Sheep Facts


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Below is a random selection of interesting or unusual facts about sheep

bullet There are approximately 1 billion sheep worldwide and about 900 different breeds.
bullet Sheep have best friends.
bullet There where thirty-one different ideograms for sheep in Uric Period of Mesopotamia, approximately six thousand years ago.
bullet Female sheep are called ewes, male sheep are called rams, and baby sheep are called lambs.
bullet The thick woolly coat of a sheep protects him or her from both the heat and cold.
bullet Sheep and shepherds are mentioned 247 times in the Bible.
bullet Sheep have appeared on banknotes. The example below is a 1 Yuan note printed by Thomas de la Rue, London; for the Chinese Nationalist bank, the Farmers Bank of China. Probably printed in 1936-39.

For more detail click the image above.

bullet Australia currently has over 145 million sheep for shearing and produces 80% of the wool used in clothing. The industry is worth $2.8 billion per year to Australia's economy.
bullet The gestation time ( from conception to birth) for a Ewe is five months.
bullet The Asiatic Mouflon is thought to be the sole ancestor of modern sheep. There are today still wild  Moulflon: the Asiatic Moulflon is today found in Southern Iran and the mountainous regions of Asia Minor and the European Moufloon now only found in the wild on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. 
bullet Sheep have an excellent good long term memory, they can remember as many as fifty faces for up to two years and most particularly they have a keen recall of unpleasant experiences.
Sheep may be capable of using the same system (as humans) to remember and respond emotionally to individuals in their absence
Dr Keith Kendrick, neuroscientist, Babraham Research Institute, Cambridge.
bullet The fleece of just one sheep can be spun to produce a strand the length of approximately 200KM.
bullet The ancient Egyptians believed that sheep were sacred. They even had them mummified when they died.

bullet One years growth of fleece produces approximately 8 pounds of wool.
bullet Sheep cannot right themselves from certain positions, therefore if you see a sheep on his back please give him or her some assistance as sheep cannot get themselves upright from this position and if left unaided they will eventually die, within an hour.
bullet Sheep have excellent hearing but poor vision. They have a 270˚ radius of view, almost 3/4 of a circle. Humans only see 170˚ at best.
bullet Sheep have four stomachs or to be precise four stomach chambers. Sheep are ruminants. This means they digest their food in two steps; first they eat their raw plant food and then regurgitate the semi-digested form called cud, which they than chew and re-swallow. They have four stomach chambers to help with their complicated digestion.
bullet A lamb identifies her mother by her bleat.
bullet Ten percent of the world's sheep are hair sheep, they do not have wool coats.
bullet Sheep are common symbols in mythology and religion, please refer to: Sheep in Religion and Mythology.
bullet The Ram Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac.
bullet Sheep are popular in nursery rhymes such as Little Bo Peep, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Mary Had a Little Lamb.
bullet Sheep are often used in metaphor such as a 'wolf in sheep's clothing.' Christ is represented by a lamb, a metaphor for gentleness.
bullet Rams are used to symbolise virility and power.
bullet During Woodrow Wilson residency, the First Lady had sheep graze on the White House lawn to keep it neat and well trimmed.
bullet In the UK four million sheep die each year of cold, hunger, sickness, pregnancy complications or injury and one million lambs die of exposure within a few days of birth. About 27 per cent of UK wool comes from slaughtered sheep, usually lambs. Nineteen million sheep and Lambs are slaughtered in the UK every year often whilst still conscious. Animal Rights: Sheep

Useful Links:

End Factory Farming sheep

Save the Sheep! > Home
bullet Lambs and sheep are the subjects of poetry such as the one below by William Blake

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee.
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

The Lamb - William Blake 


Important please note:

I am not an animal expert of any kind just your average person who loves animals, all animals, and feels deeply about the plight of many of our fellow creatures. Neither am I a writer, or any other expert. Therefore please keep in mind that the information included in this website has been researched to the best of my ability and any misinformation is quite by accident but of course possible.

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The banner is a cropped portion of a painting by Richard Watson (1840-1921) Title unknown