IF YOU ASK Dr. Ronaldo Sumaoang what small ruminant he loves to raise, he will readily tell you it is the sheep. He finds it much easier to raise than goats. They are less prone to pneumonia and colds compared to goats, according to him.
From a few pairs that he started with several years back, he now has more than 200 head in his farm in Tarlac City. He said that if you have a good number of breeders, the flock will multiply very fast.
He formulates his own feed which consists of a big percentage of powdered corn cobs (he got 1.4 million kilos of corn cobs from a corn processing plant last year). The corn cobs provide the fiber and some other nutrients. Added to the corn cobs are readily available sources of protein like soya or fish meal as well as rice bran.
To make the feed more palatable and easier to digest, he ferments the ingredients with the use of enzymes and beneficial microorganisms. He also feeds his flock with grass like the Super Napier. He says, however, that he is limiting the harvest of Super Napier because he wants to make propagation materials (cuttings) first so he can grow more and produce more green forage.
Dr. Sumaoang says there is a big untapped market for mutton. Yearling sheep make very delicious lechon. The meat could also be prepared into “kilawin” and other culinary specialties.
By the way, Dr. Sumaoang is a microbiologist who is into organic fertilizer manufacturing (Durabloom, both the granular and liquid).