Best housing for sheep?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Jeshan, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. Jeshan

    Jeshan Member

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    Ive never had sheep before but my family and I are talking about getting a couple. Ive always wanted them and we finally have the funds. So my question is this - what is the most ideal housing for 2 or 3 sheep? We have a small barn that is basically 3 large box stalls put together. One is a run in stall for my horse, one is for hay/tack and the other is just storage now. Were thinking of turning the storage area in to a stall for sheep. But Ive no idea what size they need. At its largest, the stall could be about 15x15, is this big enough? Or maybe too big? What kind of walls do they need? RIght now the whole barn is just 2x10's, would they need more insulation for winter? Do they like a light on at night? We also have barn cats. Would the cats be a problem around the sheep? My horse loves them :) . What about chickens? I know that some animals shoudnt mix it up together and I was wondering if there was anything like that that I should keep in mind. A big thank you for any help you can give me!
     
  2. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Go to the post "Quick Shelters for Sheep" above this post and go to MorrisonCorner's reply. It has USDA suggestions for barn sq feet per sheep. I hope this helps.. Debbie
     

  3. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    In my barn, I have two smaller sections (I think one was for calfs and another was for pigs. They both measure around 10x20. That is plenty room for my six sheep. Right now we keep the ram enclosed in one. I'll let him out in another month for breeding. The other one we keep the door open to the pasture pretty much year round, except during lambing season when the ewes and lambs are inside. The sheep come and go. During the heat of the day, they lay around inside for shade. Sheep don't need warm insulated barns. If your getting a wool breed, they will be plenty warm during the winter. Even a hair breed should be warm enough. Like horses and cows, they will grow a winter coat. My chickens and cats intermingle with my sheep all the time. Right now I'm even finishing off a steer in with my sheep. And my ram has a "roommate" who is a chicken. Becky
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    The previous owner of my property had horses and I've just sort of re-worked the existing stalls for my goats and sheep. With one side walled off for feed. My stalls measure about 10'-12', and the 2 sheep have more than enough room to rattle around in one. The barn isn't insulated at all, and there isn't any electricity out there, so there's no light at night. They do just fine.

    My barn cat, the sheep and the goats all get along with no problems. Don't be too surprised to find your sheep looking at the nice dry house you've made for them while they're sleeping happily in the pouring rain. My 2 actually get a bit upset at me for making them go inside at night.
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You've room enough and as far as compatability goes the only problem I've ever heard of is keeping sheep and cattle (bovines) together and that is a problem for the cow. I forget the name of the disease sheep carry and some cows die of. You should have no problems.
     
  6. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    any 3 sided building will work BUT you will find most sheep like to sleep out side { we had a snow storm several years ago had 3 sided building and it snnow 12" the sheep were covered with the snow NOT in the building
     
  7. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    When we had snow here,, all my sheep would sleep outside,, even sleep in the rain. The only time they would go into the sheds,, is when it hailed out.

    With all that wool to keep them warm,, would not worry if they slept inside,, unless you do winter lambing. Then you would want the ewe and lambs inside for awhile.

    I have three sided shelters,, and fences built,, so I could shut them in if I needed to catch them for some reason.

    The only problem you will have with chickens in chicken manure on the sheep's wool if allowed to sleep in the same building.
    My chickens would jump on the sheep's backs during the day and pick feed or what ever off them.
    But the Chickens were housed in the chicken coop at night.

    The other problem when mixing animals is sheep can't have salt/minerals or grains that other livestock eat because it has too much copper in it. Copper can kill your sheep.

    My Dad has run his cattle and sheep together for going on 20 years,, they are all given vaccines,, and so far have not had any health problems.
     
  8. Jeshan

    Jeshan Member

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    Thank you so much! We want wool sheep and we wont be breeding them. We just want them as pets and possibly spin a little too. I feel much better about our barn now, thank you! I think my horse and cats will love having someone new to interact with and watch.


     
  9. Jeshan

    Jeshan Member

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    LOL! Maybe the rain doest bother our animals so much because they have hair to protect them, but who knows. My horse will often stand out in the rain and in the winter shes quite happy even with an inch of snow on her back! lol