Facts About Sheep for Kids
Sheep are loveable animals that have coexisted with humans for ages. The world’s population of sheep has surpassed over one billion. So, how much do we know about sheep? Here are some fascinating traits that highlight how sheep are so gentle, and that’s why they were considered the first choice for domesticated animals!
They can easily make out the different facial expressions and always warm up to a smile rather than a pout! However, they can also feel fear, hate, fury, misery, restlessness, disgust, and joy. Sheep are intelligent, and there’s more to them than just grazing on pasture! Here are some interesting facts about these endearing animals.
12 Surprising Facts About Sheep
#1 Sheep Are Bright & Multifaceted
Ewes for female species and rams for male kinds, sheep come together in flocks. Sheep have exceptional memory and recognizing talents. They form bonds, defend one another in combat, and are devastated when their friends are butchered.
As per a study, sheep can easily navigate through a challenging problem and get encouraged by seeing their friends or family at the finish point, which helps them get out of the problem. While in another study, it was detected that sheep could recall up to 50 different faces for nearly two years.
#2 There Are Nearly 1000 Sheep Breeds All Around The World
Some sheep breeds, such as the Navajo-Churro and Hebridean, hold the polycerate gene, which allows them to grow 2, 4, or even six horns! Distinct from other sheep breeds, the Najdi sheep have long, silky hair, while both male and female Racka sheep have long coiled-shaped horns, making them one of a kind.
#3 Sheep’s Upper Front Jaw Is Toothless
The lower teeth press up on the front palate that breaks down food. Sheep’s upper lip has a slit that divides it in half. Philtrum is the name for cleft. Sheep are often known as browsers and are picky grazers who prefer to eat only the best plants. They can choose their favorite leaves and other flora thanks to the philtrum.
#4 Sheep Have The Knack To Self Medicate
They prevent and treat sickness with plants and other items with no dietary benefit and educate their children to do the same.
#5 Sheep Have A Superb Sense Of Smell
They even have smell glands on their feet and in front of their eyes! In addition, their oblong pupils give them a field of vision of 270-320 degrees, which means they can see virtually everything around them without having to move their heads, except for what’s directly behind them. This is particularly beneficial for sheep, prey animals, and must always be on the lookout for hunters.
#6 Sheep Are Herbivores
Sheep spew their food and chew their cud, allowing multiple chambers in their stomach to digest the grasses and other plant matter they consume fully.
The animals prefer to graze on short, fine grass or lentil crops. However, they will also eat thick, high, or brush piles. Sheep graze plants closer to the root than cattle, so they must be monitored to ensure that a particular range is not overgrazed.
#7 Sheep Are Timid
Typically shy, sheep achieve sexual maturity around the age of 1 year, and most of them breed around the age of 1½ years. Occasionally you may find twins, but most newborns are individual babies. At around five months of age, the lambs quit nursing and grazing.
#8 Sheep Are Usually Bred For Wool
Confirmation, sheer volume, and quality of fleece, milk produce, size, color, and other features separate domestic sheep from their prehistoric ancestors and among themselves. Some sheep breeds produce wool, while a few products produce only hair. Wild sheep grow a blend of wool and hair.
#9 Sheep Satisfy Human Requirements
Hundreds of sheep breeds have been bred to fit the earth’s climate affected by latitudes and altitudes and human clothing and food necessities.
Fine-wool sheep are typically bred solely for wool production, whereas species with medium or long wool, or only hair, are mainly raised for meat production. However, several crossbreeds have been raised to produce high-quality wool and meat.
#10 Sheep Are Related To Goats, Antelopes, Muskoxen & Cattle
While the Bighorn Sheep in the male species is about 5-6 feet, long & females are 150cm from head to tail. While the females weigh 53-91kg, males stand at 119-127kg. The Siberian Bighorn Sheep from Eastern Russia is 4.6-5.3 feet long, weighing 60-120kg.
Wild sheep can be found worldwide, mostly in hilly places, including Central Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Asia America.
The Rocky Mountain region in North America houses the bighorn sheep, while Death Valley in California, Texas, Nevada, and northern Mexico, houses the bighorn sheep. They can survive at heights of up to 4,000 feet in the desert.
#12 Cast Sheep
Cast sheep is a breed that finds it challenging to roll back to its normal position if it goes over onto its back. This may lead the sheep to be distressed, resulting in death at times after a short while.
Cast sheep may require assistance for a few minutes after getting back on their feet to ensure steady. Short, burly sheep and pregnant ewes with full fleeces are the most commonly affected.
Being a popular species in livestock, sheep are kind animals with a charming demeanor and infinite quantity of feather-soft wool. Therefore, sheep are an important component of practically every society.
They have a strong sense of kinship within their flock, and often you’d notice sheep hanging around with their parents, siblings, and grandparents as part of a larger flock.
The remaining of the lot will follow the pack leader to a new pasture, making them a popular choice for domesticated cattle. We hope this article not only gives you a glimpse of these adorable animals’ secret lives but also inspires you to share their endearing social traits.