The use of pasture in sheep production is a very important issue in a sheep enterprise. Sheep are ruminants, therefore forages usually makes up most of a sheep's diet. Pastures provide the most cost-effective way of supplying sheep with the forage that they need. Sheep are very efficient at converting forages to marketable products, therefore supplying a cheaper feedstuff is a very economical aspect to sheep production
For a sheep production to be as profitable as possible it is important to limit the cost of inputs such as hay and other feedstuffs. A great way to minimize these inputs is with proper pasture management. This will allow sheep to graze as many days out of the year as possible. This allows less money to be spent on hay and other feedstuffs.
Animal performance and profitability will depend a lot on how well pasture is managed and utilized. Sheep graze a wide variety of forages including some weeds. Therefore, the use of controlled pasture grazing provides a way that sheep can acquire the nutrients that they need as well as producing products at the lowest cost possible.
The use of controlled grazing provides a way that producers can lengthen the grazing period and increase forage utilization per acre of land. By doing this, it will cost less to manage the enterprise and the operation will become more profitable. Without proper pasture management profits with sheep will be limited.
Ultimately a sheep farmer should be a grass farmer. By properly managing available pasture, a sheep operation will function at its highest profitability. Pasture management should be the number one management issue in a sheep enterprise.
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