Sheep are very Intelligent Animals. Ask any Hunter that hunts and tracks Bighorn Sheep. We will examine why Sheep prefer Still Water. Running water can Prove dangerous to animals that would inadvertently end up in the water. Their wool, even though it protects them can become very heavy quickly.
In different Countries Sheep farming is quite different in Commercial Sheep Farming Operations – You can get more info here from our Article “Commercial Sheep farming “. In those operations, Water is brought to the Sheep, from wells, city water, other commercial safe sources.
But in Many Countries, the Sheep Flocks are led by Shepherds. These Shepherds live with their Flocks. These Flocks are not fed with supplemental feeds. They wander with their flocks. Staying with them 24 / 7 They Watch over and Take care of the sheep some of their responsibilities.
- Guide Their Flocks to Safe Water
- Lead the Flock to Fresh Pastures
- Protect the Sheep from Predators
- Take Care of Lambs, Older Sheep
- Keep them from Wandering off – Sheep can graze themselves into oblivion
Benefits of Still Waters
Water is one of the Most Important Needs of Life. Without Sustaining and Fresh Clean Water you have no Sheep farm. You have No Lambs, You have no lactation and Milk. Water is very Necessary to your Sheep farming.
I have been a Master Plumber all my Life, and My Family and I have done Mission Work in many Places in the World. We always know the importance of Doctors and Medicines in its Role in Health. A Far Bigger Factor is Clean and Pure water, in preventing Disease, Parasites, Good Health in your sheep. Contamination is the Root and beginning of Disease. So much of all disease can be prevented by Clean, disease Free, parisite free, sewage Free Water
- Sheep need 1 1/2 – 3 Gallons of Clean Water a Day
- Good Clean Water will Lead to an increase in Water band Feed Consumption
- Clean Water will lead to Healthier Sheep Flock
- Clean water allows the Sheeps Biological Functions Normally to flush out Waste- Toxins – Remove waste as the Sheep Urinates
- It Lubricates the Sheeps Joints
- 60 – 90% of Shheps Body is Water
- Regulates Body Temperature – sweating
- Skin, Eyes, Nasal Passages it is critical for your sheep
- If You have a Pond – Maintain a Healthy Fish population
- Have a balance of Plants / Fish So that the Pond will Naturally be balanced – Oxygen in Water – Bigs eaten out of a pond
- Protect from Chemical Contamination from Farm Runoff Chemicals
Sheep Water Requirements
Dangers of Still Water
In Supplying clean water to your sheep flock. Many farms depend on natural water sources, Ponds, Streams, and water holes where water accumulates from Rain. Some of the Dangers that are associated with still waters
- Water that is Still Freezes more rapidly for watering your sheep
- Stagnant waters can breed Disease
- Insect Propagation Nursery
- Thick Mud easy to get stuck in, if not easy and accesible entrance
- Mud can make water filthy as sheep try to water – important to have an entrance point
- As water drys up more concentrated pollutants can become
Are Sheep Afraid of Running Water?
Sheep are not afraid of Water, but they will not enter it willingly unless they have good motivation. They will avoid water to swim in, especially Moving water.
- Have to cross it to get to the food
- Sex – Lady is on the other side
- Led into the water by shepherd
- Driven by Dog into water
- Trying to escape some danger or predator.
but fast-moving water presents quite a bit of danger to sheep. Fast-moving water can easily sweep away the slow-moving, bulky sheep. Sheep’s wool can become very heavy quickly when it becomes wet. If you can remember your wool sweater when you got it soaked.
Dangers of Running water
- Sheep can be swept away
- Sheep Doggie Paddle when they swim – hard to swim against moving water
- Sheep can easily lose their balance in walking across on Rocks
- It may look Clean because of it be moving but still need to know how pure it is. Can look Clean and still be contaminated
Can Sheep Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Water
Yes, Generally any animal will be able to differentiate to some point. If water is bad, stagnant, contaminated – Sheep may be force to drink because of no other options. But they will drink less, Disease will be more.
