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Sheep or domestic sheep are a domesticated, ruminant mammal typically kept as livestock. Although the term sheep can apply to other species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to domesticated sheep. Like all ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates.

Sheep are basically timid animals who tend to graze in flocks and are almost totally lacking in protection from predators. They mature at about one year of age, and many breed when they reach the age of about one and a half years. Most births are single, although sheep do have twins on occasion. The lambs stop suckling and begin to graze at about four or five months of age.

Domestic sheep differ from their wild progenitors and among themselves in conformation, quantity, and quality of fleece, colour, size, milk production, and other characteristics. Most breeds of domesticated sheep produce wool, while a few produce only hair, and wild sheep grow a combination of wool and hair.

Sheep farming is primarily based on raising lambs for meat or raising sheep for wool or milk. You can find more information on sheep farming and its effects on the environment here

Sheep farming and products

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Authors Irene Delgado
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 12 pages link here
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Created May 2, 2006 by Eric Blazek
Modified October 23, 2023 by Irene Delgado
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