Sheep have played an important and vital part in the Nova Scotia agricultural industry: From the first recorded reference to sheep in Canadian history; the arrival of two wethers aboard DeMont’s pioneer vessel at Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, in May 1604. To the modern day sheep production which forms an integral part the agriculture economy of this province.
Sheep are prized for their ability to convert forage crops such as grasses and legumes into high quality nutritional and valuable products like meat and milk and wool. Their ability to utilize forages allows ruminants like to be raised on poorer quality lands that are not suited to crop production. Nova Scotia in particular is suited to ruminant livestock production because our climate is ideal for production of high quality forages.
The sheep industry presents many opportunities for people interested in livestock production. They are suited to small farm operations and large commercial farms. In Nova Scotia we have a full range of production systems and producers specializing in all types for products meat, milk and wool.
There are also well developed markets for sheep products which present new and existing producers with the opportunity to profitably expand their farm operations.
As with many forms of agriculture, the decision to start a sheep operation should be made based on sound knowledge and understanding of the industry. Research including speaking to established producers is critical to making sound business decisions.