10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Sheep

Editorís note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on†April 17, 2014.

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 they have a whole host of adorable and endearing qualities.

Unfortunately, most people never get to witness their incredible personalities and amazing natural behaviors because many sheep are either confined to filthy and cramped factory farms. To get a glimpse of what sheep are truly like, take a trip to a farm sanctuary where you’ll 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

sheep

Photo Credit: Phu Nguyen/Unsplash

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 friends — 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

Photo Credit: Peter Lloyd/Unsplash

Sheep destined for human consumption don’t have names, only numbers — but when they arrive at a sanctuary and†receive 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

Photo Credit: Mahir Uysal/Unsplash

Sheep love nothing more than basking in the sun after filling their bellies with fresh grass or hay. With friends or alone,†it’s hard to beat 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†which nutrients they†lack and†seek out plants that make them feel better.

10. Sheep know when you’re up to something

sheep

Photo Credit: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

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!

Photo Credit: Luke Stackpoole/Unsplash

234 comments

Renata B
Renata B8 days ago

Of course! Like cats and dogs and ... pigs, cows, chickens ...

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Georgina Elizab M
Georgina Elizab Mabout a month ago

tyfs

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tammy C
tammy C1 months ago

ty now I know

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Renata Kovacs
Renata Kovacs1 months ago

Beautiful sharing Thank you...

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Kathy G
Kathy G1 months ago

Thank you

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Kathy G
Kathy G1 months ago

Thank you

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Leo C
Leo C1 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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Winn A
Winn Adams1 months ago

Wow

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Julie B
Julie B1 months ago

Wow how amazing I knew some facts now I know some more. Children and even grownups need to be educated of this and all animals. A day at a Sanctuary and teach and feeling the compassion towards our fellow beings :) thankyou

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Irene S
Irene S1 months ago

I know, it depends on the breed, but they can be very stubborn and determined to their personal aims. To break free and get into vegetable beds for example.

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