Well last night was the first of my lambing duties, but the ladies were all quiet and so I’m afraid I’ve nothing of note to report on that front – except to say that I had a very nice lasagne for my tea and it was a good opportunity to observe the normal behaviour of pregnant ewes as a prelude to being able to spot evidence of labour.
So today I thought I’d share a bit about our sheepy plans for Willow Farm. We have decided we would like to keep Ryeland sheep – here are some pictures from the Ryeland Flock Book Society website
As well as being what my cousin Tony calls “squeezy sheep”, Ryelands have great wool and produce very flavoursome meat. They are one of the oldest british breeds and their origins are in Leominster – only about 30 miles from Willow Farm.
We’re thinking of specialising in wool, hoggart and mutton. Hoggart is the meat of a sheep after its first shearing but before it has reproduced – after which time it becomes mutton. We have been eating hoggart and mutton for a year or so now and find it far superior in flavour to young lamb.
We’ll start with a small flock and build up from there. It would be nice to have a mixture of white and coloured sheep to provide a range of natural wool colours….you never know I may even get my knitting needles out next winter!
I’m off to Willow Farm tomorow and hoping its not too wet to get my second early potatoes in. If there is any news on the lambing you will, of course, be the first to know.