Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sheep Terminology

When sheep people gather around to chat, there are certain terms they use to talk about sheep. Here's common ones....


Ovine -- scientific term pertaining to sheep.
Flock -- name for a group of sheep.
Ewe -- a female sheep.
Ram -- an intact adult male. Also called a tup in some regions. 
Lamb -- a young sheep, from newborn up to about one year of age. 
Bummer lamb -- an orphan or rejected lamb.
Wether -- castrated male sheep.
Gimmer -- a female breeding sheep over one year old who has not yet had her first lamb. She is no longer considered a lamb but hasn't become a full blown ewe. 
Hogget -- a year old sheep that has not yet been shorn or is between 12-18 months of. Often used to description an older lamb intended for slaughter rather than breeding. 
Shearling -- a young sheep prior to its first shearing.
Bellwether -- the lead sheep who is traditionally belled (wears a bell around its neck).
Estrus or heat -- the part of the female reproductive cycle when the ewe is receptive to the ram.
Tupping -- the act of a ram breeding a ewe. 
Lambing -- the birthing of a lamb. 
Woolie -- a wool producing sheep.
Haired or hair sheep -- short coated sheep that doesn't not produce usable wool. 
Banding -- the placing of a tight rubber band around the base of the scrotum for the purpose of  castration, or around the tail for the purpose of docking.
Docking -- removal of part of the tail.
Browse (vs graze) -- the eating of woody brush including leaves and twigs.
Graze -- the eating of low growth plants including grasses and forbs.
Forbs -- broadleaf herbaceous plants.
Cud -- ingested food that a sheep regurgitates in order to chew again.
Bloat -- the over accumulation of gas in the rumen (part of the stomach).
Bottle jaw -- edema under the lower jaw associated with parasite infestation.
Scrapie -- a fatal brain disease of sheep.
Mutton -- meat from a sheep either over 1 year of age or 2 years of age, depending upon which country you're talking about.
Lamb -- meat from a sheep under 1 year of age or 2 years of age, depending upon which country you're talking about.

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