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Do Sheep Make a Lot of Noise?

One of the biggest concerns when deciding on livestock is how much noise they’ll make. After all, no one wants to get noise complaints from their neighbors. So, does this include sheep? Will they make a lot of noise on your homestead?

Sheep will make some noise when they’re feeding or if there’s a dispute in their pecking order. They’ll also complain if they haven’t been fed or if it’s milking time. While some breeds of sheep are noisier than others, it comes down to the individual sheep.

We know that sheep bleat and baa, but how loud is it, and is it enough to make neighbors complain? Are there any ways to help keep sheep quieter? Let’s take a further look.

How Much Noise Do Sheep Make?

a sheep bleating
Quieter Sheep BreedsNoisier Sheep Breeds
Brecknock Hills
Black Welsh Mountains
Barbados Black Bellies

Some sheep are noisier than others, and while choosing a quieter breed can help, how much noise should you expect?

Sheep can make a lot of noise when they’re upset or in danger. While these noises can be loud and sometimes heard by neighbors, it’s still usually not as loud as a barking dog. You’ll also hear sheep make low rumbling sounds from time to time. However, there is the occasional sheep that will make a screaming sound.

The two biggest factors for how much noise a sheep makes really comes down to the breed and the individual sheep. While it’s hard to control their noise levels, understanding why sheep make noise in the first place can help minimize it.

Why Do Sheep Make Noise?

Sheep make noise for a variety of reasons, and some are typically louder than others. Sheep are also said to socialize like humans, in a way, as they have different pitches and unique “voices” that help them identify and communicate with each other. This is especially true of lambs and their mothers. So, what are some other reasons why sheep make noise?

Sheep generally make noise to communicate and socialize with each other. They can also make noise when they’re hungry, lost, hurt, scared, and more. From these noises, sheep can move in sync with the rest of the herd, just like a school of fish. This is especially helpful when there is a threat nearby.

To help illustrate this, here’s a list of reasons why sheep might make noise:

  • Not fed on time/hungry
  • If they see you and want a treat
  • When they’re let out in the morning
  • When a ewe is speaking to its lamb (imprinting the sound of her voice)
  • When a lamb is lost (both the lamb and ewe will make noise to find each other)
  • Communicating with the rest of the herd
  • Something or someone new is nearby (excited/curious)
  • Danger is nearby
  • Separated from the herd/lonely
  • In pain
  • Birthing

One of the most common noises you’ll hear on your homestead is when your sheep are hungry or when a lamb is lost. Sometimes, if a sheep is sick, they won’t eat and might make a variety of noises. Also, if you have predators that roam your homestead frequently, you might hear some sheep vocally panicking.

So, while these might explain why sheep make noise, can you expect it to continue into the night, and what can you do about the noise (if anything)?

Are Sheep Noisy During the Night?

Sheep aren’t generally noisy at night unless they’re hungry, lonely, or in danger. Most of the time, sheep will have a low rumble of bleats and baas at night. In the end, the level of noise at night also depends on the breed and individual sheep.

Some of the loudest calls at night will likely be from lambs and ewe crying out if they’ve been separated. So, make sure they’re in the same pen, if possible.

How to Keep Sheep Quiet

The best way to keep sheep quiet is to make sure they have enough hay and water. Additionally, providing them with enough outdoors and grazing time, if the weather’s suitable, will help. Sheep need to make some noise to communicate with others and maintain healthy socialization.

It’s best not to discourage sheep from making any noise because it’s important for their social and psychological health. These noises will also help alert each other of danger and might help save some sheep on your homestead.

Selecting a quieter breed and providing them what they need can be the best approach to keeping your sheep more quiet.

If you’d like an idea of what noises to expect from sheep, check out this video by Kiddopedia.

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking about getting sheep (or already have some), and you’re worried about getting noise complaints from your neighbors, you might find it tough to keep your sheep quiet. While they’re not as loud as a barking dog, they can still be heard at least a few doors down.

Whether it’s about food, birthing, or a threat, sheep have different calls for different reasons, and if you keep a keen ear out, you might be able to pick up on what it means and provide them with what they need.