Sheep farming is a very lucrative business to start. Sheep farming business involves breeding, raising sheep and selling wool, lamb and mutton. A sheep farming business can thrive in various environments. This is because sheep are a hardy flock that adapts easily to varied conditions and are generally easy to handle. These reasons coupled with the increasing demand for sheep products have turned sheep farming into a lucrative business. An increased number of farmers are starting this agricultural venture. This article will outline how to start the mutton & wool sheep farming business, and the 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 & wool sheep production business. You have to decide on the size of your sheep farming project i.e. the size of your sheep flock; location of the mutton & wool sheep farming business, 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 project overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the sheep and wool to? At what price?) and write a mutton & wool sheep farming business plan before you start the project.
NB: This article and business plan is about sheep for both meat & wool production. We also have an article and business plan for only meat production: Mutton Sheep Farming Business.
Our focus here is the sale of mutton and wool. Mutton generally refers to the flesh of sheep that can be used as food. Another term used here is lamb which refers to the flesh of lamb or sheep used a food. You can raise sheep solely for producing mutton and wool. There are sheep breeds that are best suited for meat production. Examples are Suffolk, Dorper, Hampshire, Southdown, and Texel, amongst others. Examples of sheep breeds best for wool production are Merino, Suffolk, Dorset, and Romney. This means some sheep breeds are best suited for both mutton and wool production. You can make money from rearing the sheep, slaughtering, and selling them whole, as portions, or by weight. You could sell them as breeding stock or as live mature sheep.
Land for Sheep Farming
An ideal land for a sheep farming business consists of rich pastures and a readily available water source. The productivity of the land should be evaluated before practising sheep farming. This basically involves estimating the pasture that can possibly be produced on a hectare, and measuring it in tones. The available grass land should be able to produce enough pasture for the current season and more that can be stored for later use, particularly during the dry season. Water is of the essence in sheep dietary plans and so plenty of fresh, clean water should be availed. Land that does not have enough pasture and water demands a high initial investment which negatively affects the profitability of the sheep farming business. Other factors include availability of already made infrastructure like sheds, buildings, as constructing new working facilities and buildings on a sheep farm is expensive. Your wool & mutton sheep farming business plan should take into account the cost of purchasing or renting the land.
Housing And Equipment for the Sheep Farming Business
The sheep farm should provide proper housing facilities for the flock; the type of housing varies according to climate, season(s) of lambing, and management preferences. Sheep can be housed in open grasslands where they have ample space to move around. However, due to harsh climates or severe losses due to predation, farmers may confine sheep in doors. The sheep housing can be barns, sheds or similar structures. Indoor housing facilities should provide animals with adequate space. Sheep do not tolerate mud well, infestations tend to appear therefore housing facilities should be kept clean and dry at all times. Outdoor housing is common in arid and semi-arid tropics as there are favourable weather conditions. In times of extreme heat, sheep can find shed under trees. Outdoor housing facilities should have a fence that keeps sheep within the farm and protects them for predators. A fence can also be used to demarcate pastures for effective rotational grazing. In addition, fencing helps to divide and handle the flock when necessary so as to conduct operations such as disease treatment, shearing and lambing. The equipment required for your sheep farming project include feeders and drinkers for feed and water for the sheep. Your mutton & wool sheep farming business plan should outline the costs of housing and equipment needed for your sheep farming project.
Breeding Stock for Sheep Farming
Breeding is one of the most important thing in a sheep farming business. This is an opportunity for sheep farmers to have some form of influence over the productivity of their flock. Selecting breeding stocks should be done carefully as it is key in shaping the characteristics of the flock. The breeding stock consists of male sheep which are known as rams, and female sheep which are known as ewes. Crossbreeding is a common practise in the sheep farming business. It basically involves selecting sheep from different breeds with desirable traits in order to produce highly productive breeds. Ideally, farmers ought to choose sheep that are healthy, more tolerant to diseases and fertile. Depending on the type of sheep farming business, sheep chosen must either be fast growing and of large stature, or have a long fine coat that produces wool of superior quality. Rams selected for breeding should be neither too skinny nor too large. In addition, they should be free from deformities and diseases. The same applies for ewes. Also, make sure that ewes have a history of an excellent previous lambing performance. It is important to make sure that ewes selected for mating have enough teeth to allow them sufficient feeding during the pregnancy. Ewes with molar problems face challenges when eating thus are unable to hold a sufficient body condition to sustain a pregnancy. Any errors in the selection of the breeding stock will cost the sheep farming business a lot of money. The sheep farming business plan should take into consideration the cost of buying the breeding stock.
