Tag Archives: behavior

Sheep more intelligent than previously thought

Most shepherds already knew this, but there is now scientific proof that sheep aren’t stupid. This New Scientist article details research  at the University of Cambridge.  The researchers discovered the intelligence of sheep by accident — while trying to measure the effects of Huntington’s Disease in sheep afflicted with the genetic disease, they needed a baseline for those unaffected by the disease’s neurological symptoms.  The sheep could discriminate between different colors and shapes of buckets and even “mastered a subtler game in which the food was still in one of the buckets but the clue to its location was the colour of a cone placed nearby, not the colour of the bucket itself.” The article adds: It really is about time we stopped making fun of sheep. They can not only recognise each other’s faces, especially sheep they are socially […]

Read More

Sheep Behavior Fun Facts

One of my favorite things about sheep is watching them interact with each other and their environment. I also wanted to know more about reducing their stress level, because I believe a happy animal is a healthier animal. So I found a fascinating paper by Warren Gill, Professor, Animal Science department of the University of Tennessee. This paper gave me more insight into their behavior than any of the books I have read. Here are some of the most interesting facts I gleaned from the paper: Sheep and goats were probably the second animal to be domesticated by humans, after the dog. It is estimated that they were domesticated 15,000 years ago. Sheep graze an average of 5-10 hours per day, depending on weather and quality of the forage. The devote more time to eating than to any other behavioral […]

Read More