Introducing our first blog from our resident vet Willie Stewart. Willie, began his career in veterinary practice treating all animals great and small before moving onto a post as a ministry vet later in his career covering the areas of Orkney and Shetland. Willie has now retired from this position and is currently working on his other passions including a project car called Madge, supporting the Orkney Rugby team and being a constant support to us at Mixter Maxter HQ.
1 – I like sheep. They don’t bite and they don’t kick (much). They are very good mothers especially the hill breeds, and are gentle creatures. (most of the time).
2 – Sheep were the second animal to be domesticated (after dogs) about 12,000 years ago.
3 – Sheep can be found on every continent of the world apart from Antarctica (because grass does not grow there!). The countries in the world with most sheep are China, Australia, India and Iran. In
4 – Sheep can produce meat, milk, wool, and to a lesser extent sheepskin. Very few sheep can produce all three products, most only producing two. So in European and Asian countries where they have milk-producing sheep and provide meat, the breeds tend to be hairy.
5 – Sheep will live and thrive and provide
6 – Sheep live on grass but will also eat clover, hay, silage, leaves from bushes, cabbages, sprouts, carrots and potatoes. They will also eat grains, barley, wheat, oats,
7 – Sheep will graze on permanent pastures which helps to reduce atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, encourage wildlife, and to protect against soil erosion. Sheep are used in some countries to control grass growth around ground-based solar panels without damaging them, and to prevent fires under power lines (in America) and to graze orchards.
8 – Sheep will eat some noxious weeds such as larkspur or ragwort which is poisonous to other animals.
9 – MEAT Sheep will produce high quality, nutritious
10 – WOOL Sheep produce wool of differing quality depending on the fibre size. The coarsest fibres are used for making carpets, tapestries, and stuffing mattresses. Medium grade wool is used for blankets, sweaters, tweeds, socks and felt. The finest wool is used for
11 – Australia has
12 – Lanolin or Wool Wax is extracted from wool at the scouring stage and can be used for motor oil, printing inks, and adhesive tape as well as in lipstick, mascara, shampoo, skin lotions and hair conditioner.
13 – MILK Sheep produce milk in large parts of the world, mainly in the
14 – Sheep milk has a higher solids content than cow’s milk, particularly short chain fatty acids which reduce cholesterol and have other health benefits. A gallon of sheep’s milk will produce twice as much cheese as a gallon of cow’s milk.
That is why I like sheep!!