Overview

Sheep have been raised in Saskatchewan for more than 150 years. Early settlers brought breeding sheep over to graze on the province’s prairie grass.

Sheep eyes are on the side of their heads, which allows them to see predators while grazing.

A sheep is grazing in a pasture with the sun shining.

This sheep is grazing (eating grass) in a pasture.

Who is Who?

A male sheep stands with his front hoofs on a wooden fence.

Ram

An adult male is a ram.
Did you know?

Lamb

A baby sheep is a lamb.
A mother sheep and her lamb stand in a pasture.

Ewe

A mother sheep is an ewe. Most ewes have three lambs over two years.

Animal Care

There is a national code of practice that sheep farmers follow to make sure their animals are treated well and kept in a safe and comfortable environment. Farmers know that if the animals are properly cared for and happy, they are most likely to be profitable. Clean drinking water and nutritious food are important for a sheep’s health. Vaccines are given to sheep to prevent them from getting sick from diseases.

A sheep is seen from below it so you can see its whole face.

Happy sheep are important for sheep farmers.

Three sheep, two adult sheep with horns and one lamb are illustrated with a white background.
Some sheep have horns and some do not.

Animal Housing

When sheep are able to, they will graze outside in a fenced area. The farmer has a grazing management system that keeps them moving to different pastures so they have enough food. There is some sort of shelter to protect the sheep from the hot sunny days in pastures.

A sheep is looking at the camera with other sheep in the background.

When the weather cooperates, sheep graze outside.

Sheep are grazing outside in a pasture with a barn in the background.

These sheep are grazing outside, but there is shelter to protect them from the sun.

During the lambing season, there are pens that are heated so the newborn lambs are not born into freezing temperatures. The barns that these pens are in must have good ventilation so that the sheep do not get a respiratory disease. The flooring must drain well so the bedding stays dry.

A mother sheep sheep and her lamb are in a heated pen.

Sheep have their lambs in heated pens.

Technology

All sheep must have an ear tag which contains a unique number to tell the sheep apart and to keep track of each animal’s history. Farmers also keep track of when the sheep was born, how many lambs they may have had, and if they were sick and needed to be treated. This number is used for food safety and traceability if needed.

 

A sheep is looking at the camera with a tag on its ear that has a unique number on it.

Ear tags are used to keep track of the history and data for each specific sheep.

Some sheep farmers use cameras to monitor watering bowls in pastures to make sure they are working properly without having to drive around to check them in person. Sheep farmers also use sensors on ewes to track information for the ewe and lamb, such as feeding information, time spent grazing, how much they walk, and how much they interact with other sheep.

A mother ewe is feeding her two lambs in a pasture.

Sheep farmers track a lot of information about ewes and their lambs using sensors.

Products

Sheep provide us with many foods and products.

Nutrition

Lamb meat is meat from a young sheep that is less than a year old. Mutton is meat from a sheep that is older than one year.

Lamb meat is a source of high-quality protein and provides our bodies with 60% of the daily protein requirements. Lamb meat is also high in iron, zinc, and healthy fats.

A lamb chop on top of a salad is shown.

Lamb chops and a salad is a very nutritious dish.