Breeds of Sheep
The selection of sheep breeds is of the essence in a sheep farming business as it determines the productivity of the agricultural venture. Sheep selected should be well adapted to the climatic conditions of the area and have some form of resistance towards the prevalent parasites and diseases. In addition, they should be highly productive in either wool or meat production, or both, depending on the targeted end products. For example, sheep for meat tend to be quite larger in stature and fast growing whereas those for wool are known for their fine wool grades and uniform fleeces. Wool sheep breeds possess superior maternal and wool traits. Examples of wool sheep breeds include the Merino, Debouillet, Panama, Rambouillet, Perendale and Coopworth. On the other hand, meat sheep breeds grow faster than wool sheep. Meat Sheep breeds include the Dorper, Romanov, Royal White, Dorset, Ile de France and Hampshire. Some breeds are kept for both meat and wool production. They are also know as dual purpose sheep breeds. These possess admirable traits found in both meat and wool breeds. They are able to grow long fine coat; they are also fast growing and have a big stature. Examples of dual purpose sheep breeds include the Merino, Corriedale, Finnsheep, Hampshire, Suffolk and the Southdown.
Feed and Nutrition for Sheep
Health of livestock should be at the core of every sheep farming business. The primary source of feed for sheep should be pasture. However supplementary feed should also be provided to the sheep to supplement the pasture, and during seasons of inadequate pasture. Sheep should be provided with a feed rich in energy (fat and carbohydrates), protein, vitamins, minerals, water, fibre as well as clean, fresh water. Pumpkins, soybean hull, grain, hay and silage are a good source of nutrients for sheep. Adequate water should also be provided to the sheep. The nutrient requirements of sheep varies according to their production cycle. Ewes, rams, lambs and replacement ewe-lambs all have varying nutritional needs. Mineral supplementation is crucial when ewes are lactating thus should also be adequately provided.
Health And Disease Management
Work Closely With Animal Health Experts
Matters regarding livestock management need you to engage animal health experts. They can guide you accordingly when it comes to important processes such as vaccination. Vaccinating your sheep is central to avoiding so many diseases in sheep farming. Some of the common sheep diseases are pneumonia, scabby mouth, listeriosis, lumpy wool, footrot, fluorosis, flystrike, and urinary calculi, amongst others. The truth there is a long of list of diseases that can affect sheep so you need to be vigilant. It is also important to effectively deal with pests in sheep farming. Examples of such are worms and lice; they can play a huge role in the incidence of diseases.
The Important Place Of Biosecurity
There are so many other things that can introduce diseases to your sheep. For instance, if your sheep feed on contaminated food they can get sick. Improper waste management can also promote diseases. Letting other animals mingle with your sheep can bring in diseases. Examples of such are dogs, rodents, or other wildlife species. Even people coming in can bring in diseases. That is why having solid biosecurity standard operating procedures (SOPs) at your sheep farm is imperative.
The Need For Regular Sheep Inspections
Always inspect your sheep to check for any disease symptoms. It is often easy to notice anything out of the norm if you do regular inspections. You also have to check for any unusual sheep behaviours. For instance a sheep can be unusually immobile or limping. If you discover any diseased sheep you must immediately isolate it. In the event that it dies you must dispose of it properly, offsite. The use of disinfectants should be a norm for your sheep housing. This also applies to anyone who ever enters the sheep housing or where they normally forage.
Capital for a Commercial Sheep Farming Business
Starting a sheep farming business requires capital. The capital is required for constructing the sheep housings, purchasing the breeding stock, purchasing supplementary feeds and other costs associated with running a sheep rearing business. The amount of capital you need for your wool & meat sheep farming business will depend on the size of your mutton & wool sheep farming project. Your mutton & wool sheep farming business plan should clearly outline the amount of money required to start and operate a sheep farming business.
You can get a loan from the bank, or funding from investors, to use as capital to start your sheep rearing business. If you plan to raise capital from investors and a loan from the bank, you need a good sheep farming business plan. If you don’t have access to investors and bank loan, you can use your personal savings and start small, and grow your business overtime. Sheep farming is very profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can quickly grow. Even if you are not planning to get a loan, you should still get a sheep farming business plan to guide you in starting and operating the business. It is essential for you to have a sheep farming business plan before you venture into the sheep farming business, so that you know all the costs involved and you make an informed decision.
