The main reason I raise sheep is to have an income or make money. Raising sheep is a business. Every business needs a business plan. A business plan can be complex with numbers and projected figures or simple plan to follow when making decisions. Businesses write out a business plan each year. I complete my business plan in December, as my business years starts in January. I want my plan written to keep me on tract to reaching my goals.
I start with a mission statement. In short the mission statement explains what your goals are that year. Example:
- To produce income by selling lambs and breeding stock.
- Retain quality ewe lambs to increase ewe flock to 45
- Purchase Full Blood Dorper Ram
Then I will list my breeding dates – lambing dates for the year. I work at getting 3 lamming in 2 years. I also have two groups of ewes. Example:
Group B: bred 2021 Oct 10 – Dec. 19 Lamb March 4 Lambs: 12
Group A: bred 2022 March 4 – May 4 Lamb Sept 26 Lambs: 14
- Projected sales: Market Lambs and Breeding stock.
- Breeding Stock: John Smith – 1 ram, 4 ewes commercial
- Breeding Stock: Jim Jones – 1 Full Blood Registered Ram
- Group A: Fall 2021 – market lambs 3
- Group B: Spring 2022 – market lambs 5
- Retain ewe lambs: Group B – 4; Group A – 7 Total 11
- Cull 3 ewes due to age.
You can get as complex or stay simple. The market lambs numbers are the lambs I sell at auction for meat. The market lamb numbers are low due to retaining ewe lambs to increase ewe numbers. I am also selling from these groups breeding stock to individuals. I like to have an idea of when my sales are and what my potential income could be to calculate expenditures.
Expenditures are any improvements that are made or purchases. I am building a bigger sheep shelter. Additionally purchase of equipment such as tractors, trailers, feeders would be under expenditures.
One expenditure stated in my mission is to purchase a Registered Full Blood Dorper Ram. My sheep pay for any purchases of new breeding stock, so the amount of money for the ram will depend on the sale of lambs.
Financial institutes want complex business plans if the farmer is seeking a loan or grant for the sheep farming. I have made a choice of not going into debt raising sheep. I may have to get a loan for a newer tractor, but I try to not have debt.
The business plan is a plan, it is not set in stone. To go forward as a business a person needs a plan with realistic numbers in order to suceed.
Good luck in your sheep raising.