Sheep as pets?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Xandras_Zoo, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering how sheep are as pets. How are they to bottle-raise? I wanted to buy a un-weaned lamb and bottle feed it, as a pet. How do you think it would work? Will breeders sell unweaned lambs? Is it OK for the lamb?

    Also, what are the basic requirments for sheep (shelter, food, anything else)

    Thanks,
    Alexandra
     
  2. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    A very young lamb will make a tolerably amusing pet, he will learn the bottle easily and hop and skip about. He will also follow you like a faithful dog. I think they can be house trained but the big down side is that eventually he will turn into a sheep which is not so exciting.
     

  3. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    A sheep is good. Just as long as he's still really friendly:)
     
  4. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Please make sure you get two,, a sheep should never be alone.

    Sheep can'tbe house trained.

    Some breeders will sell bummer lambs that you can bottle raise. You will have to ask.
    Many are easy to halter train, buy only the best quality halter and never leave it on untended.

    If you get Ram lambs, and you bottle feed, make sure that they are wethered as soon as possible.
    Bottle fed Rams can be dangerous.

    It is best to have at least a 1/2 acre fenced to keep sheep in a preditors out. Something like Woven sheep fence with at least 3 lines of hot wire. The better
    the fence the less likely you will have your sheep killed.

    They need at least a three sided shelter, always have fresh water,, and a salt/mineral mix made "Only" for sheep.
    Do not feed any feed or grain made for any other animal, as it has to much copper in it.

    As they get older they will need at least CD&T vaccines,, wormings, and hoof trims when needed.

    A good place to find detailed information on sheep care is..

    http://www.sheepandgoat.com/shlinks.html

    http://www.sheepandgoat.com/lambkidcare.html
     
  5. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    My sheep are friendly and sweet. They like to be scritched and they follow me around. They make really good 4-footed compost heaps - mine get the garden gleanings and monster zuchinni.

    A dry place for them to sleep, hay or plenty of pasture, clean water, free access to salt and minerals, a yearly vaccination, wormer and hoof trimming when necessary. They're really pretty easy to keep.
     
  6. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    They sound neat- but I'll have to wait till I get my barn build before I can get any. Would a goat serve as good a companion as another sheep? I suppose the answer is no, but they seem so much the same and I wanted some variety.
     
  7. green acres

    green acres Guest

    We have 2 sheep that we keep as pets. The are great companions for our kids, and give the dog something to watch.

    The breed we have is Katahdin hair sheep-good for pets as you don't have to bother with shearing. They naturally shed their hair in the spring. They are also friendly and have good resistance to parasites.

    Happy sheep keeeping!
     
  8. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    I think you would be better off with 2 sheep (maybe of diff. breeds for variety). I have found that goats tend to bully sheep if kept in close quarters (paddocks rather than pasture).
     
  9. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    I found it to be just the opposite - I had a large ewe who butted and bullied the goats. And yet they actually got along pretty well. I noticed that they ALL bullied each other until the "pecking order" was arranged and then mostly left each other to be as long as no one overstepped her bounds.

    the big issue with keeping goats and sheep together is the copper - most everything else in regards to feed is very similar, but goats need copper, sheep can't have it (well, certianly not in the quantities that goats need it!). So if you get goats and sheep together, add a sheep mineral block in there and then give the goats their copper separately.

    But yes, they get along okay once they know their places. ;)

    -Sarah
     
  10. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I think I'll just get two sheep- I was looking at a shetland breeder a few hours away, but their sheep are expensive and I don't know if they sell bummer lambs. They will only sell the best lambs (they don't want poor-quaility animals to breed) and butcher the rest, so I thought I'd ask for some bummer lambs that look like they'd be headed for lamb-chops. I have no intention of breeding.

    At the bottom of this page is their reason not to sell poor-quaility shetlands. I don't want to breed them, so I can't think of why they wouldn't sell me one for cheaper...
    http://www.mrsf.com/shepfaq.htm

    I liked this :)
    http://www.mrsf.com/compan.htm
     
  11. ShortSheep

    ShortSheep Well-Known Member

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    Maple Ridge was the first breeder's of shetlands in the U.S., and they take their sheep and breeding program very seriously. Perhaps you can ask them to wether a few of next spring ram lambs for you? Doesn't hurt to ask. :)
    Shetland prices vary greatly by location. It seems that prices are higher in the east and get less expensive the further west you go. Good, breeding quality shetlands sell for $200-$400 here in the Midwest. It is not uncommon to find good animals for $100 from someone who is overstocked and having a "sale".
    You can find more breeders at www.nebraskasheep.com on their breeder's list, or look up the shetland sheep registry's site (NASSA) for more breeders. Maybe you'll find someone near you that will sell you a few for pets. Good luck, shetlands are a pleasure to have around!
     
  12. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    Here is the Shetland Sheep website: http://www.shetland-sheep.org/ where there are also breeders lists, as well as breed info.
    Here is an e-mail list for people with Shetland sheep: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shetlands/
    There are also regional lists, & a list for those who specialize in spotted shetlands.
    Maple Ridge is a top quality breeder, but as ToTheBones mentioned, if you're not buying breeding stock, you might want to shop around. Usually, wethers can be got for reasonable prices - $50-100 is what they go for here in CA. Shetlands are neat little sheep - I've been breeding them for 8 years. Here's a pic of one of my rams with 3 different colors of ewes:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Well, I sure hope that they'll sell me some lambs for cheaper- the rest of those breeders are hours away, I could never make the trip there and back in a day. I'll try.

    I'll post something later, but right now I have to go out with my dad and find the survey peg, and make sure the idiots ripping out the forest next door don't take out our trees too (frigging townhouses).

    :(

    PS. Your sheep are beautiful!