If a business is to succeed it must produce a product, preferably a recurring product with demand. Raising sheep is no different and for the most part sheep ranches rely upon wool and the selling of animals, we, on the other hand, prefer to reduce our reliance upon the selling of animals when it is not necessary for the health of the flock.
At first, we struggled with making our flock profitable, and even today it is a challenge at times, especially in the winter where grazing is next to impossible and one of our main products is in low demand. Eventually, we came away with a number of products based upon a theme, a product centered on manure, which is generally regarded as a waste product; we have turned this sale of manure into a cornerstone of our sheep ranch. Admittedly, such a program is not practical for every ranch or business, it is labor intensive and the profit margins are rather low due to postage, however, it is a fairly reliable product and in considerable demand. Our challenge is not marketability, rather it is the price point, the point where we can sell a product after expenses and still make a profit. The manure costs of us nothing, only the cost in time of collection, sorting and packing. The problems come from the costs of venues (fees) and postage. There comes a point where demand diminishes as the price rises, the lower the cost the more the demand, as the price rises demand drops off, so we are constantly looking for opportunities to adjust to this fluctuation.
Our purpose here is to support our sheep ranch and provide the means to provide for the animals properly; ultimately this is the purpose of this website and its primary purpose is to deal with the first problem, the costs of selling through venues. This page will endeavor to sell manure directly to potential customers, bypassing the exorbitant fees and regulations they impose.
Manure Collection and Sorting
The collection of manure is rather straightforward, nothing complicated, though there are tricks to make it easier and less time-consuming.
We offer manure in three general grades:
Grade I – Thoroughly sorted manure with little to no debris, this process goes through two sorting steps.
Grade II – Sorted once, generally removing most sticks, twigs, small pebbles, dirt and feed.
Grade III – As collected which includes whole and crushed manure and minimal debris. A general sort is done to remove larger sticks, rocks and larger pebbles.
This all revolves around labor-intensive sorting. The more hand sorting that is done, the longer it takes and the more we charge for the product.
Generally the manure is collected in two ways, first is raking it up on their pens and areas where they congregate. This is very easy to do but is more laborious during the sorting phases. The second method is our steady “piggy banking” method; it follows the principle of habitually collecting small amounts daily, typically at feeding time when the sheep are eating. It is far less work sorting if you collect piles of manure that have not been dispersed by traffic or wind. While this may seem disconcerting to someone unfamiliar with sheep manure (waste), this is not something that is especially distasteful. Sheep manure possesses almost no odor, it is typically rather dry as manure dries quickly, and it is composed almost entirely of alfalfa, carrots and other vegetable material. Sheep are very clean animal generally and clean water and soap does wonders for what little smell or unpleasant residue you will encounter. Most of the time the manure has dried in the open air after 30 minutes to an hour, the manure requires extensive drying before it can be sold or shipped, but that too is a simple process if done in small batches daily. For example, if you collect 5 lbs. daily, a modest amount that takes perhaps 5-10 minutes, you can build 150 lbs over a month. A reasonable amount that is easily manageable with less than an hour a day.
Buy some today and get your garden growing!
3 pounds Organic Sheep Manure
FREE SHIPPING within the US
5 pounds Organic Sheep Manure
FREE SHIPPING within the US