Work experience with sheep is essential. A training or qualification is also recommended. You will need to be physically fit. A driving license is usually required.
· Practical skills
· A willingness to work flexibly
· A love of the outdoors
· A genuine interest in animals.
· Dog handling skills an advantage.
· IT skills
· Twice daily checks of sheep (possibly from a quadbike)
· Distributing feed
· Gathering sheep for instance for marking or dipping
· Using your dog to round up sheep
· Maintaining grassland.
· Maintaining a livestock log
· Managing breeding programme.
· Supervising lambing.
· Updating records of the flock.
Working Hours, Patterns and Environment
Outdoors most of the time in all weathers. You will also have an office for admin work. You may be working on your own or in a team. Shepherds are usually employed by farmers but self-employed contract shepherds are becoming more common.
With experience and qualifications you may become a head shepherd of a large farming unit. Shepherds are usually given a rent free or low rent house on the farm.