Sheep have evolved a unique and fascinating array of behavioral characteristics which have contributed to their survival and proliferation in a unique environmental niche. The successful sheep producer learns to understand sheep behavior, and applies this knowledge to practically all facets of flock management.
The scientific study of animal behavior is called ethology. This publication will cover many aspects of sheep ethology from mating behavior to behavior at lambing time and feeding behavior. This will not be an exhaustive review of sheep ethology because such a project would require at least a couple of large books. Instead, we will focus on particular sheep behavioral characteristics that have management implications for sheep producers in the farm and youth club flocks.