Facts about Bighorn Sheep, "Scientific name for Bighorn Sheep is Ovis canadenis". An Ovis variety of sheep that comes from the Bovidae family. The Bighorn Sheep are native to North America and they are named for their big horns on the rams, or male sheep. The "Bighorn Sheep" are one among the two varieties of mountain sheep. The Bighorn Sheep are famous for their skill to climb elevated, steep, rock-strewn mountain regions. Earlier, these sheep were largely found in the western parts of North America. After that, the Bighorn Sheep were eliminated from Oregon, Washington, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and from some parts of Mexico. Nowadays, their population has been re-established in the course of transplanting sheep from strong populations in empty places.
Features about Bighorn Sheep
The Bighorn Sheep has a light tan to grayish or dark tan color body, with a white color rump and lining on the back parts of all of their four legs. A "flock or herd" is a group of sheep. "Lamb" is the name of a young sheep and it is called a sheep or "hogget" at one year old. "Ewe" is the name of the female. "Ram" is the name of the adult male Bighorn Sheep. "Wether" is an adult castrated male sheep. The act of breeding for Bighorn Sheep is called "tubing". Usually, the male Bighorn Sheep are bigger and taller than the female Bighorn Sheep, with a body length, ranging from 69 inches (175.25 cm) to 79 inches (200.66 cm), measured from the nose to the tail, with the height between 36 inches (91.44 cm)and 41 inches (104.14 cm)at the shoulder. The female Bighorn Sheep has a body length between 54 inches (137.16 cm) and 67 inches (107.18), measured from the nose to the tail, with the height of 30 inches (76.2 cm) to 36 inches (91.44) at the shoulder. The male Bighorn Sheep also exceeds the female ones in body mass, ranging from 127 pounds (57 kg) to 316 pounds (143 kg), whereas the female ones weigh between 75 pounds (34 kg)and 188 pounds (85 kg).
Usually, the male Bighorn Sheep, the Rams appear with big-size horns, with a weight of 30 pounds (13.6 kg). The female sheep, the Ewes also have horns, but the Bighorn Sheep are smaller than that of males with less curvature. These versions serve to defend the brain by absorbing the influence of clashes. The Bighorn Sheep boast pre-orbital glands on the anterior bend of each eye, pedal glands on each foot and inguinal glands in the groin. The Bighorn Sheep dominance behaviors are supported by the secretions from these glands.
Generally, Bighorn sheep from the Rocky Mountains are fairly big, with the male Bighorn Sheep go beyond 500 pounds (227 kg) and the female Bighorn Sheep go beyond 200 pounds (90 kg). On the contrary, the Sierra Nevada Bighorn male sheep has a maximum body mass of 200 pounds (90 kg), whereas the female Bighorn Sheep will have a body mass of 140 pounds (63.5 kg).
Diet of Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn sheep feeds on different types of foods, according to the season. In summer, the Bighorn Sheep feed on sedges or grasses. In winter, they feed more on forested plants, such as sage, willow and rabbit brush. The Bighorn Sheep also feed on brushy plants, such as desert cactus and desert holly.
Behavior of Bighorn Sheep
Usually, Bighorn sheep are found and live in bands or herds of about 5 to 15 lambs, ewes, yearlings, and two-year old sheep. The group of Bighorn Sheep contains a smaller number of male sheep, with two to five sheep. During the winter season, the ewe groups join to make bands of as many as 100 mammals. During the fall, the Bighorn Sheep rams vie for ewes by having ramming contests. The Bighorn sheep dash each other at a speed of over 20 miles per hour (32 kph), with their foreheads dashing with a crack that can be heeded in excess of a mile away. These fights may continue for a long time, usually up to 24 hours.
Reproduction of Bighorn Sheep
In Bighorn sheep, mating season commences during November and December. Usually, the gestation period takes 5 to 6 months, and the female Bighorn Sheep offers birth to only one lamb during each breeding cycle. Generally, Bighorn lambs are born with a flexible, woolly, light-colored furs and tiny horn buds. Within 24 hours of the birth, a Bighorn lamb will be capable to walk and climb similar to its mother. A lamb will continue with its mother Bighorn Sheep for the initial one year of its life.
The average life span of the male Bighorn sheep ranges from 9 years to 12 years, whereas the average life span of the female Bighorn sheep ranges from 10 years to 14 years.
Facts of Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn Sheep give birth to 1 to 3 baby lambs once or twice a year. "lambing" is the act of giving birth for sheep. A lamb weighs on average when born, about 5 to 8 pounds (2.2 to 3.6 kg). Bighorn Sheep are born without or with horns (polled). The high pitched sound a baby lamb makes is called "bleating". The length of a pregnancy (gestation period) for a Bighorn Sheep ewe is about 145 to 156 days.
Bighorn Sheep have a 300 degrees field of vision and sheep do not have to turn their head to see behind them and they have excellent hearing. Sheep have long been used to control unwanted vegetation. Shelter is not necessary in the rain but Bighorn Sheep do seek shade from the sun. There are over 900 different sheep breeds in the world and 40 different breeds of sheep in the United States. A Bighorn Sheep does not have teeth in their upper front jaw. Bighorn Sheep have 32 teeth. Sheep have 24 molars and 8 incisors in their mouth. A Bighorn Sheep has only lower teeth that press against an upper palette.
Milk from Sheep is mostly used to make gourmet cheese. A Bighorn Sheep has an average body temperature of about 102.5˚F (39.1˚ Cel).
A lambs is usually sold on average for meat between 90 to 120 pounds (41 to 54.4 kg). "Mutton" is the name of the meat from a full grown sheep. There is a split in the sheep upper lip which allows them to select their favorite leaves off a plant. Milk from sheep has a higher level of zinc, calcium, protein, fat, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin than milk from cows or a goat.
A Bighorn Sheep is a herbivores, that eats leaves, grass, hay and furns. A sheep has four chambers to its digestive system that helps break down what they eat. Bighorn Sheep are "Ruminant" is any hoofed even-toed, mammal that digests its food in two stages. First by eating the raw materials and regurgitating a semi-digested form known as "cud" (ruminating: chewing the cud.) then eating the cud. "Scientific name for sheep is Ovis aries".