Dall Sheep

Dall sheep have an extremely wide range of habitat. They are arctic, but also sub arctic animals.

Dall Sheep will range from alpine ridges, meadows and anywhere they feel able to easily escape.

They fly into the rocky slopes where predators such as human, bear and wolves have great trouble navigating.

The male Dall Sheep, called a ram, can be about 3 feet high at the shoulder and weigh in excess of 200 pounds.

Dall Sheep
Dall Sheep

The female, called a ewe is about the same size in height but weighs in at only about 125 pounds.

They are white or off white in color but can vary from a light yellowish color to snowy white.
The Dall Sheep is the only true white sheep living in the wild in the world.

Dall Sheep are known for their incredible and very distinctive curling horns. They can take over 5 years to reach full size. Ewes also have horns, although they tend to be shorter and more thin in nature.

Ewes breed in late fall and have babies, called lambs, later in May.

When it is time to give birth, the mother will look for a protected spot the is quiet to have her baby. Usually that means the most inaccessible cliff that exists in the area. She will give birth to usually one lamb although twins are not uncommon.

They stay in that area for about a week, until the baby is able to stand and walk. This may take from a week to two weeks.

When they leave the birthing place they are also beginning to eat vegetation from the area, although they still nurse until late September or early October, near the next breeding season.

Dall sheep have hollow hair that serves as an insulation for their bodies. This helps them to survive in the frigid weather of the arctic.

One interesting fact about Dall Sheep is the annuli. This is what the growth pattern is called that make of the rings on the horns of the sheep.

The larger their horns, the older they are.

In winter of each year the horns stop growing.

Because of this “growth rings” occur much like those of a tree.

You can usually tell how old a sheep is by the number of “growth rings” that his horns have.

Ram horns will generally be about half a circle in three years, 3/4 of a circle in five years, and a full circle or full curl in seven to eight years.

Find out more about the Dall Sheep over at Wikipedia »

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