Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Facilities & Centers: Sheep Center

Photograph of sheep in a field

About the Sheep Center

The Sheep Center includes barns and corrals for managing the sheep, but most importantly, the paddocks. Cal Poly sheep are rarely, if ever, inside a barn; instead the one hundred ewes graze on 140 acres of irrigated pasture and open rangeland at Cheda Ranch.

By grazing Cal Poly sheep in their natural environment and by constructing grazing plans around the needs of the wildlife and sheep, the sheep program at Cal Poly no longer needs to vaccinate or deworm their ewes. Additionally, by using these grazing methods, Cal Poly sheep require virtually no supplemental feeding.

In fact, Cheda Ranch is a crucial aspect of the Sheep Center’s facilities because the relationship between the land and the animals has not only kept the animals healthy, but also the land.

Cal Poly’s sheep-management techniques increase wildlife while decreasing soil erosion and improving the surrounding water quality. Beside the rangeland available at the Sheep Center, barns and corrals are available for use. An existing milking barn has been renovated into a classroom/shearing/lambing barn with laboratory facilities, a wool press and storage capabilities. Additionally, sheep pens were built into the dairy barn for use, as well as corrals for the sheep if needed.

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