Purebred Sheep Production

Purebred sheep supply genetics for the development of commercial sheep production systems. In general, depending on the breed and availability, it is more expensive to start a purebred sheep business than a commercial one. Purebred sheep are often more expensive to produce, and more expense is involved in advertising and marketing. Ordinarily, purebred sheep are fed at a higher nutrition level than are commercial flocks. A well-fed purebred flock is more productive and more attractive to prospective buyers than are sheep maintained on lower nutrition levels.

To grow to maximum size, ewe and ram lambs must be born early. On most purebred sheep operations, breeding occurs in July and August. This usually results in a suboptimal lamb crop percentage because most ewes are more fertile during September and October.

A purebred sheep operation produces stud rams, commercial rams, and replacement ewes, usually for a price above their commercial value. Managing such an operation requires a thorough understanding of genetics, nutrition, reproduction, and health.