The Weekly Bleat: Not Baaad!

Farmguy and I have had our little flock of woollies for about ten years.  And, while they are truly the spirit of Green Hill Farm, gracing its fields and pastures with their quiet beauty (with the exception of Hamish and his incessant baaahs for grain), there are a few things you may not know about these interesting and intelligent animals. To start with, their wool will grow forever.  A sheep, depending on the breed, can produce between two and 30 pounds of wool a year.  Also, one pound of wool can make up to 10 miles of yarn.  Besides producing lots and lots of wool, sheep have another special ability—they have nearly 360 degree vision.  Sheep have rectangular pupils that give them amazing peripheral vision; it’s estimated that their field of vision is between 270 and 320 degrees (humans average about 155 degrees).  This is really important, especially when you’re a prey animal…it’s like surround sound for the eyes. Not only do these woollies have special eyes, they have special lips as well.  The upper lip of a sheep has a pronounced groove dividing the left and right side, called a philtrum. Sheep are very selective grazers, preferring leaves and blades over stems, and their philtrum helps them get close to the ground.  This gives them an advantage over other ruminants who can’t go as low. And, it’s really interesting that sheep, who have such fascinating faces, are so observant […]

Read More →