The Sheep Production Handbook covers the basics of sheep production, for the beginner and experienced sheep producer alike. Topics include sheep breeding, forages, handling, health, management, marketing, nutrition, predator control, quality assurance, reproduction, sheep care, and wool. To order click here.

The Sheep Care Guide is a reference guide for sheep producers using a variety of management and production systems, in recognition of an ethical responsibility for the humane care of animals.

This handbook is a compilation of the research on employing livestock to graze targeted vegetation in ways that improve the function and appearance of a wide variety of landscapes.

Chapters include animal husbandry, plant response to grazing, monitoring plant landscapes, multi-species grazing and applications of prescribed grazing on grasses, weeds, forests, orchards and in agronomic situations.

Additional content includes prescriptions for specific plants, business plans, labor requirements and guidelines for developing and carrying out contracts.

During 2010 to 2019 the average number of nontraditional or “disappearing lambs” estimated per year was 96,686 head. This number is significantly lower than the 2010 estimate. The lambs that originally “fell through the cracks” or were “missing” are increasingly being slaughtered in federal or state inspected facilities.

The study suggests the industry might be developing into two distinct commercial markets — lambs slaughtered by the largest lamb packers with a live slaughter weight over 140 lbs. and lightweight lambs averaging 100 lbs., slaughtered by state, and increasingly by federally inspected facilities.

Click the item below download the reports and articles.

This analysis provides baseline estimates for on-farm/ranch costs of lamb production using best-estimate industry parameters to generate regionally representative budgets. Budgets are constructed to facilitate a national aggregation.

It includes: 1) a summary of available university-based cost of production budgets for sheep, 2) spreadsheets showing analysis input assumptions, regional budgets, and the national budget, and 3) brief summary describing the spreadsheets and the cost considerations included, and how to update annually.

Click here to download the interactive Cost of Production Worksheet (xlsx)

This report identifies research, development, and education priorities for the U.S. sheep industry that: 1) result in products from sheep that are of the highest possible quality, 2) are safe and wholesome, 3) are produced in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner, 4) contribute to the nation’s food and fiber security, 5) recognize the ethical responsibility to provide for the humane care and welfare of sheep, and 6) create opportunities to increase profitability, competitiveness, and industry growth.



Sheep production spurs a ripple effect throughout the economy.

An estimated $486.5 million in lamb, mutton, wool, sheep milk production, and breeding stock at the producer level supports an additional $1.2 billion in economic activity for a total of $1.7 billion.

Estimates of retail lamb and wool, wholesale pelts, variety meats, meal, tallow, and lanolin, and retail sheep cheese sales revealed that $785.6 million in production generates an additional $1.9 billion in multiplier effects, for a total economic impact of $2.7 billion.