9 Fun Facts about Sheep

Looking for fun facts about sheep? I’ve been gathering facts over the last few years as I have been learning about sheep. Here is the best of my current fact collection – just for ewe!

9 Facts about sheep

Why nine? I don’t know. I might keep adding to them. Every day is a school day!

1. Sheep have no upper teeth

This is absolutely true. They only have teeth on their lower jaw. As they get older, they get more teeth. When they hit about five, their teeth start to spread and get damaged – which is when they may get, em, retired from the flock.

A sheep with no teeth is called a Gummer in some places!

2. Sheep have a top speed of 20pmh

Sheep can run at up to 20mph. This is why I have a dog – I cannot match their pace. They do get out of breath though, the wee souls. Becuse of that, we try not to round up or stress them in bad weather or really hot weather. A stressed sheep can get ill quite fast.

3. Sheep hate water

If you park a trailer in a puddle and ask the sheep to leave the trailer, they will only do it if forced. Sheep are poor swimmers (unsurprisingly given their wool-load) and are naturally averse to water.

If you see a sheep in water, there is a strong chance she did not choose to be there, and might need assistance. Find a farmer. Wet sheep are VERY heavy.

4. If given a choice a sheep will usually run up hill

True fact, learnt to my cost. Sheep will always choose to run up hill if given a choice. So if gently requested to go downhill to a gate, 99% of the time they will turn tail and start rock climbing in the other direction.

I prefer to go downhill, which is also why I have a dog.

5. Sheep have almost 360 degree vision

You cannot sneak up on a sheep. It will see you. They have rectangular pupils which give them incredible peripheral vision.

If a sheep doesn’t see you, it will smell you – they can smell you from a long way away. In fact, they can practically smell sheep nuts when I think about them.

One exception to the “You can’t sneak up on a sheep” rule is if they are an expensive sheep. If they are an expensive sheep, they will often lie snoring in the sun in positions which make you think they are very dead. You can run over in a panic and they will refuse to notice you until the last minute. This is a game farmers play. We call it “Dead or Sleeping”. We don’t enjoy it.

Halfway through! There are so many facts about sheep to choose from. If you have a sheepy question, please add it in a comment and I will see if I can answer it.


6. Sheep have a sweet tooth

If you want a sheep to starting eating, maybe if it has been unwell, smearing hay in treacle is often a great way to do it. Like me, they cannot turn down sweets.

7. Sheep are not as stupid as people think

Sheep are have an IQ that is around the same as cattle. They are capable of problem-solving, they just like us to think they are stupid.

They are particularly good at working out how to get in and out of a field without you noticing.

8. Sheep are waterproof

Sheep’s fleece is waterproof, meaning that sheep can be out in all weathers and be absolutely fine. Goats on the other hand are not waterproof and require shelters.

9. Sheep sleep for about 4 hours a day

Sheep alternate between eating and resting but like the Iron Lady, they claim to sleep for only about 4 hours a day.

There you go. 9 Fun facts about sheep. If that’s not enough for you, I have also answered Google’s 17 most asked questions about sheep!

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