(A) study showed that ewes fall in love with rams, have best friends and feel desolate when those close to them die or are sent for slaughter. The discovery could have important implications for the way farm animals are treated.Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
Like dogs, sheep can learn their own name and even do tricks. Australian researchers have discovered sheep can solve mazes, and get quicker at doing so the more they practice. Amazingly, a flock of sheep in the UK even figured out how to cross a hoof-proof grid by rolling over it to reach tastier grass on the other side!
Lambs love leaping, head-butting and running around with friends. Much like the 'play-bow' dogs use, lambs have their own special signal when they want to have fun. They'll kick their back legs in the air as if to say "let's play!"
Sheep can recognise at least 50 individuals' faces and remember them for years. They can also tell if other sheep (and humans) are happy, or sad, stressed or calm by reading facial expressions!
Sheep have unique personalities and some get along better than others — just like we do. Not only will a sheep form special friendships with other individuals, researchers believe she may even spend time thinking about her friends when they're not around.
Author, Jeffrey Masson, recounts the story of Rammo — a young ram he met in Missouri, who became the guardian for a blind calf named Whisper. He would graze next to his friend and guide her around. When Whisper died, Rammo stood by her body, calling and calling.
Be kind to sheep
Make your choices count: Sheep are gentle animals, every bit as capable of feeling joy and fear as the dogs and cats we share our homes with. Like all of us, they each have their own likes and dislikes and seek safety and happiness.
By making the choice to cut back or cut out meat and wool products, you can help protect sheep from cruelty and save lives. Check out our FREE Vegetarian Starter Kit to find out more about how you can help animals every day: