Sheep Facts

Sheep Facts
Sheep is domesticated type of Asiatic mouflon that belongs to the family Bovidae. Domestication took place 10.000 years ago in Central Asia. There are 900 different breeds of sheep today and one billion sheep worldwide. The greatest concentration of sheep can be found in China. Sheep represent important source of meat, milk, fat and fleece. They are mentioned in various stories and legends as a symbol of gentleness (ewes) and power and virility (rams). Sheep are also used in medical research focused on the cardiovascular disorders and pregnancy.
Interesting Sheep Facts:
Sheep can reach 25 to 50 inches in height (at the shoulders) and 99 to 353 pounds of weight.
Sheep is covered with wool that can be fine (soft), of medium quality or coarse. Wool can be short or long, milky white, brown or black-colored.
Most species of sheep have spiral horns. Sheep are born with long tail that is often docked at birth to prevent accumulation of dirt.
Sheep has field vision of around 300 degrees (it can see behind its head), but it has poor depth perception. Sheep compensates its poor eyesight with excellent sense of hearing.
Sheep is a grazer. Its diet is based on different types of grass. Sheep consumes 2 to 4.5 pounds of food per day.
Sheep has good memory and ability to recognize face of 50 different individuals (both of other sheep and humans). Despite the widespread belief that sheep are stupid, they are actually very intelligent animals (slightly less intelligent than pigs), capable of solving various problems.
Sheep knows what to eat when it doesn't feel well. It recognizes and eats plants with known healing potential to cure itself.
Position of the ears and facial expression show emotional state of the sheep.
Sheep is social animal. It likes to be part of the group and to follow the leader toward the new pastures.
Sheep communicate with each other via bleating, grunting and snorting sounds.
Sheep usually breed during the autumn and winter (certain breeds mate all year round). Male, known as ram, can mate with 30 to 35 females during the breeding season (during a period of 60 days).
Pregnancy in ewes (females) lasts 145 to 155 days and ends with 1 to 3 babies (lambs). Babies can stand on their feet from the moment of birth. Ewes form strong bonds with their offspring and bleat to find them in the herd (when they wander off). Lambs are fully weaned at the age of 2 to 3 months.
Sheep were regarded as sacred animals in the ancient Egypt. Mummified sheep can be found in the tombs of some pharaohs.
First ever cloned mammal was sheep Dolly, born in 1996.
Sheep has an average lifespan 6 to 12 years.

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