Introduction :

Sheep ( Ovisaries ) Are Quadru Pedal, Ruminant Mammals Typically Kept As Livestock. A Male Sheep Is Called A Ram And A Female Sheep Is Called A Ewe.

Sheep Are Most Likely Descended From The Wild Mouflon Of Europe And Asia. One Of The Earliest Animals To Be Domesticated For Agricultural Purposes, Sheep Are Raised For Fleece, Meat ( Lamb, Hogget Or Mutton ) And Milk. A Sheep’s Wool Is The Most Widely Used Animal Fiber And Is Usually Harvested By Shearing. Sheep Continue To Be Important For Wool And Meat Today And Are Also Occasionally Raised For Pelts As Dairy Animals Or As Model Organisms For Science.

Sheep Husbandry Is Practiced Throughout The Majority Of The Inhabited World And Has Been Fundamental To Many Civilizations. In The Modern Era, Australia, New Zealand, The Southern And Central South American Nations And The British Isles Are Most Closely Associated With Sheep Production.

Being A Key Animal In The History Of Farming, Sheep Have A Deeply Entrenched Place In Human Culture And Find Representation In Much Modern Language And Symbology. As Livestock, Sheep Are Most Often Associated With Pastoral, Arcadian Imagery. Sheep Figure In Many Mythologies — Such As The Golden Fleece And Major Religions, Especially The Abrahamic Traditions. In both Ancient And Modern Religious Ritual, Sheep Are Used As Sacrificial Animals.

Sheep Are An Important Part Of The Global Agricultural Economy. However Their Once Vital Status Has Been Largely Replaced By Other Livestock Species, Especially The Chicken And Cow. China, Australia, India, And Iran Have The Largest Modern Flocks And Serve Both Local And Exportation Needs For Wool And Mutton. Other Countries Such As New Zealand Have Smaller Flocks But Retain A Large International Economic Impact Due To Their Export Of Sheep Products. Sheep Also Play A Major Role In Many Local Economies Which May Be Niche Markets Focused On Organic Or Sustainable Agriculture And Local Food Customers. Especially In Developing Countries Such Flocks May Be A Part Of Subsistence Agriculture Rather Than A System Of Trade. Sheep Themselves May Be A Medium Of Trade In Barter Economies.

Human Touch :

Sheep Meat And Milk Were One Of The Earliest Staple Proteins Consumed By Human Civilization After The Transition From Hunting And Gathering To Agriculture. Sheep Meat Prepared For Food Is Known As Either Mutton Or Lamb. This Became The Name For Sheep Meat In English While The Old English Word Sceap Was Kept For The Live Animal. Throughout Modern History ” Mutton ” Has Been Limited To The Meat Of Mature Sheep Usually At Least Two Years Of Age ” Lamb ” Is Used For That Of Immature Sheep Less Than A Year.

In The 21st Century The Nations With The Highest Consumption Of Sheep Meat Are The Persian Gulf States, New Zealand, Australia, Greece, Uruguay, The United Kingdom And Ireland. These Countries Eat 14 – 40 lbs ( 3 – 18 kg ) Of Sheep Meat Per Capita Per Annum. Sheep Meat Is Also Popular In France, Africa ( Especially The Maghreb ) The Caribbean, The Rest Of The Middle East, India, And Parts Of China. This Often Reflects A History Of Sheep Production. In These Countries In Particular Dishes Comprising Alternative Cuts And Offal May Be Popular Or Traditional. Sheep Testicles — Called Animelles Or Lamb Fries — Are Considered A Delicacy In Many Parts Of The World. Perhaps The Most Unusual Dish Of Sheep Meat Is The Scottish Haggis, Composed Of Various Sheep Innards Cooked Along With Oatmeal And Chopped Onions Inside Its Stomach.

Though Sheep’s Milk May Be Drunk Rarely In Fresh Form, Today It Is Used Predominantly In Cheese And Yogurt Making. Sheep Have Only Two Teats And Produce A Far Smaller Volume Of Milk Than Cows. However As Sheep’s Milk Contains Far More Fat, Solids And Minerals Than Cow’s Milk. It Is Ideal For The Cheese – Making Process. It Also Resists Contamination During Cooling Better Because Of Its Much Higher Calcium Content. Yogurts, Especially Some Forms Of Strained Yogurt May Also Be Made From Sheep Milk.