Whether you keep sheep for milk or are interested in pet sheep, you must ensure all their needs are met.
This includes the social needs these flock animals have.
Can you keep just two sheep together, or do you need more for your flock?
Keeping just two sheep together is OK, but two is the bare minimum. Sheep are social animals, and they won’t be happy on their own as completely lone pet sheep. In some cases, farmers can keep sheep with another type of livestock, such as a goat but prefer the company of other sheep.
Keep reading if you’re interested in learning what your pet sheep will need!
We’ll cover everything you need to know about basic sheep care.
Is One Sheep OK? How Many Sheep Do You Need?
It’s a good rule of thumb not to keep one herd of animals on its own.
Even if you cater to their every other need, these farm animals crave company over existence as single animals.
They’ll likely become lonely if you keep your sheep on their own.
Even if they like you, it’ll be tough for them to be alone.
Related: Sheep affection signs
Pet sheep are sometimes fine on their own, but this is usually under extreme circumstances.
Usually, this is when they stay with you, all the time, often in your house at times as lambs.
Further Reading: House-training sheep myths and tips
It’s more common to see this behavior in orphaned lambs raised by humans as bottle babies when a female sheep couldn’t raise them rather than a sheep you might adopt when they’re older.
Sometimes, it’s possible to supplement a flock by introducing a sheep to other livestock they’ll live with, and they may accept the animal into their flock.
They aren’t an animal to keep in complete solitude, though.
How Much Space Do You Need for 2 Sheep?
Even if you have the proper number of sheep, you’ll still need to ensure you have the space to support them.
At a minimum, you’ll need half an acre of land per sheep.
This means an acre of land can support two sheep, but this is an average rule with varying applicability.
Depending on factors such as climate and soil conditions, you may see a difference between this general rule and the acres of land you offer.
Some farmers find an acre of land can support as many as 10 domestic sheep.
How Much Shelter Do Sheep Need?
While sheep spend a lot of their time grazing outside, they also need shelter.
The good news is as long as you have enough space and the area is elevated and well-drained, it’s possible to get rather creative with accommodations for adult sheep.
Of course, your sheep will also need access to food and clean drinking water in their shelter.
On average, a ewe will need a space between 12′ and 16′ square feet.
Naturally, larger breeds of sheep with a higher body weight will require additional space, as will a sheep taking care of young lambs.
However, if your sheep spend a lot of time in their outdoor space, they may not mind a space closer to the lower end of this average range.
It’s important to note sheep shelters may also need additional protection like fencing.
This not only helps to keep sheep in but can help keep predators out as well.
Related: Do sheep shelters require planning permission?
Can Two Male Sheep Live Together?
There are some animals where you must be careful about keeping males together.
The fear here is the pair might fight more than they bond.
There are some cases in which you’d want to separate rams, but these animals can successfully live together in many cases.
Male sheep can keep one another company well when they need to be separated from ewes.
This usually occurs throughout the year except during breeding season.
You still might see these herd animals fight for dominance when rams are left with one another.
Behavior like headbutting can happen as they wrestle or fight.
If the two get too rough, you may have to separate rams who don’t cohabitate well for their safety.
In the end, though, individual animals have different personalities and preferences.
Just like people, some rams may get along and others may not, and even rams who get along may have short times when they seem at odds.
This is true of all sheep, however, not just the rams of the species.
How Do You Stop Two Rams From Fighting?
If rams become too aggressive, it can pose a real safety issue for your sheep and anyone working with the rams on a sheep farm.
This is usually a problem as the breeding season rolls around, although rams can become aggressive for various reasons.
Preventing Fighting Amongst Rams
If you have the opportunity to get ahead of the problem, there are a few things to do to prevent aggression among rams, such as socializing them when they’re still young lambs will help them get used to being around other sheep.
It’s best to avoid hand-feeding as well.
While this feels like a cute bonding moment, it can cause food aggression in rams.
Reacting to Ram Aggression
First and foremost, don’t turn your back on a ram whether they’re aggressive or not, but it’s particularly important when handling rams with aggression problems.
You also shouldn’t attempt to stop your ram by pushing or shoving it back, especially pushing its head.
Not only will they take this as a sign of aggression but it can promote head butting.
This doesn’t mean you can’t give docile animals in your flock a pet or two on their body if they welcome the affection.
When you see signs of upset or aggression, it’s best to give your ram some space.
If a ram rushes you, the best choice is to get out of the way.
If aggression doesn’t subside as the source problems are handled, separating the ram from the rest of the flock can become necessary.
Since these herd animals don’t live alone well, this often leads farmers to rehome the ram.
However, this comes with its own complications, leading some farmers to send aggressive rams to slaughter, which makes it difficult for someone to keep pet sheep rather than on an industrial sheep farm.
It’s a good idea to have a plan for animals in case they’re aggressive to have a solution that is best for you and them.