Most people don’t give sheep a second thought, except when they are counting them in the middle of the night of course. Despite this, sheep provide us with a host of day to day products, comfort and prove a lot more interesting than we give them credit for. On average there are one and a half billion sheep all over the world used for meat, milk and wool, with the highest population of around 140 million sheep residing in China.
Sheep Have Amazing Peripheral Vision
Those big beautiful eyes are not just there to look cute, sheep have huge rectangular pupils which means they can see behind themselves without moving their head at an angle of almost 360 degrees.
A Household Essential
Among the most obvious sheep based products including meat, milk, rugs, coats and blankets, sheep produce the raw materials for tennis rackets, soap, candles, makeup and a myriad of skin care products. A sheep can also produce anything from between two and thirty pounds of wool a year.
A Rare Breed
There are more than 500 breeds of sheep across the world. Although there are many rare and protected breeds of sheep, the rarest lamb born in the UK was the Cameroon Lamb in 2014. This West African breed is one of only 651 in the world and has a distinctive brown body with black head, belly and legs.
A Colourful History
Wool cloth existed in 10,000 BC with the primitive man dressing himself and his family in the skin from the wild sheep he killed for meat. A versatile, durable material was discovered, which kept him warm in winter, cool in the summer and provided protection against the elements all year round.
A Very Important Sheep
According to the Guinness Book Of Records, the most expensive sheep is a Texel ram called Deveronvale Perfection who sold for a record £231,000 in the UK in 2009. These kinds of sheep are found on the island of Texel off the coast of Holland and are the source of a good, lean meat.
Despite being a flock animal and commonly branded as stupid, sheep are far from it and have their own unique personalities. Sheep are fiercely independent, affectionate, feel emotions such as jealousy and loss and even grieve for their lost loved ones. Sheep have the ability to learn their own name and will also come running when you call.
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