The farming of sheep is one of the most diverse livestock choices in the industry as it can produce meat, milk and wool. While sheep are most largely farmed in Africa and Asia, sheep farms are also widely common in the U.K. These farms are not only different to those in other countries, but are also designed for the particular breeds owned. In total, there are around 90 breeds of thoroughbred and crossed sheep, and for this vast amount of different sheep types, farms in the U.K. are divided to suit every need.
The first landscape types is best suited for sheep that can withstand harsh conditions and are strong, such as the Welsh Mountain sheep and Scottish Blackface. The breeds included in this category are herded to hill tops, where they can easily endure different conditions with their thick wool and ability to adapt.
The second type of landscape is upland, which accommodates mostly older ewes and Devon and Cornwall Long wool rams and ewes. Northern and South West England are home to many such landscapes suitable for sheep farming purposes. This landscape has milder conditions than the hills do, but the condition of the land is generally not viable for other farming.
Lastly, lowland farming is used for stockier sheep such as Texel and Suffolk breeds. These breeds grow at an increased pace, which results in a larger stature and the need for flatter landscapes. The lowland areas serve as the best places for the breeding and birthing of lambs and are in the central and eastern areas of England. The ground is also a lot more fertile in these areas and more suitable for growing crops than the other two landscapes.
What makes the sheep farming industry a lot more ethical than many other animal farming is the fact that sheep are raised in extensive farming systems, which refers to the free roam of the animals outside in a natural environment. This is not to say that there are no immoral sheep farms, but the amount of intensive sheep farming that takes places is significantly lower than other animal farms. It is also important to note that, although the sheep enjoy the outdoors, safety and protection remain a priority as these animals are often defenseless. When well researched and experienced, farms in the U.K. and around the world can and do easily maintain a high quality of production within sheep farming.