Sheep farming used to be the territory of the professionals but more and more people are keeping sheep on a hobby basis.
Many horse owners find that the grass in their paddocks is difficult to manage. Horses tend to be very selective when grazing and only choose the best bits of the grass. Over time, the weeds start to dominate as they do not get eaten down. Sheep will graze off the more rough grass and graze the grass very short and will improve the pasture.
On a small scale basis with lots of one-to-one attention, sheep can become very tame and many hobby sheep farmers view their sheep as pets.
Sheep, like all animals, require careful looking after. While those with larger commercial flocks have acquired skills which are often passed down from generation to generation, hobby sheep farmers often do not have the same level of experience. At lambing time, the skill gap can be most critical. While even the most experienced sheep farmer always has something to learn, for those with less experience, preparing properly for the lambing season and managing the flock during lambing is essential for a successful outcome. With careful nutrition and preparation, many problems can be avoided but when it comes to lambing, knowing when to call for help is one of the most important skills.
In preparation for the Lambing season in spring, Donaldson’s Vets are holding an evening meeting aimed at helping small scale sheep owners prepare for lambing. The meeting is free of charge and is open to all interested parties whether they use Donaldson’s Vets or not. It will be held at the surgery at Queen Street, Mirfield on Thursday 7 February at 7.30pm. Please contact the surgery on 01924 492200 to reserve a place.