The Weirdest and Most Exotic Sheep You Have Ever Seen

No not all sheep are white and woolly. Let us look at some of the more unusual, exotic, rare, and just plain weird, breeds and types of sheep. If you are looking for an unusual sheep to keep as a pet or for profit, check these sheep out.

 

The Jacob Sheep

Photo by Author, This is a young lamb ram, he isn’t even six months of age.  You note he has 4 horns. 

This is a very old breed although poorly known by most people. These sheep were recently seen in the movie, “Year One”. They are typically black and white, but can also be gray and white, or lilac and white. That makes them such a spectacular animal is that the rams often grow multiple sets of huge, bizarrely shaped horns. Some even have six horns or more!  Although they may look dangerous Jacob sheep are often kept as pets and for lawn control.

 

Hair Sheep

Photo by Author, this is a Katahdin ram, at about 10 months of age. 

This is a type rather than a breed. There are actually many breeds of hair sheep, including the Katahdin and Dorper. These sheep are slower to mature and as such are less popular in the industry even though their meat is said to be tastier. Additionally these sheep have many advantages when looking for a lower maintenance animal. They have a better resistance to parasites and do not require shearing or their tails to be docked. Their coats will grow thicker in the winter (at which time they may show some more wool type hairs)and shed in the spring.  

Photo by Author.  This is a young Barbado (also called the American Blackbelly) hair sheep ram, around one year of age.  There is a similar hair sheep called the Barbados Blackbelly, the difference being the Barbado (no “s”) rams have horns, where the Barbados Blackbelly rams are polled (no horns).  You will note he is shedding the last bit of his winter coat in the photo.  When mature adult Barbado rams are sometimes used in trophy hunting. 

 

Icelandic Sheep

Momma sheep by adie reed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/96628465@N00/558847024/  An Icelandic ewe.

These sheep may not look too unusual in their photo but they have some unique traits. First of all they have a naturally short tail which requires no docking. Additionally some ewes have a gene that allows them to have multiple births. Where twins and triplets are common in most breeds, Icelandic sheep with this gene may have 4-6 lambs. These lambs may require bottle feedings.   These sheep are shorter in height and friendly.  They do well as pets and on hobby farms.

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28 Responses to “The Weirdest and Most Exotic Sheep You Have Ever Seen”
  1. amandeep13 Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Very Brilliant Write

    Highly Informative stuff


  2. Brenda Nelson Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    By the way, I keep my sheep as pets, they mow our lawn and keep the pasture from becoming a fire hazzard. We like to keep the more unsual breeds. The Jacob ram lambs (first picture) sister has 5 horns but they are not as fancy as his.


  3. hitu Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    That is weird


  4. Anuradha Ramkumar Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I liked the racka sheep. So many different species of sheep…I was not aware of this.


  5. Jenny Heart Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Great pictures that made me want to read and learn all about them, Great one!


  6. Sourav Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Wonderful write. I must this is a good research. Love the pics!:)


  7. bennorton777 Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    The Karakul and the fat-tailed are definitely the coolest looking. My humble opinion.


  8. ken bultman Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    A wonderful and very enjoyable read. Great pics.


  9. AlmaG Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    The icelandic sheep is cute :)


  10. Inna Tysoe Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    That was an interesting and fun read.

    Thanks!

    Inna


  11. Carol Elkins Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 12:42 am

    These are great photos. But I would like to make one correction. You discussed the difference between a Barbado and a Blackbelly. Neither are actual sheep breeds. The Barbados Blackbelly is a polled breed originating in Barbados. There are fewer than 400 of this breed in the U.S. In contrast, there are many thousands of American Blackbelly, a breed that originated by crossing the Barbados Blackbelly with Mouflon and Rambouillet. You can learn more about both breeds at the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Association Int’l. Web site, http://www.blackbellysheep.org.

    Thanks,

    Carol Elkins
    BBSAI Secretary and Education Committee Chair


  12. sambhafusia Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Great write well done..


  13. Joie Schmidt Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Wow … I never realized there were so many different types of sheep. Nice share.

    Blessings.

    Sincerely,

    -Liane Schmidt.


  14. standingproud Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 2:56 am

    omg LOOK
    and some freaked me out.


  15. anurag kochar Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 5:59 am

    nice


  16. Darla Beck Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Interesting article. Some of those I have never heard of.


  17. papaleng Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Outstanding Post! Learned lots of new sheep facts.. I love the Racka Sheep. weird horn.. Thanks Brenda for the share.


  18. Jo Oliver Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I didnt know there were so many types of sheep. Racka Sheep has awesome horns.


  19. PR Mace Says...

    On March 10, 2010 at 1:38 am

    That was a fun read. I really had to laugh at the Fat Tailed Sheep, I think I have some family members related to them. LOL. Just a question. If your sheep are only kept as pets, do you have to shear them? That may sound like a stupid question but I was just wondering. Guess I am up too late tonight and my mind is not on straight.


  20. Brenda Nelson Says...

    On March 10, 2010 at 11:39 am

    In response to Carols comment above.. the University of Oklahoma does recognize Barbado sheep as a breed with horns, and Barbados blackbelly as the sheep without horns (polled).


  21. Brenda Nelson Says...

    On March 10, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    to PR Mace.
    We do not need to shear all our sheep.. just the ones with wool. The hair breeds shed all on their own. Shearing is done to keep the wooly sheep comfy and so they do not over heat in the summer. Wool isnt worth much where I am, we do it to be kind.


  22. BradONeill Says...

    On March 10, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I think you should nit a hat for marks head with your wool. ;) good write as always. Using fat asses to cook with is kind of hilarious.


  23. swatilohani Says...

    On March 11, 2010 at 3:19 am

    cool pics


  24. oldster Says...

    On March 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Another high quality article B.
    Such a shame man cannot see beyond the meat for his belly.


  25. Ruby Hawk Says...

    On March 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    We are cruel to animals. That’s one reason I am vegetarian.


  26. RS Wing Says...

    On March 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The Icelandic Sheep looks like a beast of an animal. I didn’t know that there were so many breeds. Great article and pictures you take within your piece. Well written and finely presented.


  27. babygirl3605 Says...

    On June 2, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Nice I like the pitchers of different sheep.


  28. Bo Russo Says...

    On June 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I didn’t know there were so many kinds.


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