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There are many breeds of domestic sheep, as well as several feral and wild ones.

Sheep have been kept to make wool to produce warm clothing, and for their milk production, which is turned also into cheese and butter. Female sheep are called ewes. Baby sheep are called lambs. Male sheep are called rams. People who look after sheep are called shepherds. Most shepherds also have a dog, which helps to look after the sheep. The smallest sheep weigh about 50 pounds. The largest sheep can weigh up to 300 pounds.

Breeding decisions are increasingly taken out of the hands of farmers and herders, which is affecting the valuable pool of genetic diversity, and could cause certain breeds to become extinct.

Governments must ensure nomadic people, pastoralists, and small-scale livestock keepers access to grazing and water, along with services and education, as they play an important role in genetic diversity. Governments must also ensure patents are NOT granted that infringe on the knowledge and way of life of the people of the land. Governments must prohibit patents on animals and genes, so the valuable pool of gene diversity may continue to prosper.


Breed Origin
Acipayam Sheep
Adal Sheep
Afghan Arabi Sheep
Africana Sheep
Persian Blackhead Sheep
Alai Sheep
Alcarreña Sheep
Algarve Churro Sheep
Algerian Arab Sheep
Altai Sheep
Altay Sheep
American Blackbelly Sheep
Apennine Sheep
Arabi Sheep
Arapawa Island Sheep
Argentine Merino Sheep
Arles Merino Sheep
Armenian Semicoarsewool Sheep
Askanian Sheep
Awassi Sheep
Balkhi Sheep
Baluchi Sheep
Balwen Welsh Mountain Sheep
Barbado Sheep
Barbados Blackbelly Sheep
Basco-Béarnais Sheep
Bavarian Forest Sheep
Bentheimer Landschaf Sheep
Bergamasca Sheep
Beulah Speckled-Face Sheep
Bibrik Sheep
Biellese Sheep
Black Welsh Mountain Sheep
Bleu du Maine Sheep
Bluefaced Leicester Sheep
Bond Sheep
Booroola Merino Sheep
Border Leicester Sheep
Boreray Sheep
Bovska Sheep
Braunes Bergschaf Sheep
Brazilian Somali Sheep
Brecknock Hill Cheviot Sheep
Brillenschaf Sheep
British Milk Sheep
Bündner Oberland Sheep
California Red Sheep
California Variegated Mutant Sheep
Campanian Barbary Sheep
Castlemilk Moorit Sheep
Cine Capari Sheep
Charollais Sheep
Cheviot Sheep
Chios Sheep
Cholistani Sheep
Clun Forest Sheep
Coburger Fuchsschaf Sheep
Columbia Sheep
Comeback Sheep
Comisana Sheep
Coopworth Sheep
Cormo Sheep
Corriedale Sheep
Cotswold Sheep
Criollo Sheep
Dala Sheep
Dalesbred Sheep
Dagliç Sheep
Damani Sheep
Damara Sheep
Danish Landrace Sheep
Dartmoor Sheep
Debouillet Sheep
Delaine Merino Sheep
Deutsches Blaukoepfiges Fleischschaf Sheep
Dorper Sheep
Derbyshire Gritstone Sheep
Devon Closewool Sheep
Devon Longwoolled Sheep
Dorset Sheep
Dorset Down Sheep
Drysdale Sheep
Elliottdale Sheep
Exmoor Horn Sheep
Fabrianese Sheep
Faroese Sheep
Fonthill Merino Sheep
Friesian Milk Sheep
Galway Sheep
Gansu Alpine Fine-wool Sheep
Gentile di Puglia Sheep
German Blackheaded Mutton Sheep
German Mountain Sheep
German Mutton Merino Sheep
German Whiteheaded Mutton Sheep
Ghezel Sheep
Gökçeada Sheep
Gotland Sheep
Graue Gehoernte Heidschnucke Sheep
Gromark Sheep
Gulf Coast Sheep
Gute Sheep
Hampshire Sheep
Han Sheep
Harnai Sheep
Hasht Nagri Sheep
Hazaragie Sheep
