The Kneeling Sheep


My new Tunis sheep do something I’ve never seen sheep do before, and I’ve had sheep for several years now. They kneel and pray.
I’m just kidding! I think! I think they are just kneeling to eat, but I haven’t known them very long and we haven’t discussed religion yet.

Sometimes they just plop right on the ground to eat, too.
Is it too much effort to stand? Do they have short necks? Are they tired, dizzy, discombobulated?
We just don’t know! We need to get to know them better.

We could start with names……. Then we wouldn’t have to say, hey you, what are you doing on the ground?!

I have two girls and a ram. Name away! I need suggestions!


  1. prvrbs31gal says:

    I’m going with Martha, Mary, and John! Biblical names for the praying sheep.

  2. kdubbs says:

    Interesting! I’ve seen sheep do this before, but only when they’re suffering from a lameness issue or footrot. One of ours began kneeling and/or lying down to graze a couple of years ago, so we investigated more closely. Turned out that he had a hoof abscess. We treated it, and he was back to grazing on all fours in no time. What’s funny is that all of yours are doing it!

  3. twoturkey says:

    I’ve never seen sheep do that either…..perhaps they are praying as you said…..ha ha I don’t have sheep …have only seen them in fields in passing along the roadways. It’s cute though, isn’t it?
    How about Lizzie, Minnie and Moe as names.

    Mrs. Turkey

  4. outbackfarm says:

    That’s so funny! Sometimes my sheep lay down and just eat right where they are. I think they are just lazy! My goats will kneel like that though. Maybe they’re just half tired.

  5. langela says:

    Peter, Paula, and Mary. Kind of Biblical, kind of not. In case you can’t get them to answer why they kneel.

  6. cindyinohio says:

    How about Emma, Annie, and Jasper. Don’t know why I thought of those names. They just popped in my head.

  7. Grammy Jam says:

    Mow-na (cause they “mow” the grass), Neela,(cause they “kneel” down to eat), and Chewy (just cause they chew) lol

  8. GA_in_GA says:

    What about Elkanah, Penninah, and Hannah? Biblical, definitely. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. angelridgmom says:

    Sister Bertrille, Sister Jacqueline,and Carlos?

    Anyone remember the Flying Nun?

  10. ibpallets (Sharon B.) says:

    You have a crazy, so you could have a prazy, lazy and……………?

  11. ibpallets (Sharon B.) says:

    Kelly, I do remember The Flying Nun with a young :sheep: Sally Fields.

  12. jellyrose says:

    Definitely something going on with their front feet. Either footrot or trimmed too close and they are sore. We’ve had sheep get a clod of mud stuck between their toes and act lame ’til they were able to dislodge it. Not sure if sheep can ‘founder’…but maybe, if they aren’t used to being on a really lush pasture.

  13. Andrea the Kitchen Witch says:

    Name the boy Eric Clapton and one of the girls Layla. “Layla, got me on my knees Layla” ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. wildcat says:

    I don’t have any sheep, but I do have a theory. These are very young sheep. So perhaps they saw another sheep kneeling because of a problem with its feet, and they are just mimicking what they saw the other sheep do. Maybe they think they are SUPPOSED to kneel. I don’t know… just a theory! :sheep:

  15. dawdawsmom says:

    Probably just a bad haaaaabit. (Sorry =o) You must put Sister and Brother in front of their names…or Get Up, behind them! (Sorry again! =o)

  16. rebinva says:

    Who knows with sheep. They are funny creatures. I had very young lambs with a foot problem called “scald” once. It is one of the components of foot rot. I understand if you treat it before it gets bad, you are more likely to avoid full blown foot rot.
    Hopefully your lambs are just quirky!

  17. canthony says:

    How about E.F. Mutton for the guy sheep. I can’t think of a clever name for the female. I always name my chickens after movie stars. Make it a good day! carline

  18. whaledancer says:

    Well, theyโ€™re Tunis sheep, so you could pick Tunisian names. For the ewes, something like Miriam, Shayma, Nina, Selma, Farah, Nadia, Sonia, Rose, Hana, Yasmine, or Nadine. For the ram, Karim, Rami, Walid, Omar, Abdul, or Youssef.

  19. knititblack says:

    Miriam, Rose, Omar! Yes!

  20. PatSky says:

    Someone mentioned Moe & got me thinking – what about Laurie, Curly and Mow?

  21. alosyu says:

    How about —- Wynken, Blynken and Nod ?

