How Much Does a Sheep Cost?
Most people know close to nothing about the costs associated with buying and keeping a farm animal. This is easily explainable by the fact that most people didn’t grow up close to a farm and the closest thing to a farm animal they have ever raised was either a cat or a dog. So seeing that the world of farm animals is surrounded by such a mystery, a lot of people ask themselves how much it costs to raise a sheep or a similar animal. So here’s a breakdown of the expenses you might be hit with when getting and then owning a sheep.
First off, the One-Time Costs of Getting a Sheep
There are some one-time, upfront costs you will have to consider when getting a sheep and bringing it home for the first time. These include getting it to an initial vet checkup and creating an adequate shelter for it. Although you should still expect recurring costs to hit you each and every month, this initial expense will likely be the biggest one you will be faced with. And when it comes to livestock animals, as sheep aren’t usually kept as pets, these can have some pretty expensive and unique needs.
Can You Get a Sheep for Free?
Although it is highly unlikely that you would ever be able to find a sheep for free, you can still search through local marketplaces, because this is the only place where these animals might be given away. There are unforeseen circumstances that might make people need to offload their animals as quickly as possible, enabling you to adopt them, but this is very rare. If you really don’t want to spend any money on this type of animal, then you can also look online and in local newspapers for listings for free sheep.
It is also likely that someone offering a sheep for adoption to charge a small fee of around $50. Among the factors that will influence the price of a sheep offered for adoption will be its breed and age. Depending on where you live, the amount required for adopting these types of animals can vary quite a lot.
Buying from Breeder
Expect a price between $100 and $3,800.
Of course, the price range when buying an animal from a breeder will be quite wide. The costs of a sheep from a breeder will depend on the breed and age of the sheep, among other factors. The most valuable types of sheep are ewes that are aged between 1 and 5 years. This is because they are at the start of their breeding years. Although the range is quite considerable, as a general rule, you will be able to get a healthy ram or ewe for $300 or less.
Initial Setup and Supplies
You will likely spend anywhere between $2,350 and $13,500+ on the initial supplies and set up, which is considerably more than what you will spend on the animal alone.
You might also like our articles about the cost of a goat, a horse, or a cow.
You will spend quite a lot on the initial setup before bringing your sheep home because you will need both an appropriate shelter and a large pasture area. You will also have to check its health, which is why you will have to get in touch with a vet. Regular preventive treatments will also require some money on a monthly basis. It would also be great if you could buy multiple sheep at once, as these are animals known to live in herds.
Sheep Care Supplies with Costs
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How Much Does a Sheep Cost Per Month?
You will usually spend between $5 and $500 every month to raise a sheep.
You don’t have a lot of costs to factor in in terms of monthly expenses for a sheep unless you need to make any expensive investment like fence repairs or shelter modifications. Even so, it is still a pretty good idea to put some money aside for your sheep. So although some months won’t require you to spend any money, you should put the funds aside for months that will. In case of emergency, livestock like sheep can become very expensive pretty fast.
You can spend anywhere between $0 and $100 per month on food for your sheep.
Most people will spend around $100 per year on sheep food alone if they have enough pasture grasses readily available. If you don’t have a sheep with special needs or something special has occurred that limited your access to pasture grasses, the monthly food expenses for a sheep shouldn’t be a very big financial hit.
The usual sheep will require somewhere between $10 and $200 monthly in health care expenses.
Outside of any medical issues, sheep healthcare is nothing to be afraid of. For most sheep, the periodic vet visit should be enough, which shouldn’t cost more than $150 per sheep. You will also have to pay for other medical supplies like fly spray and dewormers, although these shouldn’t cost more than $10 per month.
Grooming for a sheep will likely cost between $0–$10 per month.
While some sheep require regular sharing and grooming, some might not require this at all. If you’re the type of individual that enjoys doing things themselves, then consider investing in a shearing setup upfront, which will run you about $2,200, and try shearing sheep yourself. This works especially if you have a large number of sheep, most shearers will only charge $5 or less per head, which means that smaller herds will cost very little to be professionally sheared.
This is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to owning a sheep. It will be vital for your sheep’s health to keep its environment safe and healthy, with access to clean water, clean bedding, protection from the weather, and secure fencing.
Although you might not consider this, you should still put aside $5 to $100 per month for entertainment expenses.
Currently, there aren’t any toys you can get specifically to entertain sheep. Even so, the internet will give you countless ideas for DIY projects that are designed to keep your sheep entertained and make its life happier. You can even think of products that would enrich your sheep’s life, that can be built with items you have around your house.
Additional Costs to Consider
It might be pretty tricky to find someone to take care of your sheep if you plan to leave town. This is why planning should be made well in advance, to find a sitter that can keep an eye on your animal for you. It might be not only expensive but also difficult to find someone that knows how to properly care for your sheep.
Owning a Sheep On a Budget
As soon as you get the hang of it, it will be pretty easy to keep a sheep on a small budget. You might be surprised as to how low monthly budgets can be. Just make sure you have some money aside for emergencies as these can get rather expensive.
Most people will have no problem caring for a sheep. The average monthly expenses are nothing to be scared of and as long as you plan ahead and save in time, last-minute expenses shouldn’t be an issue either. The biggest part of the expense will be represented by the initial costs of creating a proper shelter with a fence to keep the sheep safe from predators.
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