When I was in College learning about horses, we had some speakers come to talk about how they got their start in the horse industry. A couple of them mentioned sheep and how they made a lot of money with sheep and then did what they really wanted to do in terms of horses.
When my husband and I moved out to the farm we were told the previous owners of the property (10 acres) had kept 80 sheep. That number seemed a bit high for the space and indeed we later learned the county rules were 3 sheep per acre. We knew we needed some sheep at any rate as the pasture was over grown. We got four sheep, then added six more, and a ram.
When it came time to shear the sheep and sell their wool we looked forward to our new wealth, but soon learned a hard truth. Apparently sheep wool was not nearly as valuable now as it was twenty years back when those people I mentioned had made their "fortune".
Selling their lambs was another way to make money from sheep, but not coming from a "farming" background for the first few years we tried only to sell them privately to people who were looking for breeding stock - and I actually told people "They were already spoken for" when they called to inquire about lambs for butchering....
As time went by I did relax my rules and we sold lambs for higher prices, but still it was not anywhere near the point where we could quit our jobs and just live off the farm.
We thought about having a petting farm, but there were legal issues around insurance, you needed a public bathroom and area for kids to wash their hands. Also we had concerns about kids chasing the animals and causing them stress, so we abandoned that idea.
We tried adding pheasants and other things to our little hobby farm but indeed none would make us wealthy and were actually just "hobbies".
In the winter, when it is too cold to go outside, I started a blog, I had heard that some bloggers made hundreds of dollars a month from their blog. I don't think I have even made more than a dollar in week, but it is fun, I guess "sheep blogs" are just not that popular!
I found a few websites where a person can make a buck or two in their spare time. I want to share them with you in case you also want to make a few dollars more in your spare time.
Triond - You write original articles and poems and they publish them, if you have Google Adsense you can get paid a bit more. At one time they were paying quite well and I often made more than $100.00 per month, but times have changed and I now make considerably less. Factual articles pay better than poetry.
WebAnswers - You answer and ask questions posted by other users or "bots". You are paid when somebody else views your answer. This site allows you to link to Google Adsense after you have answered 50 questions - you are only paid on Open (green) questions and Red ones (those where you were awarded Best Answer). Depending on how active you are and how good your answers are - you can make $100.00 or more per month, but your first months might not be that high.
Knoji - This site is tricky to get started on but they pay well on certain things - such as writing company reviews and reports. You must write original, factual, articles.
If you wish to join any site you can click the name of the site and can join via my referral, or you can go to the site and join on your own. None have made me enough to live off of but they serve as a good way to make additional income when sitting around at home on the computer anyhow!
Other "Add-On" business ideas for farmers include having a farm Bed and Breakfast, corn maze, or going to farmers markets with things made in the winter months.