Interesting Facts About Sheep

Interesting Facts About Sheep:

There are over 1000 distinct breeds of sheep worldwide with interesting facts and unique characteristics about them ranging from the fact that some breeds of sheep, like the Hebridean and Navajo-Churro, possess the polycerate gene, meaning they have the ability to grow 2, 4 and even 6 horns! while the Najdi sheep has long, silky hair, rather than curly hair like other sheep breeds.

Here is a list of common interesting facts about sheep below:

1. Sheep have great memories

A study revealed that sheep can recognize up to 50 other sheep faces, and remember them for two years. In this study, sheep learned to distinguish between 25 pairs of sheep by associating one sheep from each pair with a food reward. Other studies has also shown they are capable of learning and remembering how to navigate complex mazes.

2. Sheep can self-medicate!

They use plants and other substances that otherwise hold no nutritional value to them to prevent or treat disease, and teach their young to do the same.

3. Sheep are emotionally complex animals

Sheep are capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions, just as humans do. Many studies have highlighted the ability for sheep to feel afraid, angry, bored, sad and happy, their feelings can also be very complex and include interactions between emotions and cognition.

4. Sheep have a groove in their upper lip that divides it in half

This groove is called a philtrum. Sheep are very picky grazers, also referred to as browsers, and prefer to eat only the best vegetation.

5. Sheep are highly social and smart animals

Sheep form strong bonds between one another, such as those between a mother and her lamb, and other friendships. Studies have revealed they are able to recognize and distinguish between different emotional expressions.

This is a very important skill for sheep to have, as learning how other sheep are feeling is the basis for forming social relationships.

6. Sheep do not have teeth in their upper front jaw

Instead, the lower teeth press up against a hard upper palate to breakdown food.

7. Sheep, like goats, have rectangular pupils

Their rectangular pupils allow them to have a 270 to 320 degree field of vision. This means that they can see almost everything around them, except for what’s directly behind them, without having to turn their heads.

8. Sheep have an excellent sense of smell

They even have scent glands in front of their eyes and on their feet!

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If you made it to the end of this article, don’t forget to check out our other post on “ 5 benefits of the LivestockXpress Card” here.