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HOW TO: Housing

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Types of Housing

Loose Housing

Most common housing type.

The advantageous of loose housing:

  • The sheep are free to roam.

  • Sheep will get extra exercise.

  • Sheep can socialize comfortably.

  • Feeders and waterers can be filled quickly.

  • Pens with a tractor and loader can be set up for cleaning.

  • Few dividers are required to set up a minimal cost and time spent.

The disadvantages of loose housing:

  • Aggressive sheep are capable of bullying shy sheep.

  • Typically, sheep do not receive individual attention.

  • Feeding may not be tailored for individual needs.

Individual Stalls

In individual stalls, sheep may be housed and turned out for exercise. The stall doors need to be built to swing outward; otherwise, bedding can be stacked up against the doors which makes opening them challenging.

Advantages of stalls for individuals:

  • Sheep get more individual attention.

  • Sheep may be individually fed.

  • Sheep don't have to fight for food or living space.

Disadvantages of individual stalls:

  • For exercise, sheep must be let out.

  • Not as much potential for socialization.

  • Feeders and waterers must be filled separately, requiring increased work.

  • With a pitchfork and wheelbarrow, stalls are normally cleaned out by hand.

  • More dividers, doors, feeders, and waterers are required for individual stalls so that the cost and time

  • Compared to lose housing, it is bigger to build.

Feeders and Waterers Feeders and waterers should be designed and built to ensure that:

  • The height and design make it convenient for all to eat and drink safely and naturally.

  • Animals must not be trapped or harmed.

  • There is ample food and drinking space to ensure that all sheep have access to food.

  • Feed/water should not become contaminated by sheep jumping or defecating into the containers.

Bedding and Manure Management

In order to prevent damp conditions, all sheep housing should be well drained. Warmth and isolation should be supported by bedding. If slotted flooring is used, it should be used in all stalls. Straw, wood shavings, paper and peat moss are widely used as bedding. Manure and waste can harbour and spread diseases, so regular cleaning of pens and proper management of waste is necessary.

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