Farmers Information

Basic data concerning sheep


Taxonomy is the classification of organisms into teams based mostly on similarities of origin, structure, etc. Sheep are closely-related to alternative farm livestock, especially goats.


Taxonomy Sheep
Kingdom Animalia Animal
Phylum Chordata Vertebrae (has spinal cord)
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Mammalia Mammal (nurses young)
Order Ungulata Hoofed animal
Sub-order Artiodactyla Even toed
Family Bovidae Hollow horns
Sub-family Caprinae Sheep and goats
Genus Ovis Sheep
Species aries Domestic sheep

Early domestication

Domestication is when an organism is trained or adapted to measure with people. Domestication often changes the looks and behavior of the organism. Whereas dogs were the primary animal to be domesticated, sheep and goats are tied for second and are the primary animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes. They were domesticated over 10,000 years ago.

Life expectancysheep house

Life expectancy is how long an organism is anticipated to measure. Usually, the life expectancy of an animal will increase with size. For example, cows typically outlast sheep. The life expectancy of sheep is like massive breeds of dogs, concerning ten to 12 years. Some breeds are known for being longer-lived, e.g. Merino. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest sheep lived to be 23. She was a Merino.

However, the length of a sheep’s productive lifetime tends to be abundant less. This is as a result of a ewe’s productivity sometimes peaks between three and half dozen years old and begins to say no once the age of seven. Thence, most ewes are off from a flock before they’d reach their natural life expectancy. It’s additionally necessary to urge rid of older ewes in order to make area for younger ones. The younger animals are usually genetically superior to the older ones.

In harsh environments (e.g. where forage is sparse), ewes are usually culled at a younger age because once their teeth start to wear and break down, it becomes more difficult for them to maintain their body condition and consume enough forage to feed their babies. It is possible for a ewe to be productive past 10 years of age, if she is well-fed and managed and stays healthy and sound.

Aging sheep

The approximate age of a sheep can be determined by examining their upper incisor teeth. At birth, lambs have eight baby (or milk) teeth or temporary incisors arranged on their lower jaw. They don’t have any teeth on their top jaw, only a dental pad.

At approximately one year old, the central pair of baby teeth is replaced by a pair of permanent incisors. At age 2, the second try is replaced by permanent incisors. At three and four years, the third and fourth pairs of baby teeth are replaced.

At approximately four years of age, a sheep features a full mouth of teeth. As it ages past four, the incisor teeth will start to unfold, wear, and eventually break. When a ewe has lost some of her teeth, she’s referred to as a “broken mouth” ewe. When she’s lost all her teeth, she’s known as a “gummer.”

A sheep with no incisor teeth will still survive as a result of it uses largely its molars for chewing feed. However, it will have a harder time grazing, especially short vegetation.

Forged sheep

A sheep that has rolled over onto its back is named a “forged” sheep. It may not be in a position to get up without assistance. This happens most commonly with short, stocky sheep with full fleeces on flat terrain. Heavily pregnant ewes are most prone. Cast sheep can become distressed and die within a short period of time if they’re not rolled into a traditional position. When back on their feet, they will want supported for some minutes to confirm they’re steady.

Important signs

Important signs are measures of varied physiological statistics. A sheep’s vital signs will facilitate verify if it is sick or in distress.


Sign Range
Body temperature 102-103°F
Heart rate 60-90 beats/minute
Respiration 12-20 breaths/minute