Featherdale Wildlife Park - Sydney Australia

Sydney’s Hands-On Wildlife Experience

Farmyard Animals

farmyard

SHEEP

Ovis aries

Facts and Figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Artiodactyla

FAMILY

Bovidae

 GENUS

Ovis

SPECIES

aries

GLOBAL STATUS

Domesticated

Did you know?

  • Sheep have a field of vision of around 300 degrees, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head.

  • Sheep have a split in their upper lip which allows them to select the preferred leaves off a plant.

Did you know?

  • Sheep have a field of vision of around 300 degrees, allowing them to see behind themselves without having to turn their head.

  • Sheep have a split in their upper lip which allows them to select the preferred leaves off a plant. 

Description

Sheep are quadrupedal,ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. They have crimped hair called wool. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep. A male sheep is called a ram and a female sheep is called ewe. There are more than 200 breeds of sheep.


Diet

Sheep are exclusively herbivorous mammals. Most breeds prefer to graze on grass and other short roughage, avoiding the taller woody parts of plants.


Social organisation and Reproduction

Sheep are flock animals and strongly gregarious; much sheep behaviour can be understood on the basis of these tendencies. Sheep can become stressed when separated from their flock members. During flocking, sheep have a strong tendency to follow and a leader may simply be the first individual to move. Most sheep are seasonal breeders, although some are able to breed year-round.  A group of ewes is generally mated by a single ram. Sheep have a gestation period of about five months.

Cattle

 Bovini

facts and figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Artiodactyla

FAMILY

Bovidae

 GENUS

Bos

SPECIES

primigenius

GLOBAL STATUS

Domesticated

Did you know?

  • The ears of cattle are very sensitive. Cattle can be calmed by playing soothing music,

  • A common misconception about cattle (particularly bulls) is that they are enraged by the colour red- in fact,  cattle are red-green colour-blind.

Description

Cattle (colloquially cows) are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae. Cattle were originally identified as three separate species: Bos taurus, the European or "taurine" cattle; Bos indicus, the zebu; and the extinct Bos primigenius, the aurochs. 


Diet

Most cows have a diet that is composed of at least some forage (grass, legumes, or silage). Grazing occupies a large amount of time of approximatly 8 - 9 hours per day.


Social organisation and Reproduction:

Under farm conditions the dairy herd is organised into a social hierarchy. In open treeless areas, free-ranging cattle group into large mobs and the distances between individuals are smaller than in areas with sparse to moderate tree and shrub cover. In free-range herds of cattle there are several hierarchies among adult males, adult females and juveniles. As they age, young males fight adult females and eventually mate. The gestation period for a cow is nine months. A newborn calf weighs 25 to 45 kg.

Goat

Capra aegagrus hircus

facts and figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Artiodactyla

FAMILY

Bovidae

GENUS

Capra

SPECIES

aegagrus

GLOBAL STATUS

Domesicated

Did you know?

  • Goats have horizontal, slit-shaped pupils. 

  • Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. The most recent genetic analysis confirms the archaeological evidence that the wild Bezoar ibex of the Zagros Mountains are the likely origin of almost all domestic goats today.

Description:

The domestic goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. Goats are considered small livestock animals There are over 300 distinct breeds of goat and they are one of the oldest domesticated species, much of the world. Goats are extremely curious and intelligent. They are also very coordinated and widely known for their ability to climb and hold their balance in the most precarious places.


Diet

Goats are reputed to be willing to eat almost anything, including tin cans and cardboard boxes. While goats will not actually eat inedible material, they are browsing animals, not grazers like cattle and sheep, and (coupled with their highly curious nature) will chew on and taste just about anything remotely resembling plant matter to decide whether it is good to eat. Aside from sampling many things, goats are quite particular in what they actually consume, preferring to browse on the tips of woody shrubs and trees, as well as the occasional broad-leaved plant.


Social organisation and Reproduction

When handled as a group, goats tend to display less clumping behaviour than sheep, and when grazing undisturbed, tend to spread across the field or range. Goats in temperate climates, the breeding season commences as the day length shortens, and ends in early spring or before. In equatorial regions, goats are able to breed at any time of the year.  Gestation length is approximately 150 days. Twins are common.