Unusual: A ram (pictured) born earlier this year on a sheep farm in Xinjiang, China, has developed six horns
A ram with an unusual number of horns has become the prized pet of a farmer in Xinjiang, western China.

Gulibahati, a shepherd working on the government owned farm, spotted the six-horned ram earlier this year, reported People's Daily Online.

Although the ram was 'normal' at birth, he soon started developing an unusual number of horns. Gulibahati now plans to keep the animal as a pet.

According to reports, the ram was reared at a farm in Xinjiang by a government production team.

When he was born in April this year, he appeared to be the same as the other lambs. However, he gradually developed six horns during his growth.

The horns doesn't seem to have affected the animal and he's said to be able to scale mountains better than many of the other sheep in the flock.

Photographs of the animal captured on October 27 showed the ram to be normal in every respected, apart from the horns.

On his head, three distinct horns are wrapped tightly around each other on each side of his head.

Duishamayi, a local vet, told reporters: 'I've been working at the veterinary station for more than 40 years and it's the first time I've seen a ram with six horns.'

Experts suspect the extra horns have developed as a result of genetic mutations.

The mutations increase in likelihood during cross breeding but for a sheep to have so many horns, it is still unusual.

Horn growth in sheep vary according to sex and breed, with the males generally having bigger horns than the females.

Sheep with more than two horns is normal in certain rare breeds.

For example, Manx Loaghtan generally has four horns but has been known to have as many as six.

Horned animals such as goats, cattle and antelopes can also be polycerate (many horned).

It's not clear whether this ram is one of these rare breeds.


Undecided: It's not clear whether this six-horned ram is a genetic mutant or just a normal, albeit rare, breed