The sheep or the domestic sheep (Ovis aries) is a domestic animal of the order Artiodactyla. Sheep are raised for their meat, milk, wool and for breeding. Sheep wool is largely in use, more than any other sort of wool. Wool is obtained by sheering the sheep. The male is called the ram and the young are lambs. Its meat is called mutton, while the meat of a young animal is lamb. A person whose job is to look after the sheep is called a shepherd.


Lamb is one of the fundamental Christian symbols. The old religions often used a sheep or a lamb as a sacrificial animal. For that reason, our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God – who on his own free will and by the will of his Father and the Holy Ghost sacrificed himself for the humanity – is called the Lamb of God. Jesus is also called Good Shepherd.


Good Shepherd, a fresco found in the Roman catacombs.


Among many sheep breeds, there is one autochthon to these regions, the Pramenka sheep, a primitive one but tough and robust with an ability to walk long distances over hard terrain and to adapt to various nutritive conditions. Almost every area in Serbia has its own breed type, and for centuries, a small Pirot type has been breed on Stara Planina. Once there were 500,000 of Pramenka sheep, but now a village can gather barely fifty animals.


Sheep are most likely descended from the wild mouflon in the regions of southern and south-western Asia several thousand years ago. And a curious fact is that the first successfully cloned mammal, was Dolly the sheep in1997.