Little things that feed the flame

The Secret of Coloured Sheep


Ever since I started travelling around Ireland, I was wondering why sheep have all those bright paint marks on their fleece. Apparently, there are many reasons. The simplest being to mark the sheep’s owner as the animals usually roam freely and go anywhere they want, including visiting other farmers’ sheep 🙂 But paint is also used to mark the sheep that have received vaccination, deworming, or other treatment. Also, apparently, rams are given a harness with paint at mating season, so that they leave a mark on the sheep they mate with. So, I suppose, it’s not only the colour of paint that matters when interpreting the marks, but also its location on the sheep’s body.

This coloured beauty is one of the many lovely sheep we met on our recent trip. I will tell much more about it in my next post. Watch this space 😉


5 thoughts on “The Secret of Coloured Sheep

  1. Thanks! I’m going next year and it’s great to know that beforehand 🙂

  2. Not only sheeps get marked. In North America, we sometimes see red breasted hummingbirds with marks. They have been catched and marks. Recatching a few one with marks help gattering data about their migration and also their life expectations…which can be as much as 8 years!

    • Do they get marked with paint? Kind of hard to imagine that on a bird… Back in Lithuania they have a big ornithology center where they catch, mark, and release many birds. As far as I know, that is done by placing a tiny metal ring around a bird’s leg with information on it.

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