profitable sheep fattening

How to Engage In Profitable Sheep Fattening For Maximum Profits

How to Engage In Profitable Sheep Fattening For Maximum Profits

Understanding profitable sheep fattening techniques should be your cardinal objectives. In your quest to make a difference in this lucrative business venture.

Apart from the fact that sheep fattening is employing smallholder farmers, women cooperative societies, especially in Africa and beyond.

Poor families are keeping one or two sheep for fattening, while big players. And foreign investors are coming in, to buy sheep from the local communities in large quantities to fatten them.

And sell them to other countries, thereby creating employment for the local population and also improving the local economy of the country involved.

Among the various livestock production activities in most parts of the world especially in developing countries.

Sheep fattening activity is gaining grounds and is fast becoming one of the most viable potential sources of employment opportunity. And a source of livelihood for many families.


Sheep fattening is also used as a very good tool in increasing the value and quality of meat produced in any given society.

Sheep fattening techniques is a tool that can be used in alleviating poverty in countries around the world. Most especially in developing countries as mentioned earlier.

Profitable sheep fattening is fast gaining prominence as an important business project of the livestock industry in most countries of the world. And among individual families making use of cheap, plentiful farm by-products.

Profitable sheep fattening is defined as an intensive method of rearing sheep. And restricting their movement at the same time feeding them with highly nutritious feed.

This is to enable them to grow fast, attain the desired weight, and produce high-quality meat suitable for human consumption.


profitable sheep fattening

Sheep’s love it under a tree shade (under the watchful eye of the owner)



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To achieve this goal the following important factors are to be considered in profitable sheep fattening techniques:

In Profitable Sheep Fattening, Techniques Selecting Healthy Animals Is Very Crucial To the Success of the Business Venture

To achieve remarkable success in profitable sheep fattening techniques. The right and the first step to take is selecting a very healthy sheep that is free from any underlining ailment or disease.

Most people go for emaciated sheep so that they can fatten them to maximize profit, great caution must be taken when buying sheep for fattening.

You must observe very well before picking or buying any sheep for fattening.
For instance, I once bought though it’s a cow, you can relate it to sheep it was a bitter experience.

The cow was suffering from liver fluke, then I was inexperienced. I brought the cow home and was feeding it intensively for several weeks.

Yet the cow wasn’t adding weight or increasing in size until I consulted a veterinary doctor who later confirmed to me that the cow was actually suffering from liver fluke disease.


Immediately I have to replace the cow, but it has already wasted my time, resources, and cause huge economic loss.

In other to avoid the same pitfall I went through, it is strongly advisable to go for healthy-looking animals with no underlying ailment. As mentioned above to achieve the desired results you so much deserve.


Selecting healthy breeds for sheep fattening

Sheep are relatively cheap in rural markets like this, especially at certain periods of the year when farmers are looking for money to start the farming season. usually April – May in the Middle belt of Nigeria.


Selecting Good Breeds of Sheep Is A Major Prerequisite For Profitable Sheep Fattening.

When going into sheep fattening, you have to take your time to select breeds that have the greatest growth potential. And have high demands in the market place.

There are almost 900 breeds of sheep around the world and most of them are kept for different purposes, and to achieve different results.

Belami Breed

But in this context, we are going to concentrate on profitable sheep fattening, and the two breeds I will suggest to you are the Balami and Uda breeds of sheep.

The Balami can be found majorly in Borno State that is the North-Eastern parts of Nigeria and can also be found in some West African countries.

They can be found in countries such as Mali or Senegal. Where they are mostly used for the celebration of the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid-el Kabir, also known as Baban Sallah by the locals in Nigeria or Tabaski in other West African countries.

The Balami Sheep breed is quite big and is predominantly white in color. It has a convex face, large, droopy earlobes, and a thin, long tail.

An adult Balami ram (male) could weigh between 40 to 70 kg if properly fed, while an adult Balami ewe (female) weighs about 30 to 45 kg.

