Pet Sheep?

 They may not be the first animal comes to mind when thinking about pets. In fact probably most people would never think of keeping sheep as a pet animal. Here in the UK sheep are mostly thought of as timid, flighty, white, wooly things, things that you see grazing up on the moors and the hills of Wales. Most people think sheep can only be tame if they are hand reared and that they all look the same and are boring and stupid. This couldn't be further from the truth!

Like any animal, if it isn't regularly handled and interacted with by humans it will undoubtedly be nervous and fearful, most sheep only have contact with people when its time for worming, or vaccinating or having other scary things done to them, things that do inflict discomfort and pain, so no wonder they are wary of people. Sheep are also very much flock animals, if one jumps and runs away they nearly all follow suit. Same as they are prey animals so are no matter how tame, they are naturally wary and nervous, they do not like sudden movement and this will usually always cause them to spook and run. But if you can gain your sheeps trust, by regular contact, hand feeding and lots of scratches and cuddles, all good sheep things, then they do make wonderful entertaining, loyal, friendly pets full of character and really fun to own!

These days Pygmy goats, and other goats are regularly thought of and kept as pet animals, and other creatures, the ever popular Alpacas and Llamas, miniature ponies/horses, and Micro Pigs, they are all very popular pets in the UK. But there doesn't seem to be much love for sheep, which is a shame. Over the sea in America there is a massive market for sheep as quirky pets, or 'fibre pets' they are sometimes called. And they can sell for ridiculous prices that you wouldn't believe! I have seen castrated ram lambs, selling as pets for near $1000! Just because they have unusual colouring and come from a sought after breeder.

So, we are hoping to help promote sheep as a pet animal here in the UK. We have some wonderful native breeds over here, each with their own wonderful colours/markings and some other fancy none natives, like Jacob sheep for example. But we wanted to have a sheep that combined things from several breeds, and that was small sized and came in all colours, was really quirky looking and different. That make for interesting looking pets!

You don't need much land to keep a couple of sheep and they require a similar amount of care to that of a goat, they need regular worming and feet trimming all which are required by goats. The one thing that is extra (unless you have an Angora goat) is that sheep need to be sheared once a year, but to some people this is actually a bonus! As you get a lovely fleece from your own sheep, which you can use to felt, or spin, perhaps make a scarf from? They are also much hardier that goats, they do need some form of shelter but they cope well in bad weather and are naturally very hardy! They are also in our experience nicer natured than goats and less troublesome. There is no reason why sheep can't rival Pygmy goats and Alpacas as quirky pet animals!

If you can get your sheep tame (find out more about how to do this on our 'Taming, Trainning and Making Friends' page) they really are lovely to own, they will come when you call and stand for ages to be fussed and have their chins and bellies scratched (a favourite of our sheep), they are halter trainable and can be led around and tied up, they are really fun to watch playing around in the field and they have added bonus' like keeping the grass neat and trim, and helping eat away brambles and other shrub and weeds. They are great companions for other animals too.

So if you have a bit of land or an overly large garden, and want something a bit different, maybe pet sheep are the thing for you?