7 Sheep Companion Animals as Livestock Guardians
When you are raising sheep, there are many considerations that you will need to make in their habitat and care.
From what type of barn, how much bed to use, and what type of fencing is best for hunters, you will have your hands (and mind!) To make these important decisions.
In relation to predators, sheep may be particularly vulnerable.
Although they are not small types of livestock that you can raise, they have a polite, group-dependent nature.
This makes them easy targets for hungry animals such as coyotes, wild dogs, bears and wolves.
In addition to building a strong, secure fence that will keep both predators out and contain your sheep, there is another trick you can try to keep your herd safe – companion animals.
Raising companion animals with your sheep has many benefits. Although it is not for everyone, there are several important advantages of doing so.
Here you need to know.
Why keep sheep rearing animals?
There are many good reasons to keep companion animals with sheep. For one, sheep are social animals. They should never be kept alone, which is why most people keep them in herds. They must take at least five sheep to display their natural herd behavior.
Sheep can be kept with other livestock, and although they will always like their way, keeping sheep with other animals is a great way to improve their socialization and maximize your use of space.
Sheep when kept with other animals are more friendly, calm and easy to manage.
Also, there are a lot of benefits associated with multi-species grazing, a process that improves land management by grazing different species within the same area. One of these is parasitic prevention.
Allow other animals, like cattle, to live and feed with the flocks.
You will have less parasitic load in the soil and less health problems to deal with.
Raising sheep companion animals is never a bad idea, but it is especially beneficial if you are just thinking about raising a pair of domesticated sheep.
Again, sheep should not be kept alone or even in small groups, so the introduction of other species will allow you to keep them social and entertained without raising large flocks of sheep.
Raise the best companion animal with the sheep
The donkeys are often reared with sheep in the form of animal foster animals. These animals rely on sight and sound to detect intruders, send loud bricks to scare away predators, and the farmer realizes what a hunter is about.
The donkeys, known as the great friend of the sheep, are easily related to them.
As long as you start a donkey quickly, you should have no problem connecting the group together.
Even if you wait until the donkey is old enough to present their sheep, they should not take more than a couple of weeks to join each other.
Jenny and Fox are the best companions for sheep. Intact males should be avoided as they can be very aggressive.
Another option is to raise cattle with your sheep. Some employ rotational grazing, allowing cattle to graze a pasture first and then allow the sheep to make their turn. This helps reduce the parasitic load.
While this is an effective management strategy, it is important to keep in mind that you can also hold them together. They get along well, especially when introduced to each other at a young age.
They can also be reared in the same barn, although you want to pay special attention to your sheep at the time of the flocks (cattle are so large that it is easy for them to involve themselves in situations where they are needed Is not!).
3. Chickens, guinea, ducks
The chickens are also often raised with sheep.
Guinness is especially useful if you are expecting to have an alert system when intruders are visible – Guinness are loud and will sound an alarm for you. Chickens, on the other hand, are great at keeping the parasite load down.
Whatever the case, poultry farming is a good option for poultry farming.
Although the species will not necessarily meet and interact with each other (they will be more or less just coexistenceists) there are many reasons to consider keeping these animals with their sheep, however.
Horses and sheep also get along quite well, especially if they are mated to each other at a young age. Do you see a trend here? Not only will the two species interact peacefully, but they will often intervene, as well as provide companionship and other benefits.
Sheep will usually keep to themselves, showing polite behavior around horses. Sheep are rarely aggressive towards sheep and for whatever reason, leave the lamb alone.
Raising horses with your sheep can also benefit your pasture, as horses choose the most nutritious grasses, while sheep prefer stems, forbs, and new green leaves.
5. Llamas and Alpacas
Lama and alfacca are often raised with sheep as livestock conservation animals to help protect sheep. In these cases, it is usually gelade (catered) males that are paired with sheep, but unrelated females also make good choices.
If you choose to raise these animals with your sheep, it is important that you introduce only one. If you have many male lamas or alfacas, they will bond with each other instead of sheep.
Some people recommend starting them just before the lamb, as this can allow a very special bond to develop between the lama and the sheep.
Not all lamas and alpacas will be guards (it depends on the individual animal and species) but in general, they can serve as a pleasant companion and friend to your sheep.
Goats are often reared with sheep because both have similar care requirements. Two species will become famous – so famous, in fact, that you have to be careful about interbreeding. Many examples of sheep-goat hybrids (jeeps) have come to the fore when sheep and goats collide with each other.
That said, sheep and goats get along well with each other and you shouldn’t have problems with aggression, especially if you have the same number of both species in the same areas.
7. Livestock Guardian Dogs
Last but not least are livestock conservation dogs. Dogs make great companions for sheep and as long as they are introduced and trained as puppies, they will not harm your sheep.
They can be somewhat antidote to people, but will do an excellent job maintaining their sheep and flocks company and protecting them from stray predators.
Thoughts with Sheep Companion Animals
Of course, raising additional animals with your sheep is not completely free from work. It is not a self-sustaining ecosystem! You will still need to make extra efforts to ensure that your companion animals are well taken care of.
However most of the animals listed above can eat the same food as your sheep (grass and pasture, for example), which is not true for all of them on the list.
For example, livestock conservation dogs are ubiquitous. You have to supply specially prepared food (with meat) to meet their needs.
You should also keep your fence in mind. If you are raising more creative, wily animals like goats with your sheep, the fence should be more or less airtight. There is an old saying that if it cannot catch water, it cannot catch goats.
Make sure the fence you choose is the smartest in your livestock. The same goes for accommodation. Ensure that the most sensitive animal in the group is provided well.
You may find it helpful to view this article on multi-species grazing as you begin. This will give you more information on how to raise animals of different species simultaneously – including sheep!
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