  22. mamajoseph says:

    I like the Tunisian names and I love it when I see things that cross culture barriers. The blue mark on them is just what pastoralists here (in Kenya) do when they worm their animals.

    As for the kneeling…wart hogs eat like that, so maybe it’s an African thing.

  23. The High Altitude Tea Duchess says:

    Is there a theme like the goats?
    Maybe flower names for the girls? Snapdragon, buttercup, primrose? For the boy…hmmm, Rambler, no. Maybe Socks? Socks the ram. lol

  24. SwoosieQ says:

    When my husband and I went on our honeymoon through the UK 16 years ago, we noticed (and took pictures of!) the weird sheep that would kneel to eat. We soon realized that MOST of the sheep there knelt to eat… so we just assumed they were lazy… or smart! Looks like you have some clever ones!

  25. fowlers says:

    As I’m loving all these stories here, how bout the 3 Amigo’s::do they stay together like that all the time? very interesting indeed, I don’t know know why, but they are neat little creatures for sure!

    Sandy :sheep:

  26. Barbee says:

    Now THAT is just strange!

  27. DebDonahue says:

    alosyu, I named the chickens in the cozy mystery I’m writing Winken, Blinken, and Nod so I definitely approve those names. I also named the three goats in the book Larry, Curly and Moe, so Laurie, Curly and Mow also sound like good options to me.


  28. PV Grammy says:

    Well, our chickens are named Omelet, Fried, Scrambled, and Poached. So, how about Cardigan and Vestie for the girls and Stud Muffin for the ram? ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. jodiezoeller says:

    I like the spice name that you gave Nutmeg. Maybe you can have some spicy sheep too… since they have reddish/cinnamon colored faces how about the name Cinnamon? Maybe you can have the Cinnamon trio with names: Sugar (girl), Sweet (girl) and Bark or Ground (boy). So they would be Cinnamon Sugar, Sweet Cinnamon and Cinnamon Bark or Ground Cinnamon. Other ideas sounded good like the Tunisian names or Biblical names.

  30. AnnieB says:

    The third photo just cracked me up. The sheep in the foreground looks like she’s fixin to stand on her head!

    I haven’t the foggiest what they’re trying to do, but sheep are pretty strange creatures, aren’t they?

  31. Joell says:

    :happyflower: :happyflower: :happyflower:
    The on name that I can think of is Sheba, but there are many cute suggestions. The are such cute critters, it will be fun to get to know them.

  32. emit says:

    I know what happened They knew that the other sheep was with them an they are praying that the same thing doesn’t happen to them :snoopy:

  33. alba says:

    I like Neela Curly Lamb-chop….
    Or Sophie Rosie Zak.
    It’s the strangest thing I have ever seen.
    Have a good one Ann/alba

  34. faboolie says:

    Your sheep are super cute. Here are my suggestions for names:

    Sister Gertrude the reverent (Gertie)
    Sister Ruth the pious (Ruthy)
    Brother Ignatius the rowdy (Iggy)


  35. roosterrun says:

    . What about shadrach, meshach and abednego for the sheep? That is one of my favorite stories.

  36. missjane says:

    How about names like Rosemary, Thyme and Thomas? (I don’t know why Thomas would fit, but it sounds right.) So glad you had a great retreat. It looks like everyone had so much fun. Thanks for the report! Hugs!

  37. StuckinMiami says:

    Missjane’s idea is good except I would go with Rosemary, Thyme and Basil for the ram. Basil is also a fairly common name in the UK.

  38. EMarie says:

    Jacob, Leah and Rachel, because of the Bible story of Jacob working for for his father-in-law with sheep for both wives.

  39. oddgirl says:

    I think you should name your ram Dodge. Get it? Dodge Ram. ๐Ÿ˜† So, you could stick with car/vehicle names. Dodge for the Ram, and for the girls…um….Baja, Aurora, Brat, Capri/Caprice, Dakota, Dart, Gremlin, Pinto, Milano, Nova, Rebel, Rio, Sephia, Sierra, Sidekick…Well, you get the idea.

    I’m also a big fan of naming animals for other animals. You could name him Moose or Bear, and name the girls something like Cricket, Bunny, Chicken, Sparrow, Turtle, etc…etc…

    My BF likes to name his animals funny/serious human names that people don’t usually use to name pets. We have a big huge solid black tomcat right now named Keith. Name them Stan, Brenda, and Margaret.

