Red Sheep

Red Sheep Quick Facts

Red Sheep

Common Name

Red Sheep

Scientific Name

Ovis ammon gmenili. Hybrid of Armenian mouflan (Ovis gmelini gmelini) and the Transcaspian urial (O. vignei arkal).  AKA Alborz red sheep; Iranian red sheep. 

Primarily found in

Occurs naturally in Iran's Alborz Mountains in Asia.



Life Span

Up to 18 years

Intro to the Red Sheep

Tan to roan colored sheep, with at least a hint of a white saddle in males (more clear in winter).  Because of their hybrid origin, coat color tends to vary.  Black throat to chest or white throat with black continuing with black down chest.  Throat hair sometimes forms a neck ruff.  Underparts off-white to white.  Lower legs dull to white.  Females tend to be more uniform in color.  In males, heavy, ridged horns arc toward or behind neck.  Horns tend to sweep back more than mouflan rams but sometimes curl slightly like a urial. Grow 24 to 34 inches, reaching  36 & 1/4 inches in length.  Horns in females are either absent or may appear as short protrusions that curve slightly.  Average male weighs approx. 100 lbs, but can reach 150 lbs, while females average 60 lbs and up to 85.

Red Sheep behavior

Prefer open rough, undulating terrain. Red sheep are good climbers that spend much of their time in native  habitats navigating hillsides, cliffs and rocky terrain.  In the summer, older males are solitary or hang out in small bachelor groups.  Wary behavior makes them skittish and run at any sense of danger, regardless of distance.

Red Sheep food and eating habits

High summer range offers abundance of lush green grasses and forbs so sheep build condition and population stays healthy.  Food supply limited in winter range, but is sufficient as long as sheep migrate out in spring, letting vegetation on the foothills recover.

Red Sheep breeding

Occurs from November to December.  Females give birth to 1 or 2 young after a 5 month gestation period.  Most births take place in April and May.  Males and females both reach sexual maturity at 18 months.

Red Sheep average life span

Up to 18 years

Keeping Red Sheep

Extremely wary and flee at slight disturbances, even at great distances.  Can not deal with deep snow.  They are a fertile breeding line, so it is advised not to put with other sheep because of the likelihood of interbreeding.  Is compatible with other exotics.  Male horns that grow toward neck may break skin if they grow too long.  Can contract mange from livestock.  8 foot fence is usually adequate for keeping red sheep.



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