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  • Welcome to Sheep 101. The purpose of Sheep 101 is to teach 4-H and FFA members, students, teachers, beginning shepherds, and the general public about sheep, their products, how they are raised, and their contributions to society. The site uses simple language and pictures to illustrate the various topics. To begin learning about sheep, click on a link in the menu bar or choose a topic from the drop down menu above.

  • About the author. The author of Sheep 101 is Susan Schoenian, Sheep & Goat Specialist at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center. Susan has been with University of Maryland Extension since 1988. She raises Katahdin sheep on her small farm, called The Baalands, in Clear Spring, Maryland. Susan has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science degrees from Virginia Tech and Montana State University, respectively.

  • Susan Schoenian
    Sheep & Goat Specialist
    W. MD Research & Education Center
    University of Maryland Extension - (301) 432-2767 x343

Boy with lamb


    Man's best friend

  • Pet sheep
    Increasingly, sheep and other farm livestock are being kept as pets or companions. They can make good pets because they are a gentle animal and respond well to human contact.

  • Especially for children
    Lambs make great projects for children. They are suitable for children with most disabilities. Taking care of a sheep teaches children responsibility and respect for animals.

  • As 4-H projects
    Sheep are popular 4-H projects for children. 4-H is one the largest youth organization in the United States. It is open to any boy or girl between the ages of 8 and 18. To learn about 4-H, contact your local county extension office. Their phone number is listed in the blue pages of your phone book. Most county offices have web pages. 4-H is part of the land grant university system.

  • Bottle babies
    Lambs raised on a bottle make the best pets because they naturally trust people and are not afraid to be near people. When you bottle feed a lamb, it bonds to you and thinks you are its mother.

  • The best pets
    Any breed of sheep can be kept as a pet. There are a few miniature breeds. Pet sheep should should be females (ewes) or neutered males (wethers). They should not have horns. Hair sheep are a good choice because they will not require shearing. As sheep are a social animal, you should get at least two.

  • Basic sheep care
    Pet sheep have most of the same basic needs as sheep being raised for meat or wool. They need shelter and protection from predators. They need proper nutrition and health care. They need their hooves trimmed. Wooled sheep need to be sheared annually in a timely fashion, preferably by a trained professional

    Read article: Sheep and Goats as Pets=>