Hebridean Sheep
Herdwick Sheep
Herik Sheep
Hill Radnor Sheep
Hog Island Sheep
Hu Sheep
Icelandic Sheep
Ile-de-France Sheep
Istrian Milk Sheep
Jacob Sheep
Jezerskosolcavska Sheep
Kachhi Sheep
Kajli Sheep
Karacabey Merino Sheep
Karakul Sheep
Karayaka Sheep
Katahdin Sheep
Kerry Hill Sheep
Kivircik Sheep
Kooka Sheep
Landais Sheep
Langhe Sheep
Lati Sheep
Leicester Longwool Sheep
Leineschaf Sheep
Lincoln Sheep
Llanwenog Sheep
Lleyn Sheep
Lohi Sheep
Lonk Sheep
Luzein Sheep
Maltese Sheep
Manchega Sheep
Manech Sheep
Manx Loaghtan Sheep
Masai Sheep
Massese Sheep
Medium-Wool Merino Sheep
Mehraban Sheep
Merinizzata Italiana Sheep
Merinolandschaf Sheep
Moghani Sheep
Montadale Sheep
Morada Nova Sheep
Mouflon Sheep
Navajo-Churro Sheep
Nellore Sheep
Norfolk Horn Sheep
North Country Cheviot Sheep
North Ronaldsay Sheep
Norwegian Fur Sheep
Old Norwegian Sheep
Orkney Sheep
Ossimi Sheep
Oxford Sheep
Pag Island Sheep
Pagliarola Sheep
Pelibüey Sheep
Perendale Sheep
Pinzirita Sheep
Pitt Island Sheep
Poll Merino Sheep
Polwarth Sheep
Polypay Sheep
Pomeranian Coarsewool Sheep
Portland Sheep
Priangan Sheep
Qashqai Sheep
Qinghai Black Tibetan Sheep
Qinghai Semifinewool Sheep
Quadrella Sheep
Quanglin Large-tail Sheep
Rabo Largo Sheep
Racka Sheep
Rambouillet Sheep
Rasa Aragonesa Sheep
Red Engadine Sheep
Red Karaman Sheep
Rhoenschaf Sheep
Rideau Arcott Sheep
Romanov Sheep
Romney Sheep
Rouge de l'Ouest Sheep
Rouge de Roussillon Sheep
Rough Fell Sheep
Royal White Sheep
Rya Sheep
Ryeland Sheep
Rygja Sheep
Sahel-Type Sheep
Sakiz Sheep
Santa Cruz Sheep
Santa Inês Sheep
Sardinian Sheep
Sar Planina Sheep
Scottish Blackface Sheep
Shetland Sheep
Shropshire Sheep
Sicilian Barbary Sheep
Skudde Sheep
Soay Sheep
Somali Sheep
Sopravissana Sheep
South African Merino Sheep
South African Mutton Merino Sheep
South Devon Sheep
South Suffolk Sheep
Southdown Sheep
South Wales Mountain Sheep
Spælsau Sheep
Spiegel Sheep
St. Croix Sheep (Virgin Island White Sheep)
Steigar Sheep
Steinschaf Sheep
Strong Wool Merino Sheep
Suffolk Sheep
Sumavska Sheep
Swaledale Sheep
Swedish Fur Sheep
Swiss Black-Brown Mountain Sheep
Swiss White Alpine Sheep
Targhee Sheep
Teeswater Sheep
Texel Sheep
Thalli Sheep
Tong Sheep
Touabire Sheep
Tsurcana Sheep
Tunis Sheep
Tuj Sheep
Türkgeldi Sheep
Tyrol Mountain Sheep
Uda Sheep
Ujumqin Sheep
Ushant Sheep
Valais Blacknose Sheep
Van Rooy Sheep
Vendéen Sheep
Walachenschaf Sheep
Wallis Country Sheep
Waziri Sheep
Weisse Hornlose Heidschnucke Sheep
Welsh Hill Speckled Face Sheep
Welsh Mountain Sheep
Welsh Mountain Badger-Faced Sheep
Wensleydale Sheep
West African Dwarf Sheep
White Horned Heath Sheep
White Karaman Sheep
White Suffolk Sheep
Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep
Whiteface Woodland Sheep
Wiltshire Horn Sheep
Xalda Sheep
Xaxi Ardia Sheep
Xinjiang Finewool Sheep
Yankasa Sheep
Yemeni Sheep
Yemen White Sheep
Yiecheng Sheep
Yoroo Sheep
Yunnan Semifinewool Sheep
Zaghawa Sheep
Zagoria Sheep
Zaian Sheep
Zaïre Long-Legged Sheep
Zakynthos Sheep
Zeeland Milk Sheep
Zel Sheep
Zelazna Sheep
Zemmour Sheep
Zeta Yellow Sheep
Zlatusha Sheep
Zoulay Sheep

Sheep, n. sing. & pl. Etym: [oe. shep, scheep, as. sc, sceáp; akin to Ofries. sk, lg. & d. schaap, g. schaf, ohg. scaf, skr. chaga. sq. Root295. Cf. Sheepherd.]

