Sheep, Domestic

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Physical Characteristics

Sheep are even-toed ungulates, numbering a little over one billion; domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep. They are relatively small ruminants (have four parts to their stomachs), with crimped hair called wool and often with horns forming a lateral spiral, but depending on the breed, some may have no horns at all, or horns in both sexes, or in males only. Colors range from pure white to dark chocolate brown and even spotted. Depending on the breed, they have a range of heights and weights, ewes typically weigh between 100 & 220 lbs., and rams between 100 and 350 lbs. They have good hearing and are sensitive to noise when being handled. Even though their peripheral vision is excellent, they have poor depth perception. They also have an excellent sense of smell.

Habitat & Diet

They are domesticated and are herbivorous mammals. Most breeds prefer to graze on grass and other short roughage.

Social Behavior

Sheep follow a diurnal pattern of activity, feeding from dawn to dusk, stopping sporadically to rest and chew their cud. They are flock animals and strongly gregarious. The dominance hierarchy of sheep and their natural inclination to follow a leader to new pastures were the pivotal factors in sheep being one of the first domesticated livestock species.

Sources

Meet our Residents

Fascinating Facts

    • Sheep were one of the first animals to be domesticated by man approximately 10,000 years ago!
    • They are used for wool, meat and milk, and they have no teeth in their upper jaw.
    • They have horizontal pupils, which gives them peripheral visual fields of approximately 270 to 320 degrees!

Status In The Wild

Our sheep are domesticated.

Waystation Residents

Click on the pictures below to meet our resident animals!

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