Why Do Sheep Curl Their Upper Lip
What is the Flehmen Response
Why Do Sheep Curl Their Upper Lip – The curling of the upper lip in sheep called flehmen response or flehmening, is an instinctive behavior, behavior pattern in which an animal curls back its upper lips exposing its front teeth, inhales with the nostrils usually closed, and then often holds this position for several seconds.
It may be performed over a site or substance of particular interest to the animal (e.g. urine or faces) or may be performed with the neck stretched and the head held high in the air. Flehmen is performed by a wide range of mammals including ungulates and felids.
The behavior facilitates the transfer of pheromones and other scents into the vomeronasal organ located above the roof of the mouth via a duct that exits just behind the front teeth of the animal.
An animal investigating odors or tastes at sites of particular interest or perhaps more generally may perform the flehmen response. This response is characterized by the animal curling back its top lips exposing the front teeth and gums, then inhaling and holding the posture for several seconds.
The behavior may be performed over particular locations, in which case the animal may also lick the site of interest, or it may be performed with the neck stretched and head held high in the air for a more general gustatory investigation.
The flehmen response often gives the appearance that the animal is “grimacing”, “smirking” or “laughing”.
Function of Curled Upper lip
The main function of flehmen is to transfer air containing pheromones and other scents to the vomeronasal organ, a chemosensory organ located between the roof of the mouth and the palate. This provides chemical cues that animals use in a variety of ways.
Identifying Reproductive Status:
Male individuals commonly use the flehmen response as an olfactory mechanism for identifying the reproductive state of females of the same species based on pheromones in the female’s urine or genitals.
This is exhibited in sheep; flehmen by rams, after sniffing the ewes’ external genital region, occurs most frequently on the day before estrus , when the ewes were sexually receptive.
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Flehmen behavior also plays a role in reproductive synchrony between females. In the sable antelope, the frequency of flehmen changed seasonally, with the highest levels just prior to conception. Female antelopes associated closely with other females in the same reproductive state. Flehmen rates between females anticipated birth synchrony.
Additionally, the level of synchrony was predicted by the frequency of female urine sampling during the previous year. Flehmen is a mechanism used by female sable antelopes to manipulate the timing of both conception and birth of offspring.
In the American bison, flehmen behavior in females has also been shown to stimulate the onset of estrus and copulation synchronization.
The flehmen response is not limited to conspecific communication. Goats have been tested for their flehmen response to urine from 20 different species, including several non-mammalian species.
This study suggests there is a common element in the urine of all animals, a pheromone, which elicits flehmen behavior. Specifically, chemical pheromone levels of a modified form of androgen , a sex hormone, were associated with the response in goats.
Mares commonly show a peak in flehmen response during the first few hours after giving birth. Smelling the newborn foal and the amniotic fluids associated with birth often produce the reaction.
Immature animals: In young horses, both colts (males) and fillies (females) exhibit flehmen behavior towards other conspecifics with neither sex performing the behavior more than the other.
However, it has been reported that young colts flehmen up to five times more frequently than fillies, and fillies flehmen more frequently than mature mares. Young elephants also have a flehmen response to stimulants. The VNO of newborn elephants displays a structural maturity similar to adults, which supports the conclusion that flehmen at only six weeks of age is used to deliver chemical pheromones to a functional vomeronasal organ
Physiology / Jacobson’s Organ
The flehmen response draws air into the vomeronasal organ or Jacobson’s organ, an auxiliary olfactory sense organ that is found in many animals. This organ plays a role in the perception of certain scents and pheromones.
It is named for its closeness to the vomer and nasal bones and is particularly well developed in animals such as cats and horses. The vomeronasal organ is found at the base of the nasal cavity.
It is encompassed inside a bony or cartilaginous capsule that opens into the base of the nasal cavity. Animals that exhibit flehmen have a papilla located behind the incisors and ducts which connect the oral cavity to the vomeronasal organ; horses are an exception, they exhibit flehmen but do not have an incisive duct communication between the nasal and oral cavity.
Romantic Chemical Cues
The chemical cue obtained by an animal exhibiting the flehmen response is the presence of a non-volatile organic compound. In contrast to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), non-volatile organic compounds are those carbon compounds that do not participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions or evaporate under normal atmospheric conditions.
The vomeronasal organ detects non-VOCs, which must have direct contact with the odor source. Sources of non-VOCs relevant to the flehmen response include pheromones and hormones excreted from the genital regions or urine of animals.
Reproductive Behavior of Sheep
Rams have characteristic courtship patterns that precede mating. Typically a ram approaches a ewe in a low stretch position with the head angled to the side. Often the ram contacts the flank of the female kicks out a foreleg and sniffs the vulva.
After contact by the ram, the ewe often urinates. The ram sniffs both the vulva and urine, and the flehmen response usually occurs in which the ram arches the head upwards and with an open jaw draws odors rapidly over the nasal passage and turbinates. The flehmen response is believed to facilitate the detection of estrus. Some rams will mount several times before ejaculating, and others may service a ewe during the first mount.
