How Much Do Sheep Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

The sheep is typically kept as a livestock and is one of the many animals that can benefit us in different ways.  Not only can we get food from sheep, we can also use their coats for different products.  Although they are also closely related to goats, their appearance might say otherwise.

Sheep by Tu Thai, on Flickr
Sheep” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  Tu Thai

How much do sheep cost?

On average, expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $75 for an ordinary common sheep to as much as $275 to $400 for a purebred sheep commonly found at a fair.  The cost will depend on the variety, age, quality, weight, gender, who you purchase one from and where the breeder lives.  Refer to our table below for the average breed cost.  We were able to obtain the costs by visiting local farm websites and classified ads.

According to Countryside Daily, they claim you should be prepared to spend $200 to $250 for a commercial non-registered young ewe, usually around two to four years old.  Depending on the age, some lambs can be purchased for as little as $75 to $150.

Danelle Wolford at Weedemandreap.com did a great job showing us how you can raise a grass-fed lamb.  In her blog post, she said she had purchased a pregnant ewe for $125 and later sold an eweling, as a result of this pregnancy, for $70.

Sheep BreedAverage Price
American Blackbelly$225 to $350
Awassi$2,500~
Barbado$200 to $325
California Red$300
Cheviot$100 to $225
Dorper$100 to $150
Dorset$150 to $250
Hampshire$150 to $200
Icelandic$300 to $1,400, depending on age and breeding potential
Katahdin$100 to $150
Oxford$1,250~
Romanov$90 to $250
Royal White$150 to $250
Shropshire$150 to $300
Shropshire$300 to $550 (registered)
Southdown$175 to $250
St. Croix$225 to $300
Tunis$300 to $400
Valais Blacknose (rare)$4,000+

Sheep overview

Like a dog or cat, the market is flooded with many different varieties, often broken down into the following categories:  wool, meat, dual purpose and triple purpose breeds.  A wool breed, for example, can include the Merino and Rambouillet, while the meat breeds can include the Cheviot, Southdown and Dorse.  A dual purpose breed refers to just that:  It can serve two purposes by providing both wool and meat.  A triple purpose breed can do all three things:  provide milk, wool and meat.

One the market, you won’t necessarily see the term “sheep,” but instead, you will see the following:  lambs, yearlings and ewes.  If it’s less than a year old, it will be referred to as a lamb.  If it’s one to two years old, then it will be considered a yearling.  If it’s older than two years old, then it will be referred to as a ewe.

Reputable breeders/farmers should always provide all paperwork, a health guarantee, up to date vaccinations and will more than likely dock the tails after they are born.

Sheep can be purchased can be purchased at a sale barn, local farmer’s auction or through a reputable purebred breeder; however, according to Countryside Daily, it’s advisable to steer clear of a sale barn since these sheep tend to be the reject, often coming from someone else’s problem.  And as for an auction, this may not be a wise choice since it can be hard to see where the flock came from.  Sheep can also be found on Craigslist, local newspaper ads or simply by searching for a breeder on Google.

What are the extra costs?

Sheep, regardless of which breed you purchase, will need a lot of land to explore and graze as they roam throughout the day.  As a general rule of thumb, plan on having at least one acre per five sheep and 25 square feet of indoor space per animal.  This land should have adequate fencing and shelter to prevent predators, such as roaming dogs and coyotes, from entering their living quarters.

Since sheep don’t do well on their own due to their flocking instinct, it’s highly advisable to purchase more than one.

Sheep commonly eat on hay and/or grain.  Per sheep, plan on spending $5 to $9 per month for the hay and/or another $5 or so for the whole yellow corn grain.  A mineral block or lick is also necessary to provide the trace minerals and salt for their diet.

Just like your pet dogs and cats, a sheep will need vaccinations such as an adult booster.  Worming will need to be factored in as well.  If you do it on your own, it can cost as little as a few dollars, but if you were to hire a mobile vet, the costs could get well into the hundreds.  The same could be said about unexpected illnesses.

Those with larger flocks often purchase a sheepdog such as the Australian sheepdog to protect their herd.  This puppy, on average, can $600 to $800 and won’t include the training necessary to protect the sheep as it grows old.

Tips to know:

Try your best to check out the farm to see how the sheep were raised.  If the farm is organized and neat, then there’s a good chance the breeder takes care of their livestock.  Even if the farm is neat, it’s also important to pay close attention to the sheep you’re looking to adopt.  Does it look healthy?  Does it have any conditions that may be concerning such as a cough or limp?  If you’re unfamiliar with this breeder and plan on purchasing more than one, you may want to hire a veteran to check out the flock before making the purchase.

Mother Earth News recommends putting a bell on your sheep so you can hear them if they were being chased.

How can I save money?

Many farms often offer volume discounts, saving you close to 10 to 30 percent if 10 or more are purchased.


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