The difference between a sheep and a sheep, a lamb and a lamb, sheep records
A sheep is a domesticated animal that is raised for food and wool. A description of the physiological characteristics and breeds of small cattle, as well as its role in human culture and life, are described below.
Sheep breeding is the most profitable livestock industry. In the process of raising sheep, the farmer receives: wool, meat and greasy products, milk, animal skins. Based on the study of the physiological characteristics of small cattle, technologies have been developed for the production of biologically active substances based on livelihoods of livestock production: fat, semen, placenta. These products are used in medicine and cosmetology.
Sheep have a physiological peculiarity, which consists in quick adaptation to conditions of keeping and grazing. Such animals have extraordinary mobility and endurance. They are able to survive in conditions of lowering the temperature to -20 ° C due to the warm coat and body fat. The place of grazing of animals and the composition of the food that they consume are well reflected in the meat and oil products of sheep, because the more vitamins and minerals the sheep eats in food, the better metabolic processes occur in her body.
Did you know? Sheep are herd animals; in the absence of their relatives they experience a strong nervous shock.
Sheep in mythology and religion
The golden-sheep ram from the myths of ancient Greece was sent to the earth by the goddess Hero in order to save the children of King Afamant - Frix and Gela. But in the process of traveling through the sea, Gela was dragged into a whirlpool and died. Phryx escaped on the back of a ram. Upon arrival on the shores of Colchis, he sacrificed the animal to Zeus.
The golden fleece, taken from a ram, became a talisman and a symbol of prosperity of the lands on which the son of Afamant arrived. The myth of the Golden Fleece indicates a connection between Ancient Greece and Colchis (the territory of modern Georgia). In ancient times, the inhabitants of the Caucasus mined gold by immersing the skins of a sheep in water. Small particles of gold were fixed on the fibers of the skin, thereby giving it great value.
In religions around the world, the sheep symbolizes sacrifice and humility. So, in Christianity, the Lamb acts as Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary from God. According to legend, a lamb was sacrificed instead of thousands of people.
In Islam, Kurban Bairam is annually celebrated - a holiday during which every faithful Muslim must slaughter a sheep or a ram in memory of the mercy of Allah. According to legend, the prophet Ibrahim was supposed to sacrifice his son Ismail, but the gracious God took pity on him and sent down an angel with a lamb to the earth. The animal became a salvation for the boy.
In the predictions
In Kyrgyzstan, lamb is the most popular product. Many rituals and beliefs are associated with it.
- It is believed that during a feast, the more a man eats a bone of a ram, the more delightful his future wife will be.
- The scapular bone of a sheep should not remain intact after a feast. The person who ate the meat of this part of the animal must crush the bone. That's because there is a belief - looking through the thin structure of a given object at the moonlight you can see your future.So that the evil sorcerer could not harm the human soul through this attribute, they break it.
- When a child is born in the house, the father should eat meat with a sheep’s neck, and hang the skeleton at the entrance of the house, which will be there until the baby learns to keep its head on its own.
- The radius is the guardian of the family hearth, so a man should eat it and hang it above the front door. This ritual will drive away evil spirits and maintain a prosperous relationship between husband and wife.
Did you know? If several different flocks mix during the watering, then as soon as the shepherd begins to shout «of their» sheep, animals dutifully go to the pasture.
Aries constellation was studied back in antiquity. His image is included in the Algamest list, compiled by the greatest thinker of the time, Ptolemy. The ancient constellation Aries was given increased attention due to the fact that the vernal equinox is located in it. The constellation consists of 3 stars - Hamal, Sheratan and Mesartim.
Few species of animals can coexist in harmony with humans. Domestication of animals took place over many centuries. Sheep were tamed about 10 thousand years ago.A cloven-hoofed animal of the genus of sheep of the mouflon breed is the closest relative to domestic species of small cattle. In the course of many years of work on crossbreeding, more than 150 breeds of sheep were created that have distant similarities with the wild progenitor.
Shepherds and sheep
A feature of sheep is the fact that they are highly dependent on the shepherd. In the winter cold, when the snowstorm sweeps, the sheep will surely wander “who's where.” But, if a shepherd is in the center of the herd, then no animal will leave the pasture. Sheep, on the contrary, will be gathered in a tight pile and thus warm each other. The reason that the animal strayed from the herd or, on the contrary, sided with someone else’s flock is an illness of the eyes or ear canals, because the rams always follow their guide, and not he drives them.
The shepherd is a guide for the herd. Animals are able to remember the image of their shepherd and can recognize it even after a 2-year separation.
In total, there are about 600 different breeds of sheep in the world. They can differ in body structure, life expectancy, ability to adapt to climatic conditions.Small cattle, depending on the purpose of cultivation, are divided into 3 main types:
- Meat appearance It is distinguished by large body dimensions and the ability to quickly gain weight.
- Dairy breeds famous for their high fecundity, its offspring are used to make smushki.
- Woolly look grown to produce a high-quality fleece.
Sheep breeds can be distinguished by areas of industries for which they are used:
- meat and greasy;
- fur coat;
- meat and wool.
The life expectancy of small cattle depends on the breed and breeding conditions. The Urial breed has the shortest life cycle, which dies when it reaches 6 years of age.
The average age of a sheep is 12–14 years, but on farms they are kept up to 8 years of age. It is such a life span that is the most productive. A female of this species reaches puberty at the 7th month of growth and is ready to reproduce offspring. But in order for the animal’s productivity to be maximally preserved, sheep happen from the age of 1.5.
Representatives of the mouflon breed, unlike their relatives, are very large animals that can survive in mountain ranges 5 thousand meters high above sea level. The argali breed lives in the mountains at an altitude of 2.5 km above sea level. The lamb of this species has giant horns, reaching a weight of 35 kg and a beautiful, brown color of wool.
