Country Living
Ask A Country Vet Image Credit: Country Living
Ask A Country Vet Image Credit: Country Living

Ask A Country Vet

DR. TRICIA EARLEY shares tips on starting a flock and keeping the pooch in the dog house.

Dr. Tricia Earley

Q We want to start raising sheep this year. We have a two-acre plot in a pretty rural neighborhood. Is this enough land for sheep? If we start with two sheep, how big of an area should we fence?

J.M., Winchester, VA

Deciding exactly how much land to provide for sheep, cattle, and horses involves a number of variables. You need to consider the following: How plentiful is the grass? What type of soil is present? How much rainfall is typical? It’s imperative to answer those questions before calculating an acreage number. That being said, it’s safe to start with an estimate of two sheep per acre, and if grass is plentiful, you can add to your flock. I would focus on installing safe perimeter fencing like woven wire tokeep the sheep in and predators out. Consider cross fencing for rotational grazing, which will allow for efficiency and the prevention of overgrazing. Remember to keep things “sheep-shape” by always providing plenty of water and shelter in the form of a barn or shed.

Q Harper is an outdoor pet, but he never uses his doghouse. It’s large, but he refuses to stay in it—even when he’s upset during storms. How can we get him to enjoy it?

L.S., Lin

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