Learn how to breed and care for Sheep

This course will give you the solid foundation that you need to be able to effectively care for or breed sheep. Information covered in the course includes:

  • Selection and Breeding
  • Nutrition of Sheep
  • Diseases affecting Sheep
  • General Management of a Commercial Flock
  • Lamb Care
  • Marketing of Sheep and Sheep Products


Study Sheep Farming

  • Raise sheep for meat, wool or milk
  • Small or large scale; self sufficiency or commercial production
  • Learn from our international team of agricultural and veterinary experts, in both Australia and the UK


There are 8 lessons as follows:

Lesson 1: Introduction: Terminology and Breeds
  • Factors affecting the choice of breed
  • Product and Market
  • Rearing and Management System
  • Overview of Sheep Breeds
  • Sheep Terminology
Lesson 2: Selection and Breeding
  • Growth Rate
  • Reproductive Efficiency
  • Carcass quality
  • Wool traits
  • Culling old ewes
  • Selecting replacement ewes
  • Selecting replacement rams
  • Commercial Sheep Production
  • Choosing a lambing time
  • Autumn lambing
  • Spring lambing
  • Accelerated lambing
  • Managing ewes prior to mating
  • Using hormones to control reproduction
  • Joining methods
  • Anatomy of ewe reproductive organs
  • Anatomy of ram reproductive organs
  • Ultrasound
  • Signs of lambing
Lesson 3: Nutrition of sheep
  • Anatomy
  • Condition scoring
  • When to condition score
  • Factors affecting feed requirements
  • Feeding rams
  • Feeding ewes
  • Feeding lambs and fatteners
  • Nutrition and wool production
Lesson 4: Diseases in sheep
  • Viral and rickettsial diseases
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Protozoan diseases
  • Poisoning
  • Vaccination
  • The medicine chest
  • Giving injections
  • Disease prevention through sound management
Lesson 5: General management of commercial flocks
  • Handling and treatment facilities
  • Drenching
  • Injecting
  • Hoof Trimming
  • Shearing
  • Tail docking
  • Castration
  • Blowfly strike
Lesson 6: Care of lambs
  • Abnormal Presentation
  • Presentation: One front leg back
  • Presentation: Both front legs back
  • Presentation: Hind legs first
  • Presentation: Head back, both front feet forward
  • Presentation: Breech or tail first
  • Presentation: Twin lambs presented together
  • Post lambing care
  • Drenching
  • Rearing orphan lambs
  • Lambing records
  • Managing the fattening lamb
  • Feeding
  • Lamb marking
Lesson 7: Wool
  • Characteristics of wool
  • Types of wool
  • Wool classing
  • Wool processing
  • Factors influencing the estimation of yield
  • Piece Picking
  • Wool Scouring
  • Carding
Lesson 8: The marketing of sheep and sheep products
  • Wool sales
  • Sale by private treaty
  • The auction system
  • Wool futures
  • Industry regulatory and marketing authorities
  • Lamb and mutton marketing: Paddock sale, Sale yard auction, Over-the-hook sale
  • Electronic Marketing, Live Sheep exports, Forward price contracts
  • Factors affecting the value of lamb or mutton: Carcass weight, Skin value, Payment basis (hot or cold weight) etc


Duration: 100 hours 



On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Select appropriate breeds of sheep for different purposes.
  • Explain the techniques used in sheep commercial breeding.
  • Select sheep to be used for different production purposes.
  • Explain the techniques used in the management of a commercial flock of sheep.
  • Explain the processes involved in handling wool after shearing.
  • Explain the procedures used in managing the health of sheep.
  • Explain the techniques used in managing the marketing of sheep and sheep products.


  • Collect information about different sheep breeds which are being farmed or could be successfully farmed in your region.
  • Compare the different characteristics of sheep breeds in terms of appearance, hardiness, commercial potential.
  • Select breeds for three different purposes, including wool production and meat production, in your locality.
  • Inspect at least two sheep, ideally, from separate flocks, and determine their age by looking in their mouths.
  • Define the following different sheep breeding terms: Oestrus, Gestation, Weaning, Flushing, Wet ewes, Teasers.
  • Design a "breeding record form" which includes all necessary factors.
  • List criteria to be used for selecting sheep for different purposes, including for replacement and for slaughter.
  • Develop a standard form, which considers both meat and wool, to use for judging sheep.
  • Talk to at least two experienced sheep farmers about "condition scoring" of sheep.
  • Compare the differences in food required by different types of sheep, including: rams; breeding ewes at different stages of pregnancy; sheep being fattened for meat.
  • Prepare a collection of ten pasture plant species from at least two different sheep properties and comment on the suitability of the pasture for sheep.
  • Distinguish between the different categories of sheep health problems, including: viral, bacterial, metabolic, protozoal, poisoning, parasites.
  • Describe how to perform different pest and disease control tasks, including: drenching, injecting, hoof trimming, docking.

Do You Know the Different Types of Sheep?

A Ewe is a female sheep
A Ram is a male sheep that has not been castrated or de-sexed. A ram can also be known as a Tup.

A Wether is a male sheep that was castrated as a lamb

A Lamb is a very young sheep, up to 5 months old.
Lambs can be either "ram lambs" or "ewe lambs".

A Hogget is a young sheep of either sex, from nine to ten months old, until it has two teeth developed




Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]