They are very hardy animals and can survive in a dry, arid environment that is why they are mostly found around Maiduguri North-Eastern Nigeria.

This particular breed is huge and beautiful that is why in countries like Senegal families don’t mind spending a fortune just to acquire them.

To be used during the festival of sacrifice popularly known as Tabaski.

And it is highly recommended for this purpose (sheep fattening) due to its ability to produce much meat if properly fed and taken care of.

the Uda sheep

The Uda sheep when given adequate care and attention is capable of bringing enormous profit to the owner.


The Two Other Breeds Uda and Yankansa

For profitable sheep fattening, another good breed to consider in sheep fattening is the Uda. Uda is predominantly found in North Western parts of Nigeria i.e. Sokoto, Kano Kebbi, Zamfara, etc.

The breed of sheep is characterized by a particular color pattern. The fore or anterior part of the sheep is brown or black while the rear or posterior part is white.

Uda also has a convex face, long large legs, and long, large, and pendulous earlobes.
Uda rams (male) have horns and these horns become wide, large, and spiral as the sheep grow older. Uda ewes (female) don’t have horns.

An adult Uda ram could weigh about 35 to 65 kg while an adult Uda ewe weighs about 30 to 45 kg.

We are more concern with fattening rams because they gain more weight than the female. And are the ones that are most preferred during festivities like the Muslim festival of sacrifice.

Sheep breeds suitable for profitable sheep fattening

Sheep breeds suitable for profitable sheep fattening


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Another very good breed to consider in the absence of the two breeds explained above, in terms of profitable sheep fattening is the Yankasa breed.

It is the most common and widely distributed breed in most parts of Nigeria. They are predominantly found in the Northern part of Nigeria.

They can also be found in the middle belts of Nigeria among the Gbagis or the Hausa settlers scattered around the middle belts. They mostly keep the sheep in their houses and farms.

The skin color is white with dark patches around the muzzle, ears, eyes, and feet. The rams have horns while the ewes (Female) don’t have horns.

An adult yankansa ram if fed properly could weigh between 35 to 50kg while an adult yankasa ewe weighs between 25 to 45 kg depending on the age.


Feeding Is the Onus of the Matter

To effectively fatten your sheep’s adequately, provide them with well balanced cheap rations that meet their energy needs. As well as providing them with protein, and minerals necessary to meet there maintenance and growth requirements.

Feed them with high-quality cowpea hay that is high in quality very good cowpea hay is green in color and dry.

Sheep need a good amount of fiber roughages, wheat offal, maize bran, and animal concentrates that is high in protein, energy, mineral, and vitamins.

A popular feed combination in northern Nigeria called “Dusa” it’s a by-product of the milling of Maize, guinea corn, millet, sorghum, and rice.

To get better result you can mix it with animal concentrates which makes it richer and better for sheep fattening.

Alternating it with cowpea hay, groundnut haulm with guinea corn chaff. They also do very well when you feed them cowpea cover popularly known as “Kowa” (local Hausa dialect).

sheep feeding for profitable sheep fattening

Sheep feeding on a mixture of Kowa and Dusa


Cattle Rearing, Maximizing Your Profit through Minimizing Your Cost of Production


Sourcing For the Feed

Luckily sheep consume less feed compared to other large ruminants like the cow which makes them more profitable.

The most important thing is to purchase the feed immediately after harvests because they are usually cheap and affordable at that time.

The whole idea of profitable sheep fattening is to make a profit, knowing fully well that feeds account for over 60% of the total cost incurred in the fattening process.

sheep feeds at the rural markets

various livestock feeds suitable for sheep fattening

Cowpea hay, groundnut haulms, kowa, guinea corn chaff, yam peels, and dusa can be seen in the markets been sold by the women.

It is therefore very important as a businessman, you find means of reducing the cost of sheep fattening drastically, and you have two options on how to achieve this.


  • Either you farm cowpea, groundnut, millet, and maize so that you make use of their residue and by-products of their milling by storing and stockpiling, for your sheep fattening operation.


