Young lambs jumping in the air

Why Do Sheep Jump in The Air? 7 Interesting Facts

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Sheep are pretty fascinating animals with interesting behaviors. While sheep are generally gentle, docile animals, one of their more fascinating behaviors is jumping, and you are likely to ask, why do sheep jump in the air?

Sheep jump in the air mainly for fun, displaying their excitement; you will find them leaping and running around. In addition, they jump to get out of danger, communicate with other members of the flock, and exercise. Jumping in the air also happens out of their strong flocking instincts.

With that said, keep reading to learn more about why sheep jump in the air.

A black lamb jumping in the air

Why Do Sheep Jump in The Air (Detailed Explanation)

Watching your sheep jump around can be beautiful. And it is important to let them be unless there is a clear sign that they are trying to escape danger. Also, note that jumping is more common among younger sheep.

Some sheep’s leaping skills will be astounding, and you may be curious about why they’re jumping into the air.

Sheep leap for several reasons, including:

Sheep Jump Because They Are Excited

Sheep frequently begin to leap in the air when they become thrilled about something.

They can be excited about getting food or something else by hopping about. Watch your surroundings to see what could be causing the excitement in your flock.

How high your sheep jump in their air is greatly influenced by their breed, with certain breeds jumping higher than others.

READ ALSO: Do Sheep Jump Fences? Reasons And Best Fence Ideas

Sheep Jump When Playing

Sheep are playful animals that enjoy spending time with other flock members. Part of their playful activities include jumping in the air, so do not be alarmed when you find them jumping up and down.

It is worth noting that other sheep will likely start leaping in the air when they observe the others jumping around.

Occasionally, your sheep may leap in the air because they are bursting with energy. This sheep behavior is also witnessed in other domestic animals, such as goats.

Jumping To Escape Danger

Jumping in the air does not happen only when sheep are excited or feeling playful. On the contrary, this common behavior among these animals serves a valuable purpose that could save their lives.

Unfortunately, sheep sometimes have to jump in the face of danger to escape it. For instance, your sheep might jump to attempt to escape a predator pursuing it.

While this can be quite frightening for you and the sheep, taking the proper precautions to keep your flock safe from predators will help improve the situation and increase the odds of your sheep escaping with their life.

Nevertheless, it is fascinating to learn your sheep will use their ability to jump in the air to try to flee danger.

The predator might be a less dangerous animal, like a stray dog living in the region, or a more deadly species of animal, such as a wolf. 

Besides predators, you will likely notice that your sheep run away or leap when they come across humans if they are scared of them. However, this does not usually happen when they are around people they are familiar with.

Therefore, it is not uncommon for new flock members to freak out when they see you. Those who have been on the farm for a long time will go about their business or even approach you.

Flocking Instinct

It is equally important to talk about the flocking behavior of sheep in relation to jumping in the air.

While sheep have a high flocking tendency, which drives them to stay together, this character can also explain why your flock is jumping around.

Through evolution, sheep understand that flocking together gives them the best chance of survival, implying that sheep will likely resist separation from their herd.

Moreover, it is common knowledge that sheep heed the directions of their flock’s leaders. Usually, the “elder” sheep in the herd will take the lead, and the younger ones will follow suit.

If you are familiar with sheep, you’ve probably heard that the herding instinct may induce sheep to make poor decisions just because a leader sheep did.

For instance, if a sheep falls from a cliff, the others may decide to follow because of their flocking behavior.

For this reason, your flock will likely start jumping in the air if the leader of the flock starts jumping.

Sheep Jump in The Air to Communicate with Other Sheep

Scientists discovered sheep leap to communicate with other sheep in animal behavior’s published research.

The study concluded that when two young sheep initially met, they would frequently leap in the air and ram their heads together.

This habit was especially typical of siblings that had been separated soon after birth.

It Is Good for Their Health

Sheep make the most of their opportunities to leap around because it offers them a chance to exercise, ensuring they don’t gain too much energy.

Therefore, this activity is excellent for ensuring your sheep stay healthy and active, which is also a great deal of fun.

Young lambs jumping in the air

Why Do Sheep Jump Around?

Lambs like to jump about with their friends. The young sheep have a unique signal when they want to indulge in fun activities, similar to the ‘play bow’ used by dogs.

Jumping around is also a sign of happiness, so an absence of this should make you worry about your lambs’ health.

People Also Ask Questions

1. Do Sheep Jump Over Fences?

Sheep can jump over a low, sagging, or broken fence. However, most sheep will be unable to jump over a 48-inch-tall fence.

Sheep feel safe in groups, but they would have to leave the flock to leap over the fence. If the fence is short or damaged, a few of the most daring sheep will attempt it, but the rest of the flock may not and stay put as long as you feed them.

2. How Far Can a Sheep Jump?

In their rocky environment, sheep can leap 7 feet (2 meters) across vast cracks and even turn in the air before landing on narrow rock ledges. Even newborn lambs are capable of running across rough ground.

Bighorn sheep have incredible balance and can stay on ledges as narrow as 2 inches (5 cm).

They can also leap 20 feet (6 meters) and then go up a mountain at a speed of 15 mph (24 km/h), an attribute that helps them dodge mountain lions and other predators.

3. What Does It Mean When a Lamb Jumps?

Sheep are gentle creatures, but when scared, they can injure people while fleeing, so a lamb can jump when confined and feeling agitated.

In addition, they can jump when playing and having fun. Lambs jump far higher than fully matured sheep since they are more fun and energetic than adults.

4. Why Do Sheep Jump Randomly?

When sheep are delighted for various reasons, including when feeding time comes, they often start jumping in the air.

This is because one of the ways it expresses happiness is by jumping in the air.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this post helped you understand why sheep jumping in the air should not catch you by surprise. Sheep move about frequently, and that doesn’t need a long explanation.

However, it is easy to observe how sheep will leap when they’re excited about something or just having fun.

They can also jump because of flock instinct or to avoid impending danger. Knowing why sheep behave this way will make it easier for you to understand what is happening.


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