Domestic sheep can not be leashed the way lambs can, however a woolly sheep will tend to follow a player. By standing where you want the sheep to go, it will most of the time move that way. On the other hand, a shorn sheep, or a sheep with lamb, will tend to flee from the player. Having more players present may complicate things. Sheep pens are a popular strategy to keep sheep contained. Sheep can eat Carrot Row which results in Eaten Carrot Row (another reason why sheep pens are useful). Sheep will move a maximum distance of 5 tiles, diagonally, or laterally.
Sheep farming starts with a good sheep pen. There are several reasons why sheep should be contained; Sheep will eat Carrot Rows, leave dead lambs everywhere, and block the space they stand on making it difficult to put things down. A pen also makes it easier to locate the sheep when needed. Several pen designs are possible, using fences, oven bases, Stone Blocks, boxes and even Rose Bushes. A starting pen should be at least around 4 x 4 to allow enough room for lambs to move and create dung. It is best to leave room to expand, as a good-sized pen is more like 8 x 8.
Placing the pen close to the bakery allows convenient transport of mutton directly to where it will be used. Having the pen on the edge of town also accounts for dumping sheep bones out of the way. Placing carrot plots directly next to the sheep pen is not recommended, in case the sheep escape and destroy the crop.
By the time a sheep pen is built, you should have already established gooseberry and carrot farms. (Although it is possible to use wild berries and carrots, sheep will not be particularly useful until a steady supply is cultivated). Create a Bowl of Gooseberries and Carrot by adding a carrot to a full bowl of gooseberries. It is helpful to have this ready before you get the lamb, or you or the lamb could starve while waiting.
While the sheep pen and feed are being prepared, you will need to craft a rope, and a bow and arrow. Scout around until you find some mouflon in the badlands, preferably close to camp. When everything else is ready, take the rope, and bow and arrow to where the mouflon are (using a backpack makes this part easier, or you can team up, or make more than one trip). Wait until the mouflon is in its family form, and shoot it with the bow and arrow.
Make sure your hunger bar has enough to get home (if you didn't bring food, you can run back to get some now, as the lamb will remain indefinitely on the dead mouflon). Use the rope on the Shot Mouflon with Lamb and lead the lamb back to camp, being careful to avoid hazards along the way. Drop the lead in the sheep pen, and promptly feed the lamb with the prepared bowl of gooseberries and carrot. Now you can relax a little. The fed mouflon lamb will grow up into a Domestic Mouflon, which produces Domestic Lambs. Simply feed the domestic lamb with another bowl of gooseberries and carrot, and it will grow up into a Domestic Sheep, and produce a Sheep Dung.
Domestic Sheep will continue to create lambs, which can be fed to multiply your number of sheep. Domestic lambs can also be led on a rope.
Domestic lamb on rope and off rope
Sheep Dung is used in compost. It is created when a domestic lamb, or a shorn sheep is fed a Bowl of Gooseberries and Carrot (provided they enough room to move). Additionally, only sheep with wool (and domestic mouflon) create lambs, so it is common to leave one sheep with wool in the pen (unless the domestic mouflon is still present). Tip: If there are no woolly sheep or domestic mouflon, you can feed a shorn sheep to make it grow wool.
Sheep can be sheared using a pair of shears to get fleece which is used to craft Wool Clothes, and Medical supplies. Woolly Dead Sheep can also be sheared. A shorn sheep will not regrow its wool unless you feed it. However, since feeding a lamb will also produce meat, it is usually more cost-effective to only feed lambs and butcher the excess shorn sheep for their meat.
Using a knife on a sheep will result in Dead Sheep. You can use the knife again to skin it, getting Sheep Skin and Skinned Sheep, or, you can shear it for fleece. Note: It is usually advised to shear a sheep for its fleece (which has several uses), rather than have an abundance of sheep skin lying around (which can only be worn as clothes or crafted into a saddle).
Using the knife on a dead shorn or skinned sheep will result in Butchered Sheep. It contains four raw mutton which can be taken from the corpse for use in baking, feeding bears, or domesticating dogs. This leaves sheep bones, which will disappear after 2 hours, or can be moved with a basket.
Over time, the sheep pen will fill up with Raw Mutton, Sheep Bones, Sheep Dung, and Dead Lambs. Cleaning is necessary to allow space for new lambs. Additionally, if fed lambs or shorn sheep do not have room to move, they will not produce dung when they grow up/grow wool.
- Dead lambs can mostly be ignored as they will decay in only 5 minutes. However if there are more than one or two woolly sheep, the rate at which lambs die will exceed the rate that they decay. The best strategy therefore is to keep only one woolly sheep at any given time (unless large quantities of wool are required in a short amount of time). The rest of the shorn sheep can be killed for mutton.
- Raw mutton will need to be regularly taken to the bakery, or stored out of the way until needed. These can be transported and stored in baskets, backpacks, boxes and carts. An advanced sheep pen setup may incorporate boxes into the side of the pen, which allows quick removal and storage of mutton. An over-abundance of raw mutton in a town can be remedied by making Cooked Mutton (Otherwise, mutton is usually reserved for baking into Pies).
- Sheep bones take 2 hours to decay once the mutton is removed, so should be moved out of the pen by using a basket. For multiple bones, the most efficient way is to use a Hand Cart or Horse-Drawn Cart which hold 4 baskets of sheep bones. Take the bones a decent distance from the pen to avoid cluttering your workspace.
- Sheep Dung will slowly damage a shovel. So moving it should be avoided until there is a Wet Compost Pile ready to go. It is possible to drop a shovel with the dung still on it, by swapping it with an item on the ground (using right-click). An over-abundance of dung can be managed by creating more compost piles.
- v.52 - Sheep added. Used for mutton, fleece, Sheep Skin, and eating carrot rows.
- v.79 - Fed lambs now produce dung when growing up.
- Prior to v.146, trash pit sheep pens were widespread as trash pits did not decay. This resulted in constant confusion for new players, since dead lambs can be thrown in trash pits but filling a trash pit resulted in escaped sheep.
- Following v.146, oven base and Stone Block sheep pens became more popular. (Pens made of fences were uncommon since they are expensive, and it was easy to take the Long Straight Shaft from east-west fence posts.)
- As of v.152, Fence Gate was added, and the ability to simply take the long straight shaft was removed. However, as sheep can escape through an open fence, older configurations still tend to be preferred.
- v.207 - Fed Shorn Domestic Sheep now make Sheep Dung. This makes the common wisdom "Don't shear the last sheep" obsolete, and allows greater flexibility in prioritizing fleece production.
- Version ? - Raw Mutton can now be stored in a a basket or backpack, (previously it was optimal to use a hand cart to transport four mutton at a time).