Sheep Health, Husbandry and Disease: A Photographic Guide by Agnes C Winter March 2013, Whether you have a flock of 2,000 sheep or simply two pet sheep, they are an endlessly fascinating, rewarding but sometimes frustrating species to keep. The large variety of breeds in the UK means that there is one or more suitable for every situation, from the lush pastures in the lowlands to the high mountains in the west and north of the country. The introduction of a variety of continental breeds has widened the choice even further, and some of these now play a very important role in the sheep industry.
Each breed has its enthusiasts, but for the purist there is nothing better than keeping an indigenous breed that has been developed over centuries to fit the particular geographical and climatic area in which you live. However, the objective of keeping most flocks is to make a living, and cross breeds often make a large contribution here. Whatever breed or cross you choose to keep and for whatever reason, we hope that this book provides information of relevance and interest to you.
The aim is to take the reader through the annual production cycle of the sheep flock, covering common husbandry tasks, problems and diseases with the aid of photographs wherever possible. The idea is not to do this in great detail – other books are available where in-depth husbandry or veterinary information is required – but rather, to give an overview in the hope that it will particularly appeal to aspiring or inexperienced sheep keepers, agriculture and veterinary students, although we also hope that it will be of interest to more experienced shepherds and veterinary surgeons, too.
Similarly we have not attempted to cover every possible situation or disease, rather to highlight those that are most common. It is often said that it is every sheep’s ambition to die, but this is really not the case! We hope we have succeeded in helping to show how sheep can be kept healthy, productive and of high welfare status, along with the options available if problems do arise. Throughout the book we emphasize the need to consult experts, your vet or other sheep specialist, to help prevent problems and to assist when things go wrong.