Sheep have universally been branded as stupid, but the truth is they are a whole lot smarter than we give them credit for. Sheep are exceptionally intelligent animals with unique personalities, and a whole host of adorable and endearing qualities.
Unfortunately, most people never get to witness their incredible personalities and amazing natural behaviors because they are either confined to filthy and cramped factory farms, or no one bothers to take the time to get to know them.
To get a glimpse of what sheep are truly like, take a trip to a farm sanctuary where you will have the chance to see them for who they really are.
1. Sheep are very independent
Sheep are flock animals, so people seem to be under the impression that this means they lack the ability to act independently of one another, but that’s a lie. At a sanctuary you’ll see sheep getting up to all sorts of different activities, and it’s usually whatever that individual feels like at the time.
2. Sheep get jealous of each other
Head butting, biting, hoof stomping, you name it, sheep will do all kinds of things to make sure they’re the only one in the picture!
3. Sheep love cuddles
Just like dogs and cats, sheep adore cuddles with their favorite human friend (and each other of course). They also love belly rubs and a good old scratch behind the ears.
4. Sheep come running when you call their name
Sheep destined for human consumption don’t have names, only numbers, but when they arrive at a sanctuary and are given their new name, it doesn’t take them long to recognize that you’re talking to them. One of our rescue sheep, Olive, always comes running when you call out to her.
5. Sheep remember people
If you spend time around a sheep, chances are they will remember you even if you disappear out of their lives for months at a time. Sheep are intuitive animals that don’t forget a face easily.
6. Sheep carry emotional baggage
Sheep that have been mistreated can take years and sometimes even a lifetime to truly heal from their traumatic experiences. They’re not just dumb animals that simply forget about all the horrible things that have happened to them in the past; they carry their experiences with them.
7. Sheep grieve for their loved ones
Research has shown that many animals grieve for their lost loved ones, but did you know that sheep do too? When they lose someone they love, it can completely shake their world and leave them feeling lost and unsettled for months. Sheep have been known to cry out for their lost friends and family in a desperate attempt to understand why they are no longer here.
8. Sheep love to sunbathe
Sheep love nothing more than basking in the sun after filling their bellies with fresh grass or hay. With friends or alone, nothing beats catching some rays.
9. Sheep self medicate
When a sheep is sick, they often know exactly what they need to cure themselves. They are able to detect what nutrients they are deficient in and seek out plants that make them feel better.
10. Sheep know when you’re up to something
If you think you can outsmart a sheep, think again. If you’re up to no good, then they’ll be on to you in no time. Whether you want to trim their hooves or administer medication, they’ll know about it even before you do!
What do you love about sheep? Share with us in the comments below…