Surprising Facts about Bighorn Sheep(Ovis canadensis) Mating Behaviors

Surprising Facts about Bighorn Sheep(Ovis canadensis) Mating Behaviors


The breeding season is from November to December, and the young are born in the spring. Ewes will mate with several rams. After a gestation period of 150-180 days, one, and very occasionally two young are born. After only a week, lambs can follow their mothers confidently over the rocky terrain. Several few weeks after birth, lambs form groups of their own, going to their mothers only to drink milk now and again. By 4 to 6 months they are completely weaned. 

Females in captivity have been mated at 10 to 11 months, but they usually do not breed in the wild until in their second or third year. Due to fierce competition for females between males, and a hierarchy that is based on age and size (horn size as well), males are usually 7 years old before they mate. If dominant rams are killed, younger males in their group will mate sooner. 

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Surprising Facts about Bighorn Sheep(Ovis canadensis) Mating Behaviors


Surprising Facts about Bighorn Sheep(Ovis canadensis) Mating Behaviors

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