Interesting facts about sheep


Posted on Sep 28, 2021      31


Sheep are of great importance to agriculture in many countries. This is especially noticeable in Central Asia and in various Eastern countries, where people do not eat pork for several reasons. Relatively unpretentious and docile, sheep have become indispensable for them. However, besides meat, these animals give other products - wool, for example, or milk. It is, of course, quite specific, but very useful, and many people like it.

Facts about sheep

  • Breeders have bred a huge number of species of these animals. There are now about 600 of them in the world.
  • Sheep wool is used by humanity more often than any other animal wool.
  • The most sheep in the world live in China, with over 140 million of them. Next come Australia and India, where the number is estimated at 100 and 60 million, respectively.
  • Scientists have found that sheep have been domesticated by man about 8000 years ago. It happened in the territories of what is now Turkey and Syria.
  • Sheep have more chromosomes in their genome than the human genome, 54 versus 46.

  • The brain volume of domestic sheep is noticeably smaller than that of their wild relatives.
  • Sheep usually weigh between 70 and 140 kilograms, but the official record is 247.2 kilograms.
  • Adult sheep have 32 teeth each, regardless of breed.
  • These animals cannot live alone. Without their flock, they get anxious depression, and this feeling only intensifies over time, driving the sheep crazy in the literal sense of the word.
  • Despite all the attempts of scientists to create a synthetic analogue of sheep’s wool, which would not be inferior to it in strength, durability and ability to keep heat, they have so far failed.
  • Sheep pupils are remarkable for their rectangular shape and their eyes resemble those of goats.
  • Sheep are more likely than most other mammals to have twins.
  • Newborn lambs can recognize their mother by their voice from the very first minutes of life.
  • Nature has endowed sheep with extremely acute hearing, so they are afraid of harsh loud sounds.
  • These animals have an excellent memory. This has been confirmed by repeated experiments.
  • Sheep recognize their shepherd. If three flocks are mixed and the shepherd of one of them moves aside, calling his charges after him, only his sheep will come out of the entire herd.
  • Some sheep breeds have horns for both females and males, while some others have horns only on males.

  • The common expression “staring like a ram at a new gate” comes from ancient Rome. Roman legionaries, besieging cities, knocked out their gates with a ram, the striking part of which was usually forged as a ram’s head with horns.
  • Sheep and goats can interbreed and produce offspring.
  • It was a sheep that became the world’s first cloned mammal, back in 1996. It lived 6.5 years and gave birth to six lambs.
  • The wild relatives of sheep, the mountain sheep, are one of the few mammals on Earth that live at altitudes of up to 4000-5000 meters above sea level.
  • In astrology, Aries, that is ram, is the first sign of the classical Greek zodiac. It correlates with the planet Mars.
  • Long-eared sheep of the Dolan breed, of which there are only a few thousand in the world, cost up to 2 million dollars per lamb.
  • The average length of a sheep’s species depends on the species and breed. Wild snow rams can live the longest, up to 22-25 years.
  • Up to 10 kilograms of wool are sheared off by an adult sheep at a time.
  • In the open countryside, a flock of sheep usually feels uncomfortable, but having a fence around them calms them down and brings them to a peaceful state of mind.
  • In Madagascar, sheep are not eaten, because the souls of dead people move into these animals.
  • In the religious practices of the ancient Greeks and Romans, sheep were regularly used as sacrificial animals.
  • Due to the special structure of their eyes, sheep can have an angle of vision of over 300 degrees.

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