WATCH: Sheep Goes Head-to-Head With a Bucket … and Loses

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Peter Cade via Getty Images)

Based on appearances alone, sheep practically beg to be cuddled. They’re covered in irresistibly soft wool from head to toe and have naturally smiling faces, what’s not to love?

That said, it’s not always a good idea to approach a sheep. Though docile as a species, rams (mature male sheep) are notoriously aggressive. Capable of exerting close to 800 pounds of force with a single headbutt, a ram attack is no laughing matter.

Unless, of course, the victim of said sheep is a bucket. In that case, it’s virtually impossible not to laugh, especially when the bucket fights back.

The now-viral video was originally shared by an Australian farmer named Jobe Gorman, who caught a lone ram in a heated altercation with a black bucket in a pasture.

To make matters worse for the ram, he didn’t just get into a fight with the bucket, he lost a fight with a bucket. The ram first lined up his hit, walking backward from the bucket to ensure he delivered the most devastating headbutt possible.

With the dastardly bucket in the ideal position for a deadly blow, the sheep charged toward his victim. Unfortunately, his plan backfired. Rather than sending the bucket flying, the sheep’s upper half went into the bucket. The force of the hit then sent the ram flying in a somersault, the bucket firmly attached to his head.

He quickly shook the bucket off, approaching it again with obvious annoyance and maybe a touch of hesitation following his opponent’s unexpected attack.

Why Do Sheep Headbutt?

In the wild, this behavior is entirely normal. Male sheep often use headbutts as a means of showing dominance over other animals. Headbutting inanimate objects is slightly less common, but this enraged ram is far from the first to display this behavior.

It’s also not entirely clear why they choose to attack random objects. That said, there are a few compelling theories. The first is that the sheep might be distrustful of a particular object.

By headbutting it, they’re making their feelings known. This would explain the bucket incident, especially if that wasn’t the first time the sheep fell victim to a bucket attack.

Another theory is that headbutting inanimate objects is a way to assert dominance over their surroundings. This explanation would also fit.

The third option, however, is the most believable of all. The sheep might have just been bored. He was in the field alone, after all, with only the bucket in sight. Without other sheep or objects to interact with, it’s entirely possible he simply got bored and decided to play fight with the bucket.

Whatever the reason, the bucket now knows better than to pick a fight with the sheep …or maybe it’s the other way around.