be responsible for feeding the sheep, cleaning and disinfecting the sheep housings, arranging mating for the sheep, and other related duties. There may also be need for finance and marketing team, depending on the size of your meat sheep production business. Your meat sheep farming business plan should take into account the salary costs for all the people you are going to employ.
Sales & Marketing Strategies
If you want to easily sell your mutton meat, target ethnic or religious markets. Christians, Muslims, and Jews are huge consumers of mutton meat. These groups have notable global holidays such as Easter, Christmas, Ramadan, and Passover, amongst others. You can find ways to engage customers directly or you can go to marketplaces where these people normally buy mutton meat. If you can find customers who purchase mutton meat in bulk that would be great for easy revenue generation. Engage meat wholesalers or retailers. You can engage outlets such as supermarkets or butcheries. This also spans to outlets that use mutton meat in their operations. This can be hotels, restaurants, and the like. Get involved in farmers markets or events e.g. livestock auctions. As always being online and doing digital marketing is necessary.
Market for Lamb & Mutton
The primary product for this business is sheep meat. Meat derived from sheep is referred to as lamb and mutton. Lamb is meat from a sheep that is less than a year old. Mutton is meat from sheep that is over a year old. Yearling mutton is used when referring to meat from sheep age between 1 and 2 years. Meat from sheep is rich in proteins, vitamin B12 and minerals. The market for lamb & mutton is very huge and is ever increasing. You can supply sheep meat to abattoirs, local butcher shops, retailers, hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, wholesalers and individual consumers.
Advantages Of Mutton Sheep Farming Business
Low Cost To Start And Run A Mutton Sheep Farming Business
Mutton sheep do not need much space to thrive. They can also thrive with just foraging on e.g. brush and weeds. This limits feeding costs. Mutton sheep do not require sophisticated housing structures. They can do well with just decent makeshift structures. Maintenance costs are also quite low. Labour costs are also limited due to the nature of mutton sheep. Mutton sheep tend to move in groups and are generally well-behaved. Their herd instincts are top notch. This means just one person can easily mind a big group of mutton sheep. You can even mix mutton sheep with other livestock e.g. goats.
There Is A High Preference For Mutton Meat
Mutton meat typically has a rich flavour and the meat is also lean. Mutton meat is much tender than most meats. This is usually because in mutton sheep farming, the sheep forage a lot. That greatly contributes to the quality of their mutton meat. Mutton meat is also rich in nutrients. All these aspects make mutton meat a favourite even for health-conscious consumers. This contributes to you fetching good prices for your mutton meat. In fact, mutton meat is considered a luxury meat in many places. Thus you get to enjoy market access and good prices.
Not Just One Revenue Stream
The main product in mutton sheep farming is often mutton meat. However, you can also realize revenue from other sources. For instance, there are mutton sheep varieties which can also produce milk. There are also mutton sheep varieties which can produce wool. Once you slaughter your mutton sheep you can sell the skins. Not forgetting that you can sell their droppings as manure. Another revenue stream is using your mutton sheep for weed control. You can charge people to put your mutton sheep in areas where they need weeds removed. Mutton sheep do feed on weeds so you make money whilst contributing to their nutritional needs.
Keys To Profitability
You can significantly reduce feed costs by making your own. Find a good place for the mutton sheep to forage; it helps in reducing feed costs. Make sure you choose the best mutton sheep breeds. Some mutton sheep breeds are location-specific so seek expert guidance. Be vigilant when it comes to disease and pest control. Have active biosecurity measures to restrict or control who accesses your mutton sheep. Keep comprehensive records so that your decisions e.g. feeding are evidence-based. Marketing is critically important in mutton sheep farming. Identify markets and even find clients well in advance. Build your mutton sheep farming business in such a way that you have batches. This will ensure you always have revenue inflows. Work towards scaling your mutton sheep farming business to enjoy economies of scale.
With all this information you can start a mutton sheep farming business. It is advisable to always be in constant touch with animal health experts. This will help you make informed decisions from start to finish.
Pre-Written Mutton Sheep Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the mutton sheep farming business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive meat sheep business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the meat sheep production business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the sheep business, how to keep the sheep, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global mutton sheep farming business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your mutton sheep production business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the meat sheep farming business.
Uses of the Meat Sheep Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The mutton sheep farming business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your meat sheep production business
- As a mutton sheep farming business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the sheep meat production business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Mutton Sheep Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The meat sheep farming business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Risk Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements (Including technical aspects of how to keep and rear the sheep, feed requirements etc)
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the mutton sheep farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your meat sheep farming business
The Pre-written meat sheep farming business plan package consist of 4 files
- Mutton Sheep Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 93 Pages)
- Mutton Sheep Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 93 Pages)
- Mutton Sheep Farming Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 40 pages)
- Mutton Sheep Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of sheep, selling price of the sheep etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Meat Sheep Production Business Plan (PDF)
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