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Introduction to sheep farming

Sheep farming is the process of raising and breeding of domestic sheep, which is also termed as sheep husbandry comes under the branch of animal husbandry. The essentiality in growing sheep is for its wool, meat, milk, skin, and manures. Sheep farming is mostly adopted in the regions of arid, semi-arid and mountainous areas. The livelihood of most of small, marginal and some of the landless labourers depends on sheep rearing. It provides an income source to meet-out the basic needs of shepherds. Sheep farming does not need much investment in building to maintain them.

In this article we will let you know about sheep farming in India, sheep farming profits, sheep farming project report, sheep farming for beginners, the importance of sheep farming, sheep farming business plan, sheep farming project proposal, sheep farming project report How much money can you make from sheep farming, Is sheep farming profitable in India, What state has the most sheep

Sheep farming business in India

India ranks sixth in World, according to the annual report of the animal husbandry department. Our country has nearly 71.6 million sheep. In the total export value of agriculture and processed food product, sheep contributes nearly 8%. Among all the livestock sheep rearing is the best livelihood supporter of small and marginal farmers. The regions with high sheep farming include Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and hilly regions of Himalayas.

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Importance of sheep rearing in India

  • The major purpose of sheep farming is for wool and meat which is required for the growing population across the world.
  • Provides manure, a natural compost contributes to converting fertile land ensuring more production of crop yield
  • Milk and skin of sheep also marketed easily
  • As sheep milk is highly nutritive containing vitamins A, B, E, and minerals. Sheep milk also contains more cancer-fighting and fat reducing Conjugate Linoleic Acid (CLA).
  • Sheep farming fits well in drought areas and also feeds on varied feeding material, unlike other livestock which feeds only on particular feeds. Due to the increasing demand for sheep, it can be sold out easily.

Points to be considered before starting sheep farming

  • To have a piece of basic knowledge regarding sheep farming.
  • Enough farm area for maintaining and feeding the sheep.
  • Availability of water, shelter and human resource to be ensured.
  • Start with a minimal number of sheep and make them multiplied.
  • To rear best breeds of sheep that suit their locality.
  • Knowledge of marketing, consumer preference and demand of particular breed to be known.

Sheep production in India

Sheep a multipurpose animal mainly reared for its wool, meat, and milk. As the way of sheep farming varies with the purpose of the flock.


Meat production from sheep farming business

  • Most of the sheep breed grown are dual-purpose animals meant for meat and wool but primarily sheep are grown for meat.
  • Lambs reared for meat are fed with huge feeds for heavier weight before harvesting. Feeder lambs, generally weigh about 40-50 kgs.
  • In India, there is a higher demand and profit for sheep which cannot be reached by the very less sheep.

Wool production from sheep farming business

International trade was first started with wool commodity. Due to the poor quality of coarse wool, which depends mostly on climatic conditions. Wool production is comparatively very less than meat.

Milk production from sheep farming business

  • Specialized dairy sheep breeds are available as like for cattle and goats for dairy production. None of the dairy breeds of sheep are available in India. There is no pure milch type in Indian sheep breeds
  • Some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat sheep are raised for milk purposes but are not dairy sheep breeds. The sheep milk is of less importance than that of other livestock.

Steps to start sheep farming from sheep farming

The sheep farming can be of small scale or large scale. It should consider the followings

Selection of farm location to start sheep farming

India is very much suitable for sheep farming because of its varied climatic conditions. Hence, the location for sheep farming should be selected. It should include good water, a sufficient amount of fodder, good health care, easy transport and marketing facilities to be considered.

Selection of breeds/ Sheep breeds suitable for sheep farming business/ List of Sheep breeds

Many sheep breeds are available in India. Select breeds that suit the locality and purpose of rearing. List of the high productive sheep breeds suitable for sheep farming business are given below

  • Bannur sheep breed
  • Bellary sheep breed
  • Cheviot sheep breed
  • Deccani sheep breed
  • Hassan sheep breed
  • Kilakarasal sheep breed
  • Madras red sheep breed
  • Mandya sheep breed
  • Mecheri sheep breed
  • Nellore sheep breed
  • Tiruchi black sheep breed
  • Chevaadu sheep breed
  • Vembur sheep breed

Rearing unit to start sheep farming business

Shelter to protect sheep is very important. Shelter keeps animals free for climatic adverse. Raising a shelter for sheep in an open area is easy and cost-effective. It can be made by fencing with a height of 1 meter. Usually, roofing is not needed but during rainy season sheep are to be protected under roof or house. In an area of 10 square feet, five numbers of sheep can be maintained well. The housing or the rearing unit must be cleaned daily. Proper ventilation and light to be provided.


Sheep eats all types of green fodder or grasses, plants, and even weeds. So, providing high quality and nutritious feed can promote high yield.

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Care and management in sheep farm

Take care while selecting breeds for rearing. Select healthy breeds for rearing. Sheep may get exposed to many diseases. So, proper vaccination and medication is very important. The shelter must be kept clean and to be disinfected at regular intervals. The diseased sheep to be isolated from others and treated.

Cost and profits from sheep farming business with 100 sheeps

Cost of sheep farming business with 100 sheeps

Rearing unit – Rs.18000

Sheep (100 ewes +4 rams)

Ewes – Rs. 5000

Rams – Rs. 5500

Water and feeder resource- Rs. 2,00,000

Income returns and Profits from sheep farming business with 100 sheeps

Meat rate per kg- Rs:500- 700

Sheep weighs – 20-30 kg per sheep

Gross returns – Rs. 10,00,000

Conclusion of Sheep farming business in India:  Sheep rearing is a profitable process that gives hands to the farmers of small landholders and marginal landholders. Sheep rearing does not require keen maintenance and hence can be done with basic knowledge. To the increasing world population, the demand for meat requirement is not meet-out. So, sheep farming will be a good platform to the lower level farmers livelihood.

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