Looking for an efficient, versatile type of backyard livestock for your small acreage? Here’s a crash course on how to raise the best sheep breeds for your needs — including everything from meat sheep breeds and hair sheep breeds to livestock health care and predator control.
Friesians are among the best sheep breeds for dairy.
Photo by Susan Schoenian
Moving a Mouflon is simple when you can wrangle it by the horns. This "hair sheep" breed sheds its coat naturally in spring.
Photo by Bryan Welch
Wool breeds yield volumes of fine, marketable fiber.
Photo by Jason Houston
A Suffolk lamb (black fleece) frolics with a pair of Rambouillet Wendsleydale cross lambs (white fleeces) in an Oregon pen.
Photo by Leon Werdinger
Careful breeding results in low lambing mortality rates.
Photo by Fotolia/Paul Isemonger
Resourceful grazers, sheep can help turn rocky, dry hillsides into productive pasture.
Photo by Fotolia/minice173
For a low-maintenance herd, choose hardy animals suited to your climate.
Photo by Rick Wetherbee
Meat from the author's 100 percent grass-fed flock is rich in healthy omega fatty acids.