Of course it can be profitable, but on a medium to large scale. Hundreds of thousands of people across the world make their living and earn a considerable income from sheep farming. However, as it happens in nearly all crops and livestock activities, the first 1-2 years of involvement are introductory and you shall normally not expect an income. You can start raising 3-4 female sheep for milk and mate them occasionally with outsourced male sheep. After a couple of years, you will have naturally extended your livestock and you will have accumulated enough experience in managing all kinds of sheep, controlling all types of costs and finding markets to sell your products (meat, milk or wool).
The minimum number of sheep from which you can earn a good income and live solely from sheep farming depends on many parameters (your country’s market prices of meat, milk and wool, local regulations, food prices, local diseases that may require high veterinarian costs etc.). However, as it happens with nearly all crops and livestock activities, you need economies of scale. This means that you cannot live from sheep farming by having just 15-20 sheep, because operational costs will most likely reach (if not exceed) earnings. There are sheep farmers claiming that they live solely from managing 60-80 sheep, but these farmers normally live near forests with rich and diverse flora and raise their sheep on pasture. Thus, they do not pay anything for feed or they pay a very small amount of money for some food supplements or grains during the winter frost.
In all cases, purchase and housing of sheep, food, milking equipment and medication are the major cost centers. To this, you have to add the logistics and the infrastructure for slaughtering and processing meat sheep and storing/processing the milk of dairy sheep. In many countries, there are very strict regulations, so the majority of sheep farmers outsource these operations.
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Is Sheep Farming Profitable?
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