Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sheep Trivia and Facts

Just wanted to share some neat information on sheep, sheep trivia, as well as a few odd facts about sheep.

Not all breeds of sheep have wool, many have hair which they shed just like a dog.  They are called "Hair Sheep" and there are many breeds.  When crossed with wool sheep, the sheep often  have a mix of both (the part Jacob sheep pictured is also part hair sheep, you can see she is shedding).

Sheep do not have top teeth at the front of their mouth.

Some sheep have no horns, others have many, the sheep pictured below is a part Jacob sheep ewe, she actually has 5 horns although one is poorly developed.  Many sheep of this breed have four horns.
Sheep normally have long tails, these are often docked to prevent feces from building up on the tail. However there are also breeds of sheep who have fat tails, thicker than a persons arm.

Tennis rackets are often strung with “sheep gut” it takes the small intestines of eleven sheep to produce one racket.

Lanolin is an oil that protects the sheep's wool and keeps it water proof. It is also often used in products for human hair. Hair sheep do not have this lanolin.

Gestation (length of pregnancy) in sheep is 5 months. Most sheep will have one lamb their first year, and 1-3 lambs every year there after.  The process of giving birth is called "lambing".

Sheep are herd animals, they very much need to be kept with other sheep.

Although naturally nervous, sheep can be halter trained.

Sheep are natural grazers, but enjoy treats such as cut up apples, carrots, and beans.

Sheep cannot have copper in their diet, too much is toxic to them.

Lambs often jump will all four feet in the air at once, this is a playful jump known as “pronging”.

photo by scott liddell


  1. That is interesting about "pronging"--we have always called it "stotting". I just love seeing lambs do that. I have a 3-year-old (former) bottle baby who still stotts when he sees me! :-)

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