Friday, 3 July 2015

Wooly Arrivals

Our Flock on the Move
We have long discussed the possibility of getting sheep on our little patch but never really set ourselves a date for getting them. Well the decision was made for us rather abruptly. A friend of ours had bought, on the spur of the moment, a group of twenty sheep at a lamb sale. He had gone for some other sheep but when this group came in at the end, no one was interested so he put in a bid and won them. He then decided that he had no use for them. He sold ten and then offered us the remaining ten. We accepted and the gang arrived.
Our Friendly Flock Leader
He was unsure what their breed was, he only knew they'd been used for ground clearing. I hit the web and local agricultural shows and have determined that they are Shetland Sheep They are slightly smaller than your normal sheep, they are known as Primitive Sheep. Apparently the knitwear known as Fair Isle originated in the Shetland Isles and is traditionally made from Shetland wool!
They are relatively easy to care for, look after themselves well, can survive on not the greatest quality food and are pretty capable when it comes to lambing. But then I suppose if you're designed to survive on Shetland you have to learn to just get stuck in and get on with it!
This has all been great news to us, our randomly obtained sheep have turned out to be a great starter sheep! However, I do not condone getting sheep without some research into the best breed for them!
The sheep joined our Angora goat, Mindi in her field. At first she was unsure of these woolly interlopers and came over to make certain we understood entirely that there was, in her opinion, not enough room for them in her field. And they smelled. She was equally unhappy when they investigated her house, a couple got a butt in the, well, butt!
Sheep and Goats
Best of Friends
The next morning there was definite racism in the field. The sheep had squished themselves at the very bottom of the field, which borders our neighbours sheep, and the goat was squished against the fence at the very top of the field. After the introduction of a bucket of feed however they were best friends.
They are now best friends and the sheep look to Mindi like she's Big Momma. Should we go through the gate like the lady says or should we run around all over the place and make her flap like a chicken?
The main reason of getting sheep on the land was weed control, an addition to our goat. But we will also be looking to breed with them later in the year. So watch this space for lambs! We will mainly just sell on the lambs and/or any older ones that we no longer want/need. But we will also be looking into the possibility of having them butchered and prepared for our own freezer. But that will depend on if the numbers add up!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rosie, That was interesting to read about your sheep. We raised some sheep when I was growing up but not that kind. I loved the little lambs and feeding them on bottles when needed. I am sure you will enjoy yours also! Nancy


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