  • You can target when the feeds produce will be very cheap, so that you can buy them in bulk to stockpile or you go to the rural farming communities or the hinterland, where they are relatively cheap to buy.
women selling hay

livestock feed is a sprawling business in the rural markets

To Be Successful In Profitable Sheep Fattening Techniques Treat Them with Care and Provide Better Housing and Shelter.

You must provide your sheep with good housing and shelter this is to protect them from the adverse weather condition.

It is very wrong to treat your animal cruelly. Once you’ve purchased them they’ve obviously become your business partner.

Treat them humanly, because they have been through a lot of hardship before getting to your place. Especially if you buy them from the local markets.

They must have been stress up due to long hours of journey. And have been in a stationary position for hours probably without water or food.

To have a profitable sheep fattening operation, adhere to the following advice:

  • Provide them with fresh, clear, and clean drinking water with minerals and vitamins to relieve stress.


  • Provide them with feed at all times that is balanced rich in minerals and vitamins.


  • Adapt the animals to fattening legume crop residues or concentrate diet over two weeks by feeding the concentrate every two days, while providing free access to the basal roughage diet. This will help them well in adjusting.


  • Green vegetation should be provided but under strict supervision to avoid diarrhea and worm infestation.


  • Clean their place of abode, and dispose of the manure every day to maintain a hygienic dry environment and reduce the incidence of diseases.


  • For a profitable sheep fattening operation, feeds should be purchased, when prices are lowest, and should be properly stored so that they can last throughout the fattening period.


  • Clean water should be available at all times, dirty water should be replaced immediately. As the days go by it should be a constant routine. Insufficient water supply will affect feed intake and consequently animal performance.


  • Adequate shade and shelter should be provided to shield your sheep from direct sunlight, rain, and wind.


  • Try as much as possible to provide adequate security to protect your sheep from thieves and criminals. This is a major challenge in profitable sheep fattening operations.

Sheep are more susceptible to internal parasites than other livestock, due to their grazing behavior and somewhat poor immunity, this method of rearing sheep comes with a lot of health challenges.

sheep's grazing


Watch out for livestock diseases, particularly those that affect sheep that should be your primary focus.


Diseases such as foot scald and rot, internal and external parasites, respiratory diseases, salmonella, etc. just to mention a few.

You must consult and report to your veterinary doctor immediately. Each time you notice your sheep is unwell, having low feed intake to avert untimely death.

To restore your sheep to good health, so that you will be able to achieve your aim and goal.


On your parts ensure that you keep their dwelling place habitable always make sure that it is clean and dry so that they can stay healthy at all times.

herds of sheep grazing

Sheeps grazing in the open, like this, are exposed to thieves, criminals, and a lot of internal and external parasites which could lead to anemia and even eventual death if prompt medical care is not provided.

Marketing Your Sheep Is a Key Factor in Profitable Sheep Fattening

The sole aim of profitable sheep fattening is to make a profit, and you cannot be said to have a profit if your profit margin is very minimal.

To have a reasonable profit margin sheep should be purchased when prices are low, for instance in Northern Nigeria.

The prices of animals are generally low in the late dry season at the onset of the raining season.

This is because most farmers are selling their animals so that they can have enough money to go into farming i.e. go into crop production such as maize, yam, groundnut, etc.

Profitable sheep fattening should be planned to coincide with periods of high demand, such as during the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid-el-Kabri or Baban Sallah.

As mentioned above or Tabaski as popularly called in other West African countries like Senegal or Mali.

You can also fatten your ram and sell them to individual families, especially in Northern Nigeria rams are slaughtered to celebrate the birth of a new child.

After seven or eight days, it is a common practice among many families. You don’t have to wait for festivities before you can sell your ram.

In other words, there is always a ready market for your ram but it is advisable to target festive periods for a quick sell and reasonable profits margin.


  1. Mohammed Bello March 8, 2021
  2. Abayomi April 15, 2021
    • Bnet April 15, 2021
  3. Mukhtar Abubakar August 5, 2021
    • Bnet August 7, 2021

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