Sheep are also often bred for meat. The meat from an adult sheep is called mutton. Lamb is the meat from a sheep under one year old and is preferred in the U.S.
There are many different breeds of sheep in the world. We have several breeds of sheep. One is the Suffolk breed, which is breed of large sheep used mainly for meat. We also have Kahtadin sheep which are a hair sheep. We also have some Miniature Shetlands, and Babydoll Southdown Sheep, which are very small sheep that are bred for wool and meat. The Babydoll Southdown breed comes directly from an old English breed and is considered to be one of the oldest breeds still in existence.
Female sheep are called ewes and male sheep are called rams. The babies are called lambs. Ewes usually have 1-3 babies at a time. Some breeds can have up to 4 lambs at a time. Lambing most often occurs in the spring but some farmers breed their sheep to lamb in the fall.
People use the fur, or wool, from some sheep to make fabric. They get the wool by giving the sheep a hair cut in the late spring or early summer. This is called shearing the sheep. This keeps the sheep cool in the summer and
lets us have warm clothes in the winter. Different breeds of sheep produce different types of wool. Hair sheep do not produce wool at all. These sheep are often preferred by people keeping sheep in warmer climates. They are often more disease resistant and do not require shearing.