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10 Facts about sheep

Did you know, that sheep are very gentle animals?

  • Sheep are herbivores, which means their diet does not include meat. They typically eat seeds, grass and plants³.
  • Lambs walk just minutes after they are born, though they are still dependent on their mothers for the first four to six months of their lives³.
  • Sheep can recognize up to 50 other sheep faces and remember them for two years². However, sheared sheep don’t recognize each other and may fight for a few days to re-establish hierarchy. Sheep can also recognize human faces.
  • A sheep is much less likely to show obvious signs of pain than a domestic dog. This is believed to be the case because signs of weakness attract predators and sheep are a species that is preyed upon⁵.
  • Like various other species, including humans, sheep make different vocalizations to communicate different emotions. They also display and recognize emotion by facial expressions and prefer a smile to a frown⁴.
  • Most sheep have large, curling horns made out of keratin – the same element that's present in human fingernails³.
  • Sheep are able to experience emotions such as fear, anger, rage, despair, boredom, disgust, and happiness⁴.
  • Sheep are very gentle animals and were one of the first animals to be domesticated¹.
  • They build friendships, stick up for one another in fights, and feel sad when their friends are sent to slaughter⁴.
  • Sheep have excellent peripheral vision. Their large, rectangular pupils allow them to see almost 360 degrees and they can also see behind themselves without turning their heads².

Resources

  1. http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Sheep.htm
  2. http://archive.pov.org/sweetgrass/sheep-facts/
  3. https://www.livescience.com/52755-sheep-facts.html
  4. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170418-sheep-are-not-stupid-and-they-are-not-helpless-either
  5. https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/3816923/stop-look-listen.pdf