Back in April 2012 I wrote my Bucket list on this here blog. 'Feed a Lamb' was on that list.Since this time I have been trying my hardest to make this thing out of all of them come true and thankfully it (kinda) did recently - yay!
Long story short, my Mams friend owns a farm, it was lambing season and so I got to go visit to take photos and stroke them and stuff. Turns out we ended up on the back of the quad bike racing over fields feeding the sheep, getting muddy and then heading back to see the younger lambs in the lambing sheds, I even had some of them suck my finger and have a cuddle. :D It was one of the best days of my life ever.
Like my previous 'In Photos' posts I'm going to mix the photos I took with some super factual fact type of sentences in a semi-educational, fully fun way! :P
Worldwide there are more breeds and specifications of sheep than you could ever imagine, so much so that to list them all would take an age. With global origins in every continent, they all have a purpose from being used for their wool and hides to their meat and even milk in some cases. There are also many breeds that help to manage and maintain the natural lands by what is called 'conversational grazing'.
The sheep in this post, however, are of a few breeds. Out of the 20 million breeding sheep in the UK, this farm is home to 1000 breeding ewes (females) which are mainly Mules and Suffolk crosses. Rams used for mating are Texels, Suffolks or Charollais. No matter what breed they are you can't say that every single little lamb isn't absolutely gorgeous. Of course, as the circle of life indicates and like the vast percentage of the UKs lambs, these are destined for plates and will only be at the farm until the end of May. Unimaginable when one is sucking on your finger and nudging your hand with its head - it makes me glad that I don't eat lamb.
Interesting Facts About Sheep & Lambs- Sheep have great memories, being able to remember around 50 individual other sheep and people over years.
- Similarly, the have been known to have best friends and chosen social groups.
- When isolated or stressed they show signs of depression, like hanging their heads and negative body language.
- Sheep also display other emotions by the position of their ears.
- They are a lot more intelligent than most people think with IQs close to that of Cattle and Pigs.
- Approximately 8% of Rams show preferences to other males.
- Sheep are pregnant for 5 months.
- Lambs and Ewes have a close bond and just like humans recognize their families voices, they recognize each others bleats.
- The rectangular pupil that sheep have means they have a larger peripheral than humans, 100 degrees more in fact at 270 degrees.
- Sacred to the ancient Egyptians, sheep were known to be mummified after death.
- Sheep are present highly in a lot of religion and mythology.
- There are 247 mentions of sheep and/or shepherds in the Bible.
- 10% of the worlds sheep breeds don't actually have woolen coats, instead they have hair.
- When feeling poorly they have been known to hunt out particular plants that they know have medicinal qualities for them.
- This year happens to be the Chinese year of the Sheep!
What experiences of sheep and lambs have you had? And what is your favorite photo from above? I hope to go back next year and get some better ones as I definitely got a little too distracted petting them rather than photographing!