Where are sheep raised in the world?

In today’s Blog, we will focus on the topic from which we should really start our publications. Sheep is an animal known to us for many years. We learn about them, study them, and use them in many ways, thanks to which we live with them in a certain synergy. Today we will answer the questions that arise very often, namely, where do sheep come from and where are they bred?

Domestic sheep is precisely a farmed species whose ancestors were most likely different subspecies of wild sheep (Ovis ammon). As research conducted by geneticists shows, sheep were the first animals domesticated by man. The sheep genome was recognized in 2014 by an international team of researchers after eight years of research. This established that the sheep and goat lineages diverged only 4 million years ago. As a result, archaeologists analyzing animal bones excavated at many sites have difficulty distinguishing between sheep and goat remains and refer to them as “goat-sheep” in their descriptions.

How many sheep are there in the world?

In 2013, the world’s sheep population was about 1.17 billion, compared to nearly 1.06 billion in 2003. In 2013, most sheep were kept in Asia – 44.9% of the world’s stock (in China alone 15.8% of the world’s stock), followed by Africa – 27.7%. At that time, 11.11% of the world’s livestock was kept in Europe, with the largest numbers in Great Britain, Russia, Spain, Greece, Romania and France. In addition to sheep living as livestock, there are also introduced or feral populations, present or are present on some islands in all oceans and in some continental areas.

How are sheep used?

Initially, only skins, meat and milk were obtained from sheep, now also wool. Originally bred in mountainous and steppe areas, the animal has now spread to various biotopes around the world. Sheep are more common in colder climates than goats.

What are the sheep’s requirements?
  • Water is an important nutrient in any diet, so it is essential to provide plenty of fresh and clean water for sheep. Snow can replace water during the winter months, but sheep that are 6 weeks old must have access to fresh water daily.
  • Sheep require little shelter because they have wool that insulates them. They tend to use natural windbreaks such as trees, shrubs, and hills. If sheep are in an open field without natural windbreaks, it is advisable to construct such protection. Simple screens such as large round bales of hay or straw or hay feeders work well. Another option is to install permanent screens, such as sheets of plywood or metal sheets anchored in the ground.


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