AOUDAD OR BARBARY SHEEP
Texas is home to more Aoudad sheep, or to what some people refer to as Barbary Sheep, than their native home of South Africa. Aoudads were first released into the Texas wilds in the 1950's. Releases took place in the Northwestern panhandle region, as well as the Trans-Pecos of far west Texas. Aoudads are exceptionally sporty animals, combining wary nature with tough physical hardiness. Today, aoudads enjoy a wide distribution in North America. Besides being found in most zoos and game parks, a large number of feral populations have been established in the Southwest. Their range includes New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California. Technically, they are not considered a pure sheep but actually have biological features of both a sheep and a goat. Mature males will weigh up to 275 pounds. Females will usually be much lighter, weighing around 175 pounds. Both males and females grow horns, but the male's horns will grow considerably larger. Aoudads have a unique hair coat characterized by a solid color throughout their body which is a sandy color and blends exceptionally well with their environment. Additionally, they have a striking long beard or mane which runs from their throat all the way down to their chest, and they also sport long hair as chaps on their front legs. Peak breeding activity usually occurs in late August or early September. Afte a five month gestation, the ewes will give birth to their young, with twins not being uncommon.