Management And Labour for a Sheep Farm
The number of employees you require for your sheep rearing project will depend on the size of your sheep farming project. You will need sheep keepers who will be responsible for feeding the sheep, cleaning and disinfecting the sheep housings, shearing the wool, and other duties. There may also be need for finance and marketing team, depending on the size of your sheep production business. Your sheep farming business plan should take into account the salary costs for all the people you are going to employ.
Build A Digital Footprint
Most sheep farmers do not brand their sheep farming business. At the very least, come up with a catchy business name and get a logo developed. This will set you apart from many sheep farmers who do not do such. This will be central to building your digital footprint. Get a website developed and get active on social media. List your sheep farming business on online listing platforms. Always search for online platforms where you can freely market your sheep farming business. Join strategic sheep farming groups or pages online.
Actively Participate At Animal Husbandry Programmes
There are countless events that can be convened around animal husbandry. Some of them can be exclusively on sheep farming. Look for such events and make your sheep farming business visible. Examples of such are agricultural shows. You can actively participate at farmers’ markets too.
The primary products produced by a sheep farming business are meat and wool. The meat is normally graded into two, namely mutton meat and lamb meat. Lamb meat is that from a sheep which is less than 1 year old. Mutton meat is derived from mature sheep that are over a year old. 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. The market for wool is also huge. Wool is widely used in the production of clothing, garment products, blankets and carpets. The mutton & wool sheep production business plan ought to include a proper marketing plan to use in your sheep business.
Keys To Profitability
Nutrition And Health Is Key
Yes, sheep can thrive with foraging and limited to no supplementary feeding. However, you need to still ensure they are getting their sufficient feed needs. To produce the best mutton or the best wool, it is closely tied to proper nutrition. Good health is equally as important as well.
Choose The Right Sheep Breed
No two sheep breeds are the same. The quality of mutton or wool they produce differs. Some sheep breeds are exclusively suited to certain regions. You must find out from animal health experts on which the right sheep breeds for your location are. Procure your sheep or sheep breeding stock from reputable sources.
Sheep farming is profitable. However, if you slack on your management practices you can sink. It is essential that you keep a close eye on your sheep from day one. Once again, always be in constant touch with animal health experts.
Advantages Of Sheep Farming Business
Low-Cost To Maintain
Sheep are relatively low-cost to maintain. They do not need sophisticated housing. They are excellent foragers meaning they can thrive without any or much supplementary or commercial feeds. (That is why sheep can be used for weed control – something you can charge for as a service for others). Even as foragers they have good feed conversion rates. Labour-wise you also do not need much since sheep are not too demanding to keep. It is usually not that expensive to source the breeding stock too.
Several Revenue Streams
It is often the case that you can realize revenue in sheep farming through more than one avenue. From sheep farming, you can make money from selling meat, milk, or wool. There are some sheep breeds that can provide all 3 or 2 of those. Other revenue streams are through selling sheep skin or sheep manure (i.e. their droppings). Sheep manure is laden with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. No wonder why crop farmers would prefer it for enriching their soil fertility. This makes it possible to realize returns on investment faster.
Sheep Meat Is Usually Expensive
This is good for the sheep farmer because you get to realize more returns. Lamb or mutton is actually considered as a luxury meat in most places. Sheep meat is also most preferable because of its high omega 3 fats content. Sheep meat is generally leaner. This is because the sheep diet is mostly made up of roughage, especially as foragers. This makes it a hit amongst health-conscious meat consumers. Thus you are more likely to get higher value for your sheep meat than most other meats.
Pre-Written 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 meat & wool sheep farming business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive sheep business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the mutton & wool 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 sheep farming business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your meat & wool 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 sheep farming business.
Uses of the Mutton & Wool Sheep Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The 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 mutton & wool sheep production business
- As a sheep farming business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the sheep 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 Sheep Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The 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 sheep farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your sheep farming business
The Pre-written sheep farming (wool & mutton) business plan package consist of 4 files
- Sheep Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 103 Pages)
- Sheep Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 103 Pages)
- Sheep Farming Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 42 pages)
- 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 Sheep Production Business Plan (PDF)
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We wish you the best in your sheep farming business! Check out our collection of business plans , and more business ideas.