FUN FACTS ABOUT SHEEP

 

  • In 1996, a sheep named Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from a somatic cell.

  • Sheep’s milk is ideal for making cheese. It contains higher levels of calcium, vitamins A, B and E and other nutritional elements than cow’s milk. Famous types of sheep’s milk cheese include Greek feta, French Roquefort, Spanish manchego and sheep’s milk ricotta and pecorino romano from Italy.

  • Sheep have excellent peripheral vision. Theirlarge, rectangular pupils allow them to see almost 360 degrees. In fact, they can see behind themselves without turning their heads!

  • In the 15th century, Spain’s thriving wool trade financed the expeditions of its conquistadors, including the voyage Christopher Columbus made to the New World. Indeed, Columbus came from a family of wool traders.

  • Spain so valued its Merino sheep (which produced highly prized Merino wool) that until the 18th century, exporting sheep was an offense punishable by death.

  • Sheep have very good memories. They can remember at least 50 individual sheep and humans for years. They do this by using a similar neural process and part of the brain that humans use to remember.

  • President Woodrow Wilson grazed sheep on the White House lawn.

  • The ancient Sumerians (4000 – 2000 BCE), who are thought to have developed the first form of writing (Cuneiform script), immortalised sheep in the form of gods in their religion.

  • Egyptians believed that sheep were sacred. They even had them mummified when they died, just like humans.

  • Wool, fiber made from the fleece of the sheep, is durable, insulating, wrinkle-resisting, fire-resistant and moisture-absorbing. It makes an ideal fabric for sweaters, coats, rugs, blankets and much more.

  • A sheep, depending on its type, can produce anywhere from two to 30 pounds of wool per year. In 2010, the average price paid for a pound of wool was $1.15 in the United States.

  • Wool that comes directly from the sheep is called “raw wool.” Raw wool may go through 70 processing steps to make sure it is the highest quality.

  • Like goats, sheep are also seasonal breeders. The best time to breed is between early fall to late winter. However, there are some breeds that can be bred year-round (Dorset).

  • One pound of wool can make ten miles of yarn.

  • There are 150 yards (450 feet) of wool yarn in a baseball.