Observations with my Pet Sheep

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 30th Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/20apqg7g/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Farm Animals

I did not know much about sheep until we moved to the farm and got some to keep our pasture controlled so it was not a fire hazard. Here are a few of the things I have learned about sheep. They will be of interest to anyone considering getting sheep as pets or livestock.

Some Sheep do not have Wool

Our first sheep were your typical wool sheep. Within a few months of having them we heard about other types of sheep, ones that are not so much work, these are called hair sheep.

Hair sheep do not need shearing. You might think this is a disadvantage but in some areas it can cost almost as much to pay a guy to shear the sheep than the wool was worth by the time we transported it to the wool buyers. There are, in fact, many advantages of owning hair sheep.

Hair sheep do not need their tails docked, this is a big plus for people who worry about causing pain to a young lamb.

Sheep can Bond with People

One year we bought a bottle baby ram lamb, he soon became attached to me and when we were out in the pasture he would come running. He could recognize each of us. But it is not just because he was a bottle lamb, all of our sheep know who we are and they know strangers. They can tell the difference, we are not just all people to them. They are less trusting of strangers than they are of us.

Differences between the lives of Sheep and other Livestock

While cattle, chickens, and pigs, are often raised in warehouse type situations (sometimes never even seeing daylight) sheep are nearly always raised on green pastures. Chickens seem to have it particularly bad - see here.

On the other hand I do not know of any other animal that is raised for the pelt of its unborn babies. Astrakhan fur comes from fetal lambs – their mothers killed so the lamb can be harvested before it is born. This is done specifically to Karakul sheep.

Sheep Love Getting Treats

Our sheep were mainly for pasture control, we feed them hay and oats in the winter. Interestingly enough they are just like dogs if you offer them treats, they will beg! Sheep cannot stand up on their hind legs to beg but they will baa and cluster around you if they know you have treats. We have found our sheep love crab apples and regular apples, they like carrots, and squash.

Most of our sheep enjoy pumpkins and apparently one of the benefits of pumpkin is that it is suppose to kill some internal worms.

Sheep are Curious about other Animals

A couple years we had chickens, the chicken coop and pen was in the sheep’s pasture. The first time the sheep saw the chickens they were not to sure what they were but they often stood around watching them after that. The lambs were particularly entertained by the chickens. After we started letting the chickens out of their pen to free range they often hung around together.

Sheep are curious about cats too. In the spring the new lambs are thrilled to see the cats and often try to chase them.

On the other hand sheep do not trust dogs, their herding instinct - and running away - is their only defense. We keep a llama and donkey to guard the sheep from coyotes.

Other Links with Information on Sheep

Sheep Trivia

Experience of owning a Llama


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Tags

About, Behavior, Facts, Hair, Information, Lamb, Lambs, Pet, Sheep, Tips, Wool

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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Comments

author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Baaaaaaa! :-}

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author avatar Retired
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Baaaaa baaaaa! :)

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Has anyone got any wool?....

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author avatar johnnydod
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

lol very sheepish... nice info on sheep Mark, and by the way love the pic

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author avatar Delicia Powers
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

great information about their care and 'wear"...:0)

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author avatar Christine Crowley
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Neat article. I enjoyed reading this.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Interesting information for city folks like me - siva

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

a most enjoyable read Mark...thank you

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author avatar Buzz
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

LOL. Some remarks funny. Thanks , Mark.

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author avatar Buzz
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

As the chief nut will say, too... Baaaahh, humbug!:-)

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Spare any lanolin?

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Remember George Sheering?

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Mary had a little lamb - who, with some luck, may grow up into a sheep...

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Dayenu! (Enough, already ;-} )

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author avatar Teila
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

I had no idea, thanks for the information.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
3rd Oct 2012 (#)

Sounds like pet shop boys!!
Oh sheep!
sources of wool and pleasure and meat.
Nice to read to-
Filling soul and tummy.

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author avatar LOVERME
8th Oct 2012 (#)

very nice
but I am a dog lover
they call me....
well by any dogs name
i love

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author avatar Souvik
11th Oct 2012 (#)

Dear Mark,
Excellent article written.
Souvik Chatterji

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author avatar Judy Ellen
22nd Oct 2012 (#)

I love this so much!! Now I feel really bad that we have to give up our country home!! Oh well maybe when I get to heaven I can have a pet sheep!! But then again living in the country is what I call heaven!! Thanks for sharing!!

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