1. (zoöl.)

Defn: any one of several species of ruminants of the genus ovis, native of the higher mountains of both hemispheres, but most numerous in Asia.

Note: the domestic sheep (ovis aries) varies much in size, in the length and texture of its wool, the form and size of its horns, the length of its tail, etc. It was domesticated in prehistoric ages, and many distinct breeds have been produced; as the merinos, celebrated for their fine wool; the cretan sheep, noted for their long horns; the fat-tailed, or turkish, sheep, remarkable for the size and fatness of the tail, which often has to be supported on trucks; the southdowns, in which the horns are lacking; and an asiatic breed which always has four horns.

2. A weak, bashful, silly fellow. Ainsworth.

3. pl.

Defn: fig.: The people of God, as being under the government and protection of Christ, the Great Shepherd.

Rocky mountain sheep.(Zoöl.) See bighorn.
-- maned sheep. (zoöl.) See aoudad.
-- sheep bot (zoöl.), the larva of the sheep botfly. See estrus.
-- sheep dog (zoöl.), a shepherd dog, or collie.
-- sheep laurel (bot.), a small North American shrub (kalmia Angustifolia) with deep rose-colored flowers in corymbs.
-- sheep pest (bot.), an Australian plant (acæna ovina) related to the burnet. The fruit is covered with barbed spines, by which it adheres to the wool of sheep.
-- sheep run, an extensive tract of country where sheep range and graze.
-- sheep's beard (bot.), a cichoraceous herb (urospermum dalechampii) of southern Europe; -- so called from the conspicuous pappus of the achenes.
-- sheep's bit (bot.), a European herb (jasione montana) having much the appearance of scabious.
-- sheep pox (med.), a contagious disease of sheep, characterized by the development of vesicles or pocks upon the skin.
-- sheep scabious. (bot.) Same as sheep's bit.
-- sheep shears, shears in which the blades form the two ends of a steel bow, by the elasticity of which they open as often as pressed together by the hand in cutting; -- so called because used to cut off the wool of sheep.
-- sheep sorrel. (bot.), a prerennial herb (rumex acetosella) growing naturally on poor, dry, gravelly soil. Its leaves have a pleasant acid taste like sorrel.
-- sheep's-wool (zoöl.), the highest grade of Florida commercial sponges (spongia equina, variety gossypina).
-- sheep tick (zoöl.), a wingless parasitic insect (melophagus Ovinus) belonging to the diptera. It fixes its proboscis in the skin of the sheep and sucks the blood, leaving a swelling. Called also sheep pest, and sheep louse.
-- sheep walk, a pasture for sheep; a sheep run.
-- wild sheep. (zoöl.) See argali, mouflon, and oörial.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Sheep - Are of different varieties. Probably the flocks of Abraham and Isaac were of the wild species found still in the mountain regions of Persia and Kurdistan. After the Exodus, and as a result of intercourse with surrounding nations, other species were no doubt introduced into the herds of the people of Israel. They are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The care of a shepherd over his flock is referred to as illustrating God's care over his people ([[:Category:Book of Psalms (Psalms 1 - 75)#23:1|Psalms 23:1]], Psalms 23:2; Psalms 74:1; Psalms 77:20; Isaiah 40:11; Isaiah 53:6; John 10:1, John 10:7). "The sheep of Palestine are longer in the head than ours, and have tails from 5 inches broad at the narrowest part to 15 inches at the widest, the weight being in proportion, and ranging generally from 10 to 14 lb., but sometimes extending to 30 lb. The tails are indeed huge masses of fat" (Geikie's Holy Land, etc.). The tail was no doubt the "rump" so frequently referred to in the Levitical sacrifices (Exodus 29:22; Leviticus 3:9; Leviticus 7:3; Leviticus 9:19). Sheep-shearing was generally an occasion of great festivity (Genesis 31:19; Genesis 38:12, Genesis 38:13; 1 Samuel 25:4, 1 Samuel 25:36; 2 Samuel 13:23).

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