My Experience Of Rearing Sheeps And Cows

Farming is a very fascinating subject in all aspects, but for me sheep farming is the most enjoyable, it’s difficult but rewarding too. I have 13 sheep and 2 calves.

When I was given the opportunity to choose a subject of my choice for my EPQ, I was very thrilled, this meant that I would now be able to get some land. I now rent a 4 and half acre field for £15 per month.

Sheep farming covers many different categories, therefore in my website I am covering the different categories with my own experience when keeping and rearing sheep and calves.

I wanted to do an EPQ because I love sheep farming. I’ve always had the passion to rear animals and have my own small holding.

Keeping my sheeps has made me far more accountable. Come what may, I had to go down to the field every day and fill up their water and food, before I left for school at 7am, that meant leaving home at 6am to ensure I had enough time to get there and back.

I have 2 breeds of sheep, one type is the pedigree Jacob, I have 2 ewes and 4 lambs. The other breed that I have in my flock is the Suffolk. These are a very heavily built breed, ideal for meat rearing. I have a ewe and two lambs on her but these are growing up fast and will be ready for meat in the coming months.

The sheep are fed on 25kg bags of multi stock pellets, they get through one of these bags a week.

I decided a couple of months ago to invest in some calves, so Dad and I went to Thrapston Cattle Market, and came home with 2 Aberdeen Angus cross Holstein Fresian calves, they were 5 weeks old, and still on the bottle. They had to be fed twice a day, and had 6 pints of their milk each feed.

For the first 2 days, we kept them in a barn at home, but it became quite obvious that they wanted to be out on the field, so Dad and I loaded them into the trailer and took them down the lane to our field.

When we arrived at the field, it was quite hard to try and get them out of the trailer, but once they were out, boy oh boy! Those calves were so excited and joyful. They absolutely belted it round the field and there were horses in the next field along, and one of the calves scaled the fence and began to chase the horses round the field. By this time Dad and I were sweaty, but had to stay calm at the same time as this calf was chasing round the field. Anyway, the calf suddenly made a dart back over the fence and began to get quite frisky with us. After quite some time Dad and I managed to corner both calves and load them back into the trailer. It was a nightmare.

I had made a barn at the bottom of the field for them, so we took them down there, and gave them both bottle and some multi stock pellets. They seemed to calm down after this. They had plenty of grass to, so we decided to leave them in there for couple of days to get used to their surroundings.

After a couple of days, they settled down and were ready to graze out on the main field.

However one morning I went down to the field before school, and they had got out of the barn and were grazing quite happily, they’ve been absolutely fine ever since.

After 15 weeks of bottle feeding twice a day, they were just on the grass and their pellets once a day.

Keeping animals certainly brings challenges.

One of my Jacob ewes died 5 weeks after I had bought it, and we discovered too that it had broken one of its legs and was overdone feeding two very eager lambs. We had to take it to the knackers yard, and were then left with 2 cade lambs to be bottle feed 3 times a day, and became very dependent on me. I managed to get them weaned by the time they were 9 weeks old. After that they were just on grass and pellets that I gave them daily.

“If you have livestock you have dead stock.” Lewis Calder

I have learnt a lot through keeping sheep and cows. The calves were brought at the cattle market and we hadn’t really planned for having them so this was another very interesting experience, to add to my EPQ.

Raising sheep and cows for the butcher. I have found this very interesting and have learnt a lot through the processes of working with my animals.

It’s now 6 months down the line, and my sheep are all fully grown and very adventurous. Week after week, they were escaping into the neighbours gardens, and I was getting calls from people who lived in the village. It was getting ridiculous, despite putting up extra fencing etc. they still managed to get out.

Dad said to me one morning, that the sheep had got to go. This was a big shock although I knew it really had to happen.

The next Saturday came and we loaded them all into the trailer and went off to Cattle Market. They all sold for very good money, and went to very good owners. To be honest I haven’t looked back. They were taking more time and money than I realized, and I’ve, decided to stick to cattle farming, and hoping to invest in some more beef cattle very soon.

Overall I would say that it’s been a great experience – whatever the weather the animals need to be fed and watered daily without fail.


  1. Home – sheep breeds, 2019, by Susan Schoenian (
09 March 2021
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