Many people may question whether sheep can live indoors. All sheep have the same basic needs, after all – nutritious food and water – so you might be wondering whether you can keep sheep indoors as pets. Keep in mind that sheep are highly social and tend to form strong bonds with other sheep and humans alike.
Is it possible to keep sheep in the house? This is a question that many homesteaders ask themselves, and the answer is not always black and white.
Sheep can live indoors. It is easiest for the smallest breeds. Urine and manure management can be a challenge, as can keeping your belongings safe, but if you can invest the time in properly training and housebreaking your sheep, it can be done.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of keeping sheep inside, as well as share some tips on how to make it work if you decide to go that route. So read on to learn more!
Can Sheep Live Indoors?
While they are most commonly thought of as farm animals, it is possible to keep sheep as pets.
In fact, sheep make surprisingly good indoor companions. They are relatively quiet and low-maintenance, and they can be easily trained to use a litter box.
Plus, they are social creatures and enjoy spending time with their human companions. They are also relatively easy to care for, and they can be fed a diet of hay and a small amount of grain.
However, it’s important to note that sheep do need a lot of space. They need room to roam and explore, and they should have access to both fresh air and sunlight.
For this reason, keeping a sheep indoors is probably not the best idea for most folks. But for those with enough space and patience, a sheep can make a wonderful pet.
Why Might You Want Your Sheep To Live Indoors?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to keep your sheep indoors.
For one, indoor housing can provide protection from harsh weather conditions like rain and snow, which can make grazing difficult for your sheep.
Indoor living also helps to reduce the risk of disease, since it decreases the animals’ exposure to external contaminants like pesticides or herbicides. Additionally, indoor housing protects your sheep from predators, keeping them safe and secure.
At the same time, letting your animals live outdoors gives them access to fresh air and a more natural environment.
For some, the matter isn’t so much keeping sheep safe and healthy but instead, wanting to raise sheep as pets.
Pros and Cons of Indoor Sheep Keeping
For many people, the idea of keeping sheep as pets may seem like a bit of a joke. However, there are actually a number of benefits to indoor sheepkeeping…
Low Maintenance Pets
Sheep are relatively low-maintenance animals. They don’t need a lot of space, and they can be fed on a diet of hay and grass.
Whether you keep sheep indoors in a barn or even in your home, you’ll likely find that they are relatively easy to care for.
Sheep are gentle animals that are known for their docile personalities. This makes them ideal pets for families with young children.
You don’t have to worry about your homeowner’s insurance going up because somebody was bitten by a sheep!
Lots of Noise
Perhaps the biggest downside is the amount of noise that sheep can make. Their constant bleating can be quite disruptive, especially if you have close neighbors.
Sheep can be very messy animals, and their wool can quickly become matted if it’s not brushed regularly. Don’t forget about the manure management issue, either!
Although it is possible to housebreak a sheep, keeping one indoors, especially for the short-term, can be a challenge – and very messy!
How to Successfully Raise Sheep Indoors
Sheep are notoriously difficult to keep indoors, but with a little planning, it is possible to successfully raise them in an indoor setting. The first step is to choose the right breed of sheep.
Some breeds are better suited to life indoors than others, so it is important to do your research before making a purchase. Smaller wool breeds are better than meat or milk breeds.
Once you have selected the right breed, the next step is to create a comfortable living space for your sheep. This means providing plenty of hay, fresh water, and room to roam.
Finally, it is important to keep a close eye on your sheep and their surroundings. Any changes in their environment can lead to stress and illness, so it is important to be vigilant.
Tips and Tricks for Caring for Your Indoor Sheep
When it comes to caring for indoor sheep, there are many different tips and tricks that can help you ensure the health and happiness of your flock.
One important thing to keep in mind is that sheep are social animals, so it’s important to make sure that your sheep have plenty of space and things to keep them occupied.
This might include toys as well as space for grazing and playing outdoors if possible whenever you can, keep more than one so that they can keep each other company.
Although a sheep might appear to be a docile and easy-to-manage animal, it can actually be quite difficult to housebreak.
Unlike dogs and cats, sheep don’t have the same propensity for learning commands or picking up on subtle cues from their owners.
Moreover, because sheep are herd animals, they often struggle with feelings of isolation and separation anxiety when left on their own for long periods of time. That’s why raising more than one sheep is a good idea.
Given these challenges, it can be tricky to housebreak a sheep effectively. However, with patience and persistence, it is certainly possible.
To start, you should work to create an environment that mimics the conditions under which your sheep would naturally live: provide them with structures where they can nestle down in safety from predators and stay warm in colder weather.
You should also feed them by hand regularly so that they learn to associate you with food and treats.
To top it all off, be sure to regularly check in on your sheep to monitor their health and overall well-being.
So, if you’re feeling inspired to take the plunge and get some sheep of your own, we hope these tips have given you the confidence to give it a go – even if that means doing it indoors!
Rebekah is a high-school English teacher n New York, where she lives on a 22 acre homestead. She raises and grows chickens, bees, and veggies such as zucchini (among other things).