A study was undertaken in dry land farming system of Southern Tamil Nadu to analyse the economics of sheep production in dry land farming and its contribution to income inequality, to analyse the resource use efficiency in sheep farming in different categories of farms, to optimize the sheep production in dry land farming system, to analyse the gender involvement in sheep farming activities and to prioritize the constraints in sheep production in the study area. The data were collected from 300 sample farmers scattered over Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai and Pudukkottai Districts. Analytical techniques such as Gini concentration ratio, Cobb- Douglas production function, Stochastic Frontier production function, Quadratic programming, Linear programming techniques and percentage analysis were used in the study. The results of the study indicated that the cost of production of sheep per annum inclusive of imputed value of family labour was Rs.18619.76 per farm in landless farmers category followed by marginal farmers (Rs.18550.11), small farmers (Rs.17311.24) and large farmers (Rs.17116.53) with the overall figure of Rs.17899.40 per farm. The gross income from sheep farming was highest in landless farmers (Rs.31437.84 per farm) followed by large farmers (Rs.29059.80), marginal farmers (Rs.25512.17) and small farmers (Rs.24004.75) with the overall gross return of about Rs.28344.95 per farm. The results of the Gini’s concentration ratio analysis showed that the agricultural source contributed more to inequality of income with the Gini ratio of 0.2472 followed by Non-farm income (0.2019) and dairying (0.1719). Theincome from sheep farming was found to be more stable and it contributed less income inequality with the Gini ratio of 0.096. The production function analysis in sheep farming revealed that the co- efficient of multiple determination (R 2 ) for overall farmer category was 0.884 indicating that 88.4 per cent variations in the mutton production could be attributed to the selected explanatory variables and among the variables, the flock size was the important factor influencing the sheep farming which was statistically significant at one per cent level followed by labour charge and health care charges. The marginal value productivity analysis of overall farmers category showed that the addition of one sheep to the flock would yield an additional return of about Rs.1099.80 per annum and investment of one rupee towards health care charges would yield an additional return of Rs.18.97 per farm per annum. The stochastic frontier production function for overall farmer category showed that the explanatory variables flock size, labour charge, health care charges and farm experiences had influenced the sheep production positively and were statistically significant and the estimated elasticity values for these variables were 0.1428, 0.2109, 0.2266 and 0.2261. The estimated variance ratio (v) for the function showed that farm specific variability contributed to about 52.70 per cent of the differences between observed and the maximum production frontier output. The farm specific technical efficiency was worked out for different categories of farmers and was about 88.28 per cent, 90.78 per cent, 92.86 per cent and 92.95 per cent respectively for landless, marginal, small and large farmers category. The results of Quadratic programming showed that the number of sheep per farm should be 47, 72, 73, 110 and 84 in landless, marginal, small, large and overall farmers respectively. Linear programming results showed that, for optimizing the income, marginal farmer should have 0.55 hectare of paddy, 0.30 hectare of groundnut, 0.02 hectare of cotton and 1.00 number of buffalo. The normative sheep flock size was found to be 45 sheep. If the marginal farmer were to utilize the available resources in the above said manner his net income per annum would be Rs.45405.00. However, small farmers should have 0.53 hectare of paddy, 0.71 hectare of cotton and 60 sheep for optimizing their income. If the small farmer were to utilize the available resources in the above said manner his net income per annum would be Rs.57780.00. In case of large farmer, the production of paddy should be in 0.54 hectare, cotton in 1.25 hectare and maintain 95 sheep for optimizing their income. If the large farmer were to utilize the available resources in the above said manner his net income per annum would be Rs.95095.00. The analysis of gender involvement in sheep farming revealed that the involvement of females were more to the tune of 53.67 per cent, 58.67 per cent, 57.67per cent, 68 per cent, 55.33 per cent in different management practices such as feeding, grazing, housing, hygiene and cleaning and taking into veterinary hospital respectively. The results of the constraint analysis on sheep production and marketing showed that inadequate grazing land availability and absence of organized marketing agency were the major constraints in the study area.