I am interested in whether a sheep endures more stress when its environment is hot if it has a full fleece or if it is recently shorn. Put another way, at the extremes, is a sheep more likely to die due to high temperatures if it has its fleece or if it does not? If the answer depends on breed, what are the biological differences that cause one breed to interact with this element of its environment than others?

I am interested in temperatures around 90°F but if the answer differs at some temperature commonly experienced somewhere on Earth, that would be interesting to know as well.

I am interested in modest relative humidity values, in the 40%-60% range, but again if the answer differs outside of that range it would be interesting to know about.

I considered asking this question on a physics stack exchange (where a sheep might be modeled as, say, a radiator with or without insulation) but I'm particularly interested in the answer for real, actual sheep - biological processes and all - and not just a spherical sheep of radius r.


1 Answer 1


Wool serves as a good insulator, meaning it doesn't allow warmth to escape the wearer easily allowing the wearer to remain warm. Furthermore, wool helps maintain a dry environment by absorbing moisture from the air (and sweat) which can also keep you cool during summer.

Here's a link that talks more about this for both wool wearers and sheep: https://shepherdsdream.com/blog/wonders-of-wool/how-wool-keeps-us-cool/

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Wicking seems like a really good point. I had the impression that sheep don't sweat but ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1365279/pdf/… apparently contradicts this notion. $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2020 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, there are only a handful of mammals that have some form of perspiration. $\endgroup$
    – Ark Lomas
    Jul 5, 2020 at 10:17

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