  40. steakandeggs says:

    Well I was going with Peter, Pauline, and Mary, but someone has Peter, Paula, and Mary. StuckinMiami, and EMarie has great names and so do alot of the others. I think you have too many good names and not enough sheep. YOU NEED MORE SHEEP. HA HA :snoopy:

    BTW I have had calves do that. They don’t do it long, but it sure looks strange. I seen them lay down then eat the grass around them.

  41. Sharon Gosney says:

    Curly,Larry and Mona (Mowna).

  42. DeedainSeattle says:

    I like the Cinnamon idea…Nutmeg? Allspice? I also think of Hot Cocoa, Hot Chocolate, Frappachino, Latte, Mocha…I live in Seattle (Starbucks land!) you know!

  43. collector1 says:

    In honor of a bachelor farmer neighbors and his 2 unmarried sisters that I knew as a small child – Emma, Meta, and Frank. Although I like the spice theme someone suggested earlier. :sheepjump:

  44. Mandys says:

    Jacob, Ruth and Naomi!

  45. Dawn says:

    :sheep: you could give them nun names – you know – the priest from the bing crosby boys town movie = Father whatever and the nuns from the hepburn movies sister whatever – sorry – don’t remember the names off the top of my bad memory but it would be kind of cute combined with the kneeling. ?? :sheepjump:

  46. brookdale says:

    I like Peter, Paula and Mary too. They are so cute, kneeling down to eat! They just like to be real close to their food supply!

  47. brookdale says:

    What is in the water supply down there in WV? You have fainting goats and now kneeling sheep…what’s next? Dancing cows? Talking horses? ๐Ÿ˜†

  48. BuckeyeGirl says:

    I like the herbal theme too, lots of female names in there, and yes, Basil sounds like a great Ram name, or maybe Hawthorn! :sheep: Ewes could be Rosemary, Tansy, Violet, Sage, Lavender, Hyssop, Dill, Oregano(?), Parsley, Saffron, Poppy, Laurel, Terragon, Yarrow, Caraway… There’s a LOT to choose from! I think Cicely is an herb too.

  49. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Oh, and when you reminded us of how young they are, it made me think about how lambs will kneel down to nurse when they’re growing, so maybe they’re just kneeling because it seems kinda natural for them still, and as they get older they’ll cut back on it. Just a thought.

  50. GrammieEarth says:

    Too cute! I like the herbal names and the vehicle names best!

  51. Wm.Mike says:

    i have an Englisg Southdown and he will lay down to eat. He had a buddy that did it also. :sheepjump:


  52. lavenderblue says:

    I think the Bible I had in my childhood had illustrations of sheep kneeling like that. May be in the Middle Eastern heritage. Interesting, could be that people learned to kneel to pray from observing the sheep. As far as names goes, the first ones I thought were the same as Proverbs31gal, your first commenter, so I’m out of the game already.

  53. Ann W says:

    Late to comment on this post, but a thought: lambs kneel while nursing from their mothers, especially as they get bigger. Maybe some of them just associate kneeling with eating (nourishment). I’m guessing they grew out of it because it would be hard on the knees.

  54. wendyht says:

    Hi Suzanne, I found your delightful community when I googled “picture sheep kneeling to eat grass.” Why was I googling this? I saw a local sheep doing that as I was driving here on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia – and it immediately made me think of a childhood/primitive reflex called an STNR (Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex). I’m a Rhythmic Movement Training International instructor / provider and teach parents and professionals about reflex – body – brain – sensory integration. Anyway, the STNR is a reflex that should emerge, develop and go dormant – but for reasons various, it can be retained and wreak havoc in terms of muscle tone (yes, muscle tone ๐Ÿ˜† ) as well as posture and learning. The trigger for the reflex is the head flexing (as your sheep are flexing their heads in order to eat the grass) – and the reflex movement pattern is that when the head flexes, the arms bend (on a sheep, we could call those front legs “arms” couldn’t we???) and the legs straighten. The opposite occurs when the head extends backward – the arms straighten and the legs bend. Fun to observe in humans – and seeing that little sheep in classic STNR position as it was grazing just tickled my funny bone. And, now, as a bonus, I’ve signed up for your newsletter – looking forward to reading them ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers, Wendy

  55. vdesktop says:

    Today, someone told me that they had been told that lambs kneel or bow down before they are slaughtered? Is this true?

Add Your Thoughts