Shelter and environment

Sheep are kept in flocks or mobs in paddocks, in pens or in a barn. In cold climates, sheep may need shelter if they are freshly shorn or have baby lambs. Freshly shorn animals, especially, may be very susceptible to wet, windy weather and can succumb to exposure very quickly. Sheep have to be kept dry for one to two days before shearing so that the fleece is dry enough to be pressed and to protect the health of the shearers.

Water, food and air

Sheep need fresh water from troughs or ponds, except that in some countries, such as New Zealand, there is enough moisture in the grass to satisfy them much of the time.

Upon being weaned from ewe’s milk, they eat hay, grains and grasses. The lambs are weaned due to increasing competition between the lamb and ewe for food. Sheep are active grazers where such feed is available at ground or low levels. They are usually given feed twice a day from troughs or they are allowed to graze in a pasture.

Sheep are most comfortable when the temperature is moderate, so fans may be needed for fresh air if sheep are kept in barns during hot weather. In Australia, sheep in pasture are often subjected to 40 °C (104 °F), and higher, daytime temperatures without deleterious effects. In New Zealand sheep are kept on pasture in snow for periods of 3 or 4 days before they have to have supplemental feeding.

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