Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wintering Out Doors

Here is my list of reasons to winter my sheep out-doors on pasture.

*Cheaper-no bedding needed.

*Useful-barn used at lambing time can be used for storing hay,wood,feed,ect. in the winter.

*Healthier-fresh air at all times and makes a hardier animal

*Economical feeding-hay can be fed on the ground (no hay feeders) and if fed in a different place each time does not need to be cleaned up and also fertilizes the pasture.

*Better wool-wool is not as likely to felt Ex. when wet sheep go into a crowded barn they rub on each other causing felting.

*Less labor-no water necessary if there is snow.


  1. Ah, that may work well where you have more land or less rain than we do, but wet, muddy sheep do NOT make for cleaner wool and wet, muddy ground is NOT ideal to feed on!

  2. I would have to agree with you on that!

    Here in WI it doesn't get rainy and muddy until Mar. and my sheep are in the barn then as they are shorn.

    Also if I lived where it was a lot colder (like -40 ) I would keep them in a barn.

    This type of management works well in the mid-west and maybe it would work in dry areas like Idaho.

  3. All of my sheep have access to some sort of shelter. Most don't use it at this time of year. I know the exposure to winter weather makes my Shetlands hardier, as I sold some several years ago to a flock that was more used to a barn. The new owner said the sheep she bought from me would lay out in snowstorms, while her pampered sheep stayed in the barn!