Sheep Amazing facts

40 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Sheep | Amazing Facts 4U  

  1. Sheep were domesticated 10000 years ago in Central Asia.
  2. There are over 1 billion sheep in the world and about 900 different breeds. China has the largest number of sheep in the world.
  3. The oldest organized industry in the world is raising sheep. Amazingly 10 % of the world’s sheep are hair sheep not having wool coats.
  4. Man learned how to spin wool in 3,500 B.C.
  5. Sheep and goats may look similar, but they’re different species. Sheep have 54 chromosomes, while goats have 60 chromosomes. While a sheep emits “Baa” sound, goat, on the other hand emits “Maa”.
  6. There are approximately seven sheep for every human in New Zealand. Amazingly in 1982, when New Zealand had an astounding 22 sheep for every person!
  7. Sheep and shepherds are mentioned 247 times in the Bible.
  8. Sheep are one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Sheep are seen to represent righteousness, sincerity, gentleness, and compassion.
  9. Sheep are popular in nursery rhymes such as Little Bo Peep, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Mary Had a Little Lamb.
  10. Egyptians believed that sheep were sacred. They even had them mummified when they died, just like humans. There are several ancient Egyptian mummified sheep in the British Museum’s collection.
  11. In the 15th century, Spain’s thriving wool trade financed various expeditions  including the voyage of Christopher Columbus. In fact Columbus came from a family of wool traders.
  12. Amazingly Spain so valued its Merino sheep which produced highly prized Merino wool that until the 18th century, exporting sheep was an offense punishable by death.
  13. Adult female sheep are known as ewes while adult male sheep are known as rams. Castrated adult male sheep are known as wethers. Young sheep are called lambs (Less than 14 months).
  14. A group of sheep is known as a herd, flock or mob.
  15. Wild sheep tend to be larger than domesticated species, the largest (Argali) being 1.2m tall. They also have longer horns to defend from predators.
  16. Contrary to popular misconception, sheep are extremely intelligent animals capable of problem solving. They are considered to have a similar IQ level to cattle and are nearly as clever as pigs.
  17. Sheep have very good memories. They can remember at least 50 individual sheep and humans for years.
  18. Sheep have been shown to display emotions, some of which can be studied by observing the position of their ears.
  19. Like various other species including humans, sheep make different vocalisations to communicate different emotions. They also display and recognise emotion by facial expressions.
  20. Sheep have excellent hearing but poor vision. They have large rectangular pupils and have a field of vision of around 300 degrees, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head. Humans only see 170˚ at best.
  21. Sheep are herbivores that eat vegetation such as grass.The digestive system of sheep features four chambers which help them break down food.
  22. Sheep do not possess teeth in their upper front jaw.
  23. Sheep prefer to walk into the wind and uphill, rather than downhill and with the wind.
  24. Sheep have just two digits on their feet.
  25. Sheep cannot right themselves from certain positions especially lying on the back and have to be assisted to get upright. If left unaided , they will eventually die.
  26. An average body temperature of a sheep is high at about 102.5 ˚F which categorizes as fever in humans.
  27. Milk from sheep have higher levels of fat, protein, riboflavin,calcium, zinc, niacin and thiamine than milk from goats and cows.
  28. Amazingly sheep are known to self-medicate when they have some illnesses. They will eat specific plants when ill that can cure them.
  29. Sheep are highly independent from birth. After their birth, healthy lambs can stand immediately, within minutes, and join the herd. They are gregarious liking to be in a group.
  30. The gestation time from conception to birth for a female sheep is five months.
  31. Female sheep are very caring mothers and form deep bonds with their lambs that can recognize them by their call (bleat) when they wander too far away.
  32. Wool, fiber made from the fleece of the sheep, is durable, insulating, wrinkle-resisting, fire-resistant and moisture-absorbing making an ideal fabric for sweaters, coats, rugs, blankets etc.
  33. Australia has over 150 million sheep for shearing and produces 80% of the wool used in clothing.
  34. The fleece of just one sheep can be spun to produce a strand the length of approximately 200 Km.
  35. Amazingly to make 1 tennis racket, small intestines from 11 sheep are needed.
  36. There are 450 feet of wool yarn in a baseball.
  37. One years growth of fleece produces approximately 3.75 Kg of wool. Wool sheep are usually shorn once a year. Wool that comes directly from the sheep is called raw wool which may go through 70 processing steps to make sure it is the highest quality.
  38. Fat extracted from sheep, known as tallow, is used to make soap and candles.
  39. On 5 July 1996 Dolly, a Finnish sheep, was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. She was euthanized in 2003 due to lung disease. Dolly was named after singer Dolly Parton.
  40. The meat of sheep is widely eaten by people across the world. Sheep milk is also drunk and used to make other products such as cheese.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

Share your thoughts on what this post means to you...


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.