Sheep Behavior

Topics: Domestic sheep, Psychology, Behavior Pages: 2 (373 words) Published: November 3, 2013
Sheep Behavior

Instinctual Behaviors:
- Sheep are very social animals.
- When grazing, sheep need to have sight of other sheep.
- It takes a group of five sheep to show normal feeding behavior.
- Ensuring sheep have visual contact with other sheep prevents excess stress.
- Flocking is instinct, and helps prevent against predators.
- Thousands of years of domestication have made sheep more docile.
- Most ewes reaching maturity at 5-12 months, usually happens around their first fall.
- Non-human mammals reproduction is regulated by an estrus cycle.
- The length of sheeps estrus cycle is 13-19 days, usually 17.
- Pregnancy usually lasts 142-152 days.
- Shearing, vaccinating, working, or changing ewes feeding habits during the first 30 days of pregnancy should be avoided.
- Early in life the lambs cannot digest anything but milk.
- A ewes milk production peaks at 3-4 weeks.
- The most common time of weaning is 60 days, or when they reach of 45 pounds.
- Natural weaning occurs at about 6 months of age.
- Barley, clover, grass, hay, and commercial protein supplements are the most common food for sheep.
- Extra nutrients are required for pregnant ewes and young lambs.
- Sheep normally drink 1-4 gallons a day.
- Sheep have a natural follow the leader trait they learn early in life.
-They rely mainly on their vision, and have an excellent sense hearing and smell.
-The lambs are very playful.
- Rams are normally very aggressive and do not like to be messed with.

Learned behaviors:
- Ewes that have just given birth imprint upon their lambs, allowing them to distinguish their young from other ewes’ young.
- Sheep can identify human faces and actually remember them.
- They can differentiate human emotions in through facial characteristics.

Safe Handling and Restraint Procedures:
- Sheep can see behind themselves without turning their head.
- They cannot see directly in front of their noses.
- Sheep can direct...
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