Furthermore, sexually inexperienced rams or ram lambs often have orientation problems with respect to mounting behavior. Young rams are typically subordinate to more experienced rams and the dominance order can affect the efficiency of multiple-sire mating.
At least three rams per multi-sire pen are recommended to lessen dominance effects. Within a group of ewes, rams also show some preference for certain females while ignoring others in estrus and this accounts for some differences in the distribution of lambing.
Sheep Farming for Wool Profitability Table
|Sheep||Lambs / 3 Per Yr||Space Required 20 Sq Feet - Each||Grazing Acres .3 / Sheep||Feed Required / Yr $100||15 Lbs Wool / Year||Average Price $ 10 / LB Wool||Total Revenue Possible|
|1||3||60 sq ft||.9 acres||$ 300||45 lbs||$ 450||$ 150|
|2||6||120 sq ft||1.80 acres||$ 600||90 lbs||$ 900||$ 300|
|5||15||300 sq ft||4.5 acres||$ 1,500||225 lbs||$ 2,250||$ 750|
|10||30||600 sq ft||9 acres||$ 3,000||450 lbs||$ 4,500||$ 1,500|
|20||60||1200 sq ft||18 acres||$ 6,000||900 lbs||$ 9,000||$ 3,000|
|30||90||2,700 sq ft||27 acres||$ 9,000||1,350 lbs||$ 13,500||$ 4,500|
|40||120||4800 sq ft||36 acres||$ 12,000||1,800 lbs||$ 18,000||$ 6,000|
|50||150||3,000 sq ft||45 acres||$ 15,000||2,250 lbs||$ 22,500||$ 7,500|
|100||300||6,000 sq ft||90 acres||$ 30,000||4,500 lbs||$ 45,000||$ 15,000|
|200||600||12,000 sq ft||180 acres||$ 60,000||9,000 lbs||$ 90,000||$ 30,000|
Sheep can Produce 2 - 30 lbs of wool per year depending on Breed
Raw washed Wool Runs $ 6 - $ 14 using average $ 10
Feed 5 Months Buying Hay $ 100 rest Grazing
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Sheep Farming for Milk Profitability Table
|Sheep||Lambs / 3 Per Yr||Space Required 20 Sq Feet - Each||Grazing Acres .3 / Sheep||Feed Required / Yr $100||Wool $ 15 lb / Year||Average Price $ 10 / LB Wool||90 Gallon/ Yr each ewe||Price $ 30 per Gallon||Total Wool Revenue Possible||Total Revenue Milk and Wool|
|1||3||60 sq ft||.9 acres||$ 300||45 lbs||$ 450||270||8100||$ 150||8,250|
|2||6||120 sq ft||1.80 acres||$ 600||90 lbs||$ 900||540||16,200||$ 300||16,500|
|5||15||300 sq ft||4.5 acres||$ 1,500||225 lbs||$ 2,250||1350||40,500||$ 750||41,250|
|10||30||600 sq ft||9 acres||$ 3,000||450 lbs||$ 4,500||2700||81,000||$ 1,500||82,500|
|20||60||1200 sq ft||18 acres||$ 6,000||900 lbs||$ 9,000||5400||162,000||$ 3,000||165,000|
|30||90||2,700 sq ft||27 acres||$ 9,000||1,350 lbs||$ 13,500||8100||243,000||$ 4,500||247,500|
|40||120||4800 sq ft||36 acres||$ 12,000||1,800 lbs||$ 18,000||10,800||324,000||$ 6,000||330,000|
|50||150||3,000 sq ft||45 acres||$ 15,000||2,250 lbs||$ 22,500||13,500||405,000||$ 7,500||412,500|
|100||300||6,000 sq ft||90 acres||$ 30,000||4,500 lbs||$ 45,000||27,000||810,000||$ 15,000||825,000|
|200||600||12,000 sq ft||180 acres||$ 60,000||9,000 lbs||$ 90,000||54,000||1,620,000||$ 30,000||1,650,000|
Sheep can Produce 1/2 Gallon Milk per day / 180 Day Lactation
Raw Sheep Milk $9 - $25 per Quart - Used $ 30 per Gallon for Table
Feed 5 Months Buying Hay $ 100 rest Grazing
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18 Breeds of Hair Sheep FAQ Table
|Hair Breeds of Sheep||Country Origin||Purpose of Breed||Use||Ewe Weight|
|Katahdins||Caribbean / Maine / Africa||To Graze Power lines / instead of Chemicals||Meat||120 - 160 lbs|
|Dorper||South Africa||Thrive in Africa / Hot Climate||Meat / Fast Growing||230 LBs|
|Blackbelly||America||Hot Climates||Meat||150 LBs|
|St. Croix||Carribean||Came on Ships for Meat for sailors||Meat||150 lbs|
|Romanovs||Russia||Primarily for Meat||Meat|
Wool - Double Coated
