Sheep

Sheep

Check out Australia Zoo’s Sheep!

You won’t fall asleep counting sheep in our very own Kids Petting Zoo, right here at Australia Zoo.  You can feed, pat and fall in love with our sweetheart sheep all day long.  They love meeting all of our visitors!

 

All white Sheep from neck up looking at the camera with sun from the back.

 

There are over 1,000 species of sheep and they were among the first animals to ever be domesticated.  Sheep are highly social but usually only with their own gender.  Males, known as rams, herd together in what’s called a “bachelor herd”.  Crikey, that’s a lot of testosterone!  In order to establish dominance, using their horns, males will ram each other at speeds of up to 32 kilometres per hour.

 

Sheep are herbivorous and primarily feed on grasses, seeds and plants.  They are also ruminants, meaning they have multi-chambered stomachs.  To completely digest their food, sheep will regurgitate their food into their mouths, rechew and swallow.  This regurgitated food is called cud.

 

Black and white spotted Sheep reaching over the fence to eat greenery.

 

We bet you didn’t know this – sheep have excellent peripheral vision, equipped for them to see up to 300 degrees at a time.  They can see behind them, without even having to turn their head!  This helps them stay safe from predators.  Crikey that’s cool!

 

All white Sheep from straight on looking to the right.

 

There are multiple wild sheep species found throughout the world, although approximately one billion sheep are considered domesticated.  Domestic sheep populations are very healthy.

  • Class of animal icon
    Class

    Mammalia

  • Genus of animal icon
    Genus

    Ovis

  • Species of animal icon
    Species

    aries

  • height of animal icon
    Height

    90 - 125 centimetres at shoulder

  • weight of animal icon
    Weight

    45 - 160 kilograms

  • Diet

    Herbivore

  • gestation of animal icon
    Gestation

    approx. 147 days