Read more about the lamb in more detail.
Crossing of sheep with goats has been repeatedly tested. But the result of crossing did not always give positive results. Due to the fact that the goat and the sheep have a difference in the number of chromosomes - 60 and 54, respectively, their common offspring, in most cases, is not viable.In 2000, a hybrid from a ram and a goat, which had 57 chromosomes, was born in Botswana.
The cub developed well and at the age of 5 weighed 93 kg. Its distinguishing features were: coarse wool, under which soft sheep’s fluff was hidden. The body of the hybrid looked massive, and the limbs, unlike the short-legged rams, were inherited from the goat. Despite congenital infertility, the hybrid showed an increased libido, which soon became an obstacle to its development, and he was neutered.
In New Zealand, a female was born who had 57 chromosomes. The animal did not have the ability to reproduce offspring. A sheep and goat hybrid in France was able to successfully bear cubs, one of which was born alive and had 54 chromosomes.
Video: Goat and ram hybrid
Once in Norway, in the city of Helgoisund, a ram happened with a local resident. Grazing on a hill, the animal caught its horn on a power cable and, under the pressure of its own weight, rode into a ravine, like a cable car. The picture was as follows - a ram hangs in the middle of the wire between the hill and the pole of the power line and mournfully. The rescue operation lasted an hour, because the frightened ram kicked and did not allow people to tie themselves with a rope.The rescue operation lasted an entire hour, because the frightened ram kicked and did not allow people to tie themselves with a rope.
Sheep in science
The little sheep named Dolly became famous in the scientific world thanks to the cloning experiment. This process was carried out at the Roslyn Institute in Scotland in 1996. The experimenters were scientists Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell.Dolly became a genetic copy of the donor cell, which was removed from the mature somatic cells of the animal that died at the time of the experiment.
The material needed for cloning was pre-stored in liquid nitrogen. An interesting fact is that the cloned sheep lived 6.5 years and managed to give birth to 6 lambs during its existence. In 2003, Dolly fell ill and had to put her to sleep.
In people's lives
In the life of a modern person, sheep are a source of food and stable income from the sale of wool and other sheep products. For example, sheep’s horn is used to make decorative figurines or in the interior of a house, sperm and lard are in demand in cosmetology and pharmaceuticals.
But in the XVII century, sheep caused the death of about 30% of the population of England. A description of the events of that time can be found in the lines of the famous work of Thomas More under the name "Utopia". It tells about the regime of the formation of capitalism, when the peasants were expelled from their lands due to the fact that the sheep of the local bourgeoisie had nowhere to graze.
The influence of sheep on human life can be considered at a psychological level. Everyone knows the method of salvation from insomnia, which consists in counting this animal.The monotony in the calculations "immerses" a person in a mild state of trance and dulls attention, which will help to relax the nervous system and quickly fall asleep.
Linguists note that the word “sheep” in the dialects of the Indo-European group has approximately the same sound. This fact is explained by the fact that the domestication of sheep occurred a very long time ago and people in different habitats borrowed the name of the animal from each other, interpreting it under their own language.
Important! The word "sheep" has the same root as the Old Slavonic name "aries", which translates as - ram.In Latin, this animal is called “ovis”, in the Indian dialect “avika”, in Lithuanian “avis”.
A sheep as a symbol in art
In art, sheep symbolize tenderness and delight. So, in the Renaissance, at the peak of popularity was the image of the harmonious existence of man with the world around him. The artist Francois Boucher in his paintings "Autumn Pastoral" and "Little Cowgirl" portrayed pretty girls next to the miniature sheep.
Painters Franz Marc and Marc Chagall painted sheep in the brightest colors, using expressive forms in the image of animals. Their paintings were created to symbolize the paradise utopia and embody the idea of harmony with nature.
A real record holder for the amount of wool was a ram named Chris, who fought off his herd and disappeared. It was found by animal advocates in Australia near Canberra. The missing lamb roamed for 5 years. During this period, he was so overgrown with hair that he was already on the verge of death.
The cut fleece was 47 cm long and weighed about 40 kg. This fact is an absolute record, because the animal belongs to the breed Merino, which in a year bring only up to 5 kg of rune.
Interesting stories about sheep for children
The literature of the peoples of the world has preserved many stories, tales and legends about sheep. In these stories, animals can be described in different ways, they are endowed with human thinking and voice. Stories for children about sheep are often instructive and tell how to live righteously and care for others.
Important! Lambs in children's stories symbolize stubbornness, sometimes ignorance, which should teach the child good manners, and the sheep, on the contrary, acts as a symbol of tenderness and naivety.
- "Goat and ram";
- "The Wolf and the Sheep";
- "Cat, ram and rooster";
- "Zlatorunny ram";
- "Brave ram."
For reading with children, the works of writers who use the image of the animal in their works are recommended, for example:
- Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin - “Ram-Nepomnyaschi”;
- Alexey Tolstoy - “A cat-gray forehead, a goat and a ram”;
- Yana Sipatkina - “The Tale of the Clever Lamb”;
- Irina Rogalyova - “The Tale of a Lamb named Cloud”.
The above stories and fairy tales can develop a child’s imagination, with the correct explanation - to teach the rules of behavior in society. If you need to explain to children who the sheep is, you can see the cycle of educational cartoons “Sheep and Cow”. There is the possibility of viewing the "cartoons" that are created for entertainment, such as: "Sean Sheep", "Smeshariki", "Dolly and Holly Sheep".
To date, people breed sheep in order to obtain food and wool. Sheep breeding brings good profits and can improve the economic budget of a country. The image of the animal is used in folklore, art, religion and is an integral part of the history of mankind.