|Blackhead Persian||Africa / Somaila||Bred for High Quanity of Fat||Meat||120 lbs|
|West African Dwarf||South / Central Africa||Meat||55 lbs|
|Red Maasi||East Africa||Bred for Hardiness and parasite Resistance||Meat||77 Lbs|
|Wiltshire Horn||England||Do not suffer from Flystrike||Meat||149 lbs|
|Royal White||United States / Texas||Bred for Tender Meat and Disease Resistants||Meat||175 lbs|
|California Red||Not completely Hair sheep/ Combination of both/ Prod 2 lambs Yr||Meat||140 lbs|
|Damara||Egypt||Vigorous with fast growing / in extreme conditions||Meat||110 lbs|
|Pelibuey||Cuba / Mexico||Tropical Sheep||Meat||75 lbs|
|Africana||Columbia / Venezula||Meat||110 lbs|
|Morada||Brazil||Survive Scrub||Meat||66 lbs|
|Brazillian Somaila||South Africa / Somali||Meat|
|Uda||Africa||Long Legged Sheep||Meat||88 lbs|
|Touabire||Africa||Dairy / Meat||77 lbs|
Minature Breeds of Sheep
|Breed||Height||Weight / Full Grown||Food Per Day||Lifespan||Wool / Hair Sheep||Cost|
|Quessant Sheep||!8"||28 - 30 Lbs||1/2 - 1lb||10 - 12 Yrs||Wool||$ 350 - 450|
|Baby Doll Southdown||18"||75 lbs||2 - 3 Lbs||10 - 12 Yrs||Wool||$ 350 -450|
|Southdown Sheep||18" - 24"||130 lbs||6 - 6 lbs||10 - 12 Yrs||Wool||$ 180 - $ 600|
|Cheviot Sheep||20"||130 Lbs||6 - 6 lbs||10 - 12 Yrs||Wool||$ 180 - $ 600|
|Border Cheviot||20"||130 lbs||6 - 6 lbs||10 - 12 Yrs||Wool||$ 180 - $ 600|
|Shetland Sheep||24"||75 - 100 lbs||6 - 6 lbs||10 - 12 Yrs||Wool||$ 50 - $100|
|Navajo - Churro||20"||110 lbs||6 - 6 lbs||10 - 12 Yrs||Wool||$ 200|
Amount of Food they Need
Wool - They Need to be Sheared Hair Sheep - Do not Grow Woll but shed Hair once a year
Pricing Depend whether you just want Sheep Or you want to Breed
10 Breeds of Sheep FAQ Table
|Breeds of Sheep||Country Origin||Purpose of Breed||Use||Ewe Weight|
|Suffolk Sheep||Britian / Suffolk||Fast Growing||Meat||250 - 350 Lbs|
|Merino Sheep||Spain||Softest Wool||Wool||100 - 200 Lbs|
|Hampshire||Britain||Best Tasting Mutton||Wool / Meat||200 Lbs|
|Romney||England / Romney Marsh||Disease Resistance||Wool / Meat||225 - 275 Lbs|
|Lincoln Sheep||England||Produce Longest Fleece In World||Wool||250 - 350 Lbs|
|Dorper Sheep||South African||Fast Growing Meat||Meat||230 Lbs|
|Turcana Sheep||Romainia||Adapted Alpine Pasture||Wool / Milk / Meat||175 - 200 Lbs|
|Rambouilette Sheep||France||Strong / Hearty / All Climates||Wool / Meat||300 Lbs|
|Leicester Longwool||United Kingdom||Fast growing / Good Fleece||Wool||200 Lbs|
Sheep Associations 10 Breeds of Sheep
|Breeds of Sheep||Country Origin||Purpose of Breed||Use||Ewe Weight||Association For Info|
|Suffolk Sheep||Britian / Suffolk||Fast Growing||Meat||250 - 350 Lbs||United Suffolk Sheep Association|
|Merino Sheep||Spain||Softest Wool||Wool||100 - 200 Lbs||American and Delane Merino Sheep Association|
|Hampshire||Britain||Best Tasting Mutton||Wool / Meat||200 Lbs||American Hampshire Sheep Association|
|Romney||England / Romney Marsh||Disease Resistance||Wool / Meat||225 - 275 Lbs||American Romney Breeders Association|
|Lincoln Sheep||England||Produce Longest Fleece In World||Wool||250 - 350 Lbs||National Lincoln Sheep Breeders Association|
|Dorper Sheep||South African||Fast Growing Meat||Meat||230 Lbs||American Droper Sheep association|
|Turcana Sheep||Romainia||Adapted Alpine Pasture||Wool / Milk / Meat||175 - 200 Lbs||?|
|Rambouilette Sheep||France||Strong / Hearty / All Climates||Wool / Meat||300 Lbs||American Rambouilette Sheep Breeders Association|
|Leicester Longwool||United Kingdom||Fast growing / Good Fleece||Wool||200 Lbs||Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders Association|