The difficulty is that a lot of contaminants are not visible. But if it is bad by appearance and smell – sheep will go toward better source
It is very advantageous to the Sheep farmer to provide clean, uncontaminated water to your flocks.
Sheep Drown Themselves
Sheep can swim – so they will not drown easily. They are not good swimmers, so you will not see them go for a swim for enjoyment. But when forced to with no other options they can swim. Like all creatures even us, they can drown if
- Get too tired
- Current too swift
- Wool gets caught
- Cannot get out
- Wool to heavy to allow them to exit
You are welcome to see our article on “Can Sheep Swim – Heres Proof” – it has some good videos on Sheep swimming in Lake and Ocean.
How Much Water do Sheep Drink Daily
Sheep need good clean water daily. The Amounts they need is determined by several things
- Outdoor Temperature
- How thick their wool is
- Where they are at in their lifecycle
- Amount of exercise
- Dryness of their feed
- Nursing a Lamb
- Whether you are Milking them
- One or two Lambs
- Care needs to be taken in Cold Weather signs of a shortage of Water harder to spot
Daily Water Consumption For Sheep
|Age of Sheep||Consumption Water per Sheep - Liters||Consumption Per Sheep - Gallons||Yearly Water Consumption / Sheep|
|Lambs - Weaned||2-4 Liters||1/2 - 1 Gallon||365 Gallons / Yr|
|Adult - Grass|
Adult - Brush
|2 - 6 Liters|
4 - 12 Liters
|1/2 - 1 1/2 Gallon|
1 - 3 Gallons
|547 Gallons / Yr|
|Ewes w/ Lambs||4 - 10 liters||1 - 2 1/2 Gallons||912 Gallons / Yr|
What are some of the symptoms of Dehydration in Sheep. Easily to happen in Hot, Dry, Windy, Real thick Heavy Wool Conditions. Also, pay close attention in cold weather and climates – easier to go unnoticed.
- Pinching Skin – it does not bounce back but stays indented – no skin elasticity
- Loss of Appetite
- Sheep becomes lethargic
- Dry nose and sticky gums and mouth
Can Sheep Turn Themselves Over
No, not in at all times. This is a condition where a sheep lays down and gets in a situation that none of its four feet touch the ground. can be complicated if the sheep is pregnant or heavy full of water in its coat
Shepherds Call it” Cast Sheep” It happens mostly when a ewe is pretty far along in her pregnancy. They will lay down to rest and then they are unable to get up, maybe they are in a dip, sometimes it even happens on flat ground, even some ewes will have it happen if they are not pregnant. If you see a sheep with all four feet in the air, help them up quickly you will have saved their life. They will eventually die. If she is Pregnant you might lose them both.
- Sheep are Heavy and Pregnant
- Sheep have too much wool making them very heavy
- Sheep lay down and too weak to get up
- May been scratching and could not get back up
- Sheep is Bloated
- Many times need to hold the sheep until it burps
How Long Does it Take for a Sheep to Die on its Back – Cast Sheep
When a Sheep is Cast – Stuck on its back with Feet upright it will die easily. Farmers say that there is no set time from 2 Hours – 2 days, for several reasons. They will last longer if they are still able to poop when they are stuck upside down.
- Sheep have a Four section Stomach when stuck upside down the gastric juices can move in the opposite direction – Painful way to die
- Prey to any Predator = Sheep cannot escape
- Organs and Baby Lamb inside will put immense weight on the Sheeps internal Organs
How Long can Sheep go Without Water + Food
10 Days without water and the Sheep will Die. Water is a necessary part of Life Sheep can Go
- Without Air – 3 Minutes
- Without Water 10 Days
- Without Food – 30 Days + The Sheeps Body begins taking what it needs from its body – Fat First – Then Muscle – Then Death
Why do Sheep Die so Easily
Sheep like all Animals can Die if circumstances are Right. A healthy Sheep without any accidents has a life span of about 12 Years. Here are some of the Main Reasons Domestic Sheep Die each Year