Domestic sheep are ruminant mammals kept as livestock. Like all ruminants, sheep are even-toed ungulates, also commonly called cloven-hoofed animals. Although the name sheep applies to many species, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries. Domestic sheep are the most numerous species in their genus, and are most likely descended from the wild mouflon of Europe and Asia.
One of the earliest animals to be domesticated for agricultural purposes, sheep are primarily valued for their fleece and meat. A sheep’s wool is the most widely used of any animal, and is typically harvested by shearing. Ovine meat is called lamb when from younger animals and mutton when from older ones. They are also occasionally raised for pelts, as dairy animals, or as model organisms for science.