Telford Certificate in Sheep Knowledge (Level 3) - Telford Distance

Qualification: Certificate
Level: 3

2019 Semester 8: 05 August to 31 July


One year, part-time

Location: Telford Distance
Credits: 70

This programme is for individuals who have an interest or involvement with sheep farming and who want to improve their knowledge.

Students will learn the process of breeding and mating, strategies for maintaining sheep’s health, production strategies, lambing process, buying and selling sheep and hazards in a wool shed.

This programme is delivered by Telford Distance via SIT2LRN Distance Learning Online.


Breeding and Mating

Sheep reproduction

  • Reproductive organs of sheep
  • Sheep reproduction and related management practices
  • Factors involved in achieving optimum conception rates in sheep.

Sheep genetics and ram selection

  • Principles of genetics as they affect sheep breeding
  • Identification and recording of traits for sheep breeding purposes
  • Ram selection
  • Selection of sheep for culling and wastage.

Sheep mating management practices

  • Influence of mating management practices on pregnancy and parturition in ewes
  • Mating management of rams throughout the year
  • Calculations relating to sheep mating management practices.

Nutrition and Health

Animal anatomy and physiology

  • Structural body parts and internal anatomy of animals
  • Structure and function of animal body systems
  • Ruminant and non-ruminant digestion.

Livestock behaviour and animal welfare

  • Livestock behaviour and animal welfare.

Pasture production

  • Methods to maximize pasture production
  • Techniques used to establish or renovate pasture, and reasons for pasture renewal and renovation.

Pasture Supply and demand, feeds, and grazing systems

  • Pasture and supplement supply and demand, and the use of supplements for a chosen farming operation
  • Components, use, and digestibility of livestock feeds
  • Grazing systems
  • Conservation and use of pasture surpluses.

Health of sheep

  • Ill health in sheep


Wool production

  • Variable nature of wool fibre and wool production
  • Methods of shearing sheep and preparing wool for sale
  • Sale of wool in NZ.

Sheep milk production

  • Structure and function of the mammary gland of a sheep
  • Composition of sheep’s milk and factors which influence the composition
  • Features and operation of the main types of dairy and milking plant
  • Hazards to people of milking a dairy herd
  • Calculations relating to sheep milk production.

Meat Production

  • Aspects of markets for NZ meat which affect meat production
  • Relationships between animal characteristics and growth in meat producing animals
  • Role of feed in meat producing animals
  • Key health and welfare requirements which affect the production in meat producing animals.


Rearing lambs and hoggets

  • Liveweight targets to achieve optimum lifetime performance when rearing young sheep
  • Feeding, health and welfare requirements of young sheep to achieve optimum performance.


  • Stages of lambing
  • Diseases and disorders of lambing and factors which affect achieving optimum number of live births
  • Assisting ewes having difficulty with lambing
  • Post delivery procedures.

Sale and Purchase of Livestock

  • The methods for sale and purchase of livestock
  • Selection and preparation for sale
  • Factors which influence livestock market prices and trends.

Wool Shed Safety

  • Activities and hazards in a wool shed during shearing.

Graduates may gain employment on a sheep farm, or they may use the knowledge they've gained and apply it to farming sheep on their small holding block.

Applicants must:

  • Be 16 years or over
  • Be proficient in English (written and oral).

Note: If English is your second language, you will be required to provide evidence that you are sufficiently competent in English to take part in this programme.