As a farmer, you’ll know the importance of investing in the highest quality shelter for your livestock. Choosing a sheep house that’s strong and protective can improve the animal’s welfare, meaning that you’re more likely to have a healthy flock that’s profitable for your business.
At Premier Polytunnels, we’ve been supplying sheep housing to farmers for a decade. To help you select the shelter that suits your needs, we share our expertise so you can discover what sheep polytunnels are and how they operate.
What is a sheep shelter?
There are lots of different types of shelter available for sheep, and each one should provide protection for the animals, as well as a space for storing their feed and bedding, along with any other equipment they need. While these shelters are made in a range of styles and materials, the sheep polytunnel is a clever, budget-friendly option that provides the space and security your livestock need.
Why invest in sheep housing?
The most significant function of these shelters is to protect your sheep when they are at their most vulnerable. There are several instances when this is the case:
Lambing is the most important time of a sheep farmer’s year, not to mention the ewe’s, so having quality lambing facilities is at the top of the farmer’s priorities. There are some practical reasons for this. First, pregnant ewes and housed sheep are cheaper to feed and have lower nutritional requirements than flocks kept outside.
Second, while adult sheep can stand the cold British weather, newborn lambs often struggle in the cold and rain. The survival rate for lambs is higher when flocks are housed and sheltered from the elements and predators, so choosing polytunnels for your sheep can be the perfect way to shield them from the elements.
The sheep’s fleece is a protective layer that regulates its temperature in both hot and cold conditions. Therefore, it’s important to get the timing right when shearing and to have a shelter in place to keep them warm in the cooler months and in the shade if you shear them in the hot summer months.
For the first three days after a sheep has been shorn, it is at risk of both hot and cold stress. This can be the case for a couple of weeks after shearing too, so ensuring the flock has access to a sheep house is especially important at this time.
Adverse weather conditions
From soaring temperatures to bitter cold snaps, the extreme weather can impact on your livestock just as much as us humans. Sheep prefer cold housing with good natural ventilation, which is essential to avoid respiratory problems, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, in the animals.
During this type of extreme weather, as your livestock is at risk of these health-related conditions, the sheep need access to shelter during this period. There must be enough room in the sheep shelter to house all of your flock during these adverse conditions, so planning ahead and choosing a space that’s large enough is the best way to ensure their safety.
How to choose the best sheep house for your needs
At Premier Polytunnels, we’ve made it easy for you to choose the shelter for your farm. Having launched our Premier Sheep House in 2010, we have built on this over the decade that’s passed, growing the range to incorporate everything from the 16ft wide sheep house right up to the 30ft wide shelter.
Designed and developed by our senior polytunnel specialist – an engineer trained by Rolls Royce and responsible for many of the polytunnel innovations since 1991 – our sheep houses have primarily been designed to function as a sheep shelter for small flocks. However, a sheep polytunnel has many other uses throughout the year, including as a barn, as well as a food, hay, and equipment store.
Sheep housing: The technical details
For detailed information about the space allowances required for sheep housing according to age, size, and class of livestock, take a look at DEFRA's Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (Sheep). You’ll find some essential information included in the table on page 21.
Our sheep housing uses a heavy duty, 800-gauge/200-micron polythene cover, which is white on the inside to give a cool, light-reflecting interior, and black on the outside to make it aesthetically pleasing in a rural environment. This polythene can be expected to last for at least 10 years.
You’ll also find metre-high ventilation/windbreak netting fitted around both sides and ends of the sheep shelter. The open ends are supported with a timber door frame measuring from 10ft wide up to 16ft wide x approx 7ft high, allowing access for machinery. Openings can vary, so it’s worth checking the details for the shelter you are thinking of purchasing.
A sheep polytunnel is supplied as a complete unit ready for assembly onto a soil base and includes all the following as standard:
- An all-steel framework made using 50mm or 60mm diameter hoops, including foundation tubes, hoops, corner stabilisers, roof stabilisers, and triple ridge
- 10ft-wide to 16ft-wide timber door/end frame at each end
- Heavy duty 800 gauge/200-micron black and white polythene cover
- Ventilation/windbreak netting around both sides and ends
- Anti hot spot tape
- Anchor plates (excluding 27ft wide and 30ft wide)
- Timber base rails
- Timber side rails
Begin your search by browsing our collection of sheep polytunnels for sale and when you’re ready, click on the size that suits you.
Get in touch
We use our expertise to advise on the most suitable shelter for your farm. So, should you have any questions about any of our sheep polytunnels, or if you would like some advice from our expert team, call us on 01282 811250, request a call back, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.
Take a look at the sheep housing range today to find a simple, low-cost way to protect your livestock.