Intro to the Mouflan
Mouflon have a red-brown short-haired coat with a dark back-stripe, white to light colored saddle patch, 'socks' and underparts. Mature males turn black on lower neck. White circles around eyes and muzzle. The males have thick, ridged horns; some females are horned while others lack horns. The horns of males are curved in almost one full revolution. Horns of crossbreeds often complete one full curl and arch outward. Compared to other common exotic rams, mouflon have a more "open curl" at full maturity. Male horns typically measure 20 to 29 inches, with up to 37 inches being exceptional. Mouflon sheep have a shoulder height of about 34 inches and a body weight of 90 to 120 lbs (males) and 80 lbs (females)
Hide in thick brush when disturbed. Usually graze in the open, lie on slopes to sun themselves, and seek shade when temperatures rise. Aggressive among one another. Males and females live in separate groups and only come together during mating season. Mouflon mate, or go through a rut, in late autumn to early winter. The rams' dominance is determined by his age and the size of his horns. They will crash their horns together to re-enforce dominance.
Mouflan food and eating habits
Grazers, but will consume large amounts of browse when within reach and if grass becomes scarce. Will eat fallen leaves. Utilize forbs readily. It has a multi-chambered stomach with special microbes that break down the cellulose of the plant cell walls. After it has eaten its fill, the mouflon will lie down and regurgitate its food, chewing it a second time to soften it some more. It then swallows it again for the last time. The ewes will usually have the better foraging grounds because their health is more important for reproduction. The high browse line left by taller animals can sometimes limit the availability of forage in Texas.
Have a rut that generally lasts 6 to 10 weeks, beginning in October or November. Births take place in the Spring (March to April). Females have a 5 month gestation period that results in a single birth except in hybrids, which commonly give births to twins. Both males and females reach sexual maturity at 6 to 18 months.
Mouflan average life span
The average life expectancy in the wild is 13 years, but up to 20 years.
Because of habitat and low predation, mouflan typically do well in the Hill Country of Central Texas. Generally compatible with other exotics. Should keep away from other sheep to avoid hybridization. Expect fertile hybrids with any other kind of sheep species. More tolerant of toxic plants that many other exotics. Supplemental feeding may be required if snow persists because of a lack of pawing behavior to reach food. Horn tips of males may have to be trimmed if curl reaches neck. Fencing height of 4.5 feet usually sufficient; can jump 4 foot fence when motivated.