Sheep: Fun Facts
The Bible compares us to sheep, so I thought it would be wise to find out about sheep and our sheep-like characteristics.
Basic Sheep Knowledge:
- Baby sheep are called lambs and are less than a year of age
- A yearling is between 1 to 2 years of age
- Female sheep are called ewes
- Male sheep are called a wether [NAI]
- A group of sheep is called a flock or band (1500 head)
- Birthing is done in single, double and triplets
Interesting Sheep Facts:
- Sheep display many emotions, some of which can be studied by observing the position of their ears. They also display and recognize emotion by facial expression.
- They form close bonds with other sheep and even have best friends. Ewes are very caring mothers and form deep bonds with their lambs and they can recognize their lambs by their call (bleat) when they wander too far away.
- The fat (tallow) from sheep can be used to make soap and candles.
- Sheep self-medicate themselves when they have some illnesses. The will eat specific plants when ill that can cure them. [SE]
- Sheep have good smelling power. They have scent glands in front of their eyes and on their feet. [SE]
- They can learn and recognize human faces, and some will learn to respond to their name if trained from a young age.
- They have an excellent memory. They can remember individual sheep and humans for years.
- Sheep have a field of vision of nearly 360 degrees.
- A sheep was one of the first-ever hot air balloon passengers.
- Their wool can grow forever.
- One pound of wool can make up to ten miles of yarn.
- A sheep can produce between 2 and 30 pounds of wool each year. [SE and AH]
- Wool cannot hold a flame until it reaches over 650 degrees and battery acid cannot burn it.
- Wool breeds of sheep are shown unwashed.
- Meat breeds of sheep are shown washed, and the wool clipped short.
- Meat breeds wool is used for carpets and felt. [ET]
Sheep in Medicine
- A sheep was one of the first-ever successful blood donors.
- Artificial heart valves were engineered using lambs and sheep.
- Sheep were instrumental in the development of womb transplants (2014), which have since been successful in women. [UAE]
People Are Like Sheep
“God first compared [His People] to sheep and later applied that label to all who are called by His name. God’s people are compared to sheep because sheep have no defense system and because sheep are helpless without a shepherd. Sheep are prone to wander away from the flock which leaves them susceptible to predators. The same is true for us, isolated we can become easy prey for the enemy.” [GQ]
“Sheep are notorious for following the leader, regardless of how dangerous or foolish that may be. That sheep-like mentality was in evidence” 1 when Jesus was being betrayed. One moment the people are crying out, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”2 and the next moment they are shouting, “Crucify, crucify Him!”3 at the direction of the chief priests and scribes.4
Sheep are significant in the Bible as sacrificial lambs for our sins in the Old Testament, and character portrayers in the New Testament. We can learn a lot about God and ourselves by learning about the characteristics of sheep and their shepherd.
We are His Sheep
“So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever; to all generation we will tell of Your praise.” ~Psalm 79:13 NASB
“Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” ~Psalm 100:3 NASB
“As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord God. ~Ezekiel 34:31 NASB
Jesus is the Good Shepherd
- “The Lord is my shepherd.” ~Psalm 23:1 NASB
- “But when He [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.” ~Matthew 9:36 WEB
- “Jesus came out, saw a great multitude, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and He began to teach them many things.” ~Mark 6:34 WEB
- “The next day, he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” ~John 1:29 WEB
- “Whenever he [shepherd] brings out his own sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” ~John 10:4 WEB
- “I [Jesus] am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” ~John 10:11 WEB
- “I [Jesus] am the good shepherd. I know My own, and I’m know by My own; even as the Father knows
- Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.” ~John 10:14-15 WEB
- “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” ~John 10:27-28 WEB
- “He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs in His arm, and carry them in His bosom. He will gently lead those who have their young.” ~Isaiah 40:11WEB
Blessing and Prayer
“Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, our Lord Jesus, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” ~Hebrews 13:20-21 WEB
Worthy is the Lamb Worthy is the Lamb – Strength with Dignity
Wander Wonderment Wander Wonderment – Strength with Dignity
1 What is the significance of sheep in the Bible? Updated January 4, 2022. Retrieved from Got Questions [GQ] on February 3, 2022, from https://www.gotquestions.org/sheep-in-the-Bible.html
2 Matthew 21:9 NASB
3 Luke 23:21 NASB
4 Luke 23:10, 18, 23
New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
Sheep information came from a variety of images which I will list here in alphabetical order: Ag Hires [AH]; Farm Planet Sheep Edition by Earth Tours [ET]; Interesting Facts about Sheep from www.sharingourexperiences.com [SE]; National Agriculture Institute [NAI] from March 2013 figures by NASS.usda.gov; Understanding Animal Research [UAE].
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