When is it best to soak sheep?
The perfect sheepfold - that's what counts!
Sheep are relatively "undemanding" and easy to care for animals. It is important that you plan for keeping in a herd and that you acquire a herd of at least four to five animals. Individual keeping is not suitable for herd animals like sheep and contradicts any kind of species-appropriate orientation. The perfect barn is also important, as it is seen by the animals as a place of retreat and safe shelter. But should the sheepfold be open or closed, light or dark, on pasture or with litter? here you'll find answers!
Open or closed? Which stable would the sheep prefer?
A closed sheep pen is not only poorly ventilated, it is unnecessary due to the fact that sheep can tolerate the cold. You can easily opt for an open stable and offer your sheep a minimum of 2 square meters per animal. An open sheep pen offers optimal ventilation and therefore only needs to be mucked out two to three times a year. In the case of closed stables, the litter must be changed more frequently. Damp and dark stables encourage the formation of germs and bacteria. To keep the stable floor dry, you should regularly sprinkle new straw, making sure that it is at least 10 centimeters thick. The deep litter underneath ferments, producing ammonia and heat. Not only your sheep, but also your nose prefer an open stable with optimal ventilation without drafts. A weather-resistant roof with overhangs to protect against rain has proven itself in open sheep pens. If you have a mixed-sex herd, plan a separation for pregnant animals and dams with lambs.
What belongs in a perfect sheepfold?
The be-all and end-all of sheep farming are clean water and feed. Sheep live in groups, which means that it is advisable to divide the barn if the flock is larger. As in the pasture, you can also work in the stable with herds of sheep and swing or sliding gates. A dry and draft-free place to lie down must be available for each sheep. You adapt feed troughs and haystacks to the size of your herd and make sure that every animal reaches the hay rack without any problems. An area of 50 to 60 centimeters at the feed rack should be planned for each animal. The water supply must be guaranteed around the clock. Long troughs and buckets or floating troughs are suitable so that the drinking water does not pollute. Depending on your needs and space, you can also use round and large ball racks and calculate the amount based on your herd size. Despite the greatest care, an animal can get sick. So keep in mind that there is a small separate quarantine station in the sheep pen. This should be separated from the rest of the barn by a corridor at least 50 centimeters wide and prevent the sick animal from coming into contact with the herd. If breeding is planned or is not excluded, a mechanical sheep scale can be advantageous. An extension set for an adoption box can also be practical if a ewe rejects its young animal and it has to get used to it slowly.
Clean feed ensures healthy sheep
When it comes to animal health, the main focus is on cleanliness in the feed and water bowls, as well as on the clean top litter. Racks are ideal for roughage, but if you give concentrate, you should opt for an easy-to-clean feed trough. Make sure that you place the feeding and watering points in such a way that cleaning and feeding do not pose complex workflows. The best places to feed are those that you can access via the central aisle in the sheep pen and that can be filled and cleaned without any problems. The cleanliness in the sheep pen lays the foundation for a healthy life for the animals and prevents infections that can spread throughout the herd at lightning speed. The attachment of feeding tables should be at a height of 45 centimeters. In this way, the animals can eat without any problems and contamination with faeces or urine can be excluded due to the height of the attachment.
Conclusion: species-appropriate and clean - your sheep like that.
Good planning and calculation of the stable area prevents problems in animal husbandry later on. Make sure that the stable is clean and remember that the litter is made several times a year, depending on the air exchange. Feeding troughs should be cleaned every two to four days and then treated with an ecological disinfectant. We tend to have an open barn and point out that sheep are not sensitive to cold.
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