Sheep are animals which can offer a lot of benefits. Since their domestication, shepherds tried to obtain the best traits of crossbreeding.
Nowadays, sheep are among the most appreciated animals. Besides wool, meat and milk, products that we all know very well, sheep also offer other benefits. So, which are the most common uses of the sheep?
Meat: Lamb and Mutton
There is no doubt that the most important product we get from these animals is meat. Lamb is the meat from the sheep that is less than one year old, and mutton is the meat from a sheep that is over one year old.
This kind of product is used in the clothing industry in a large variety of wares. For example, it can be used in producing a variety of things, from socks and jumpers to suits and costumes.
Also, it can be used in manufacturing carpets, in the furniture trade for making chair covers and for upholstery. Wool can also be used to fill mattresses and to create tennis ball covers.
Lanolin (wool wax)
Researches showed that raw wool can be recovered during the scouring process, which contains 10 to 25 per cent grease named lanolin (wool wax). What is lanolin?
This type of fat can be used in adhesive tape, printing inks, motor oils and auto lubrication. More than that, lanolin is very useful for the cosmetics industry and pharmaceuticals industry, being used to produce pharmaceuticals from their blood and milk. Most of the cosmetics and beauty products from the market contain lanolin – lipsticks, mascara, lotions, shampoos and hair conditioners.
Hides and skins
After slaughtering, the sheepskins are removed from the carcasses. The next step is making them into soft leather through a process called tanning. It is well known the fact that the skin from the hair sheep produces the highest quality leather, the main reason being that it is more open and loose in texture than other types of skin.
The chamois cloths, used by drivers to wash their cars, are made from sheepskin as well. Usually, a small number of skins with the wool still attached are stored and sold as sheepskins.
Milk is one of the most important products which we can get from sheep. Used to prepare yoghurt, butter and ice cream, the sheep’s milk is rich in calcium and offers many benefits to the human body.
There are types of famous cheese whose original recipe contains sheep’s milk. Here are some of them:
- Pecorino Romano.
Nowadays, due to its high quality, cheese continues to be one of the most loved dairy products from sheep.
Contributions in science and medicine
Throughout time, sheep has offered amazing contributions in science, as well as in medicine. Being used as research models in order to study diseases, sheep has improved the development of surgical techniques.
Moreover, sheep blood is an ideal climate for culturing bacteria. These animals are often used in stem cell research. Scientists are using wool proteins and with the help of nanotechnology, they try to create new wound dressings, bone graft implants and medical sutures.