Sheep

Our flock of sheep include large Oxford Down ewes and smaller Southdown ewes. The ewes are all in our main sheep pen, with this year’s ram lambs now separated into their own pen next to our youth allotments.

Our sheep breed annually and this year’s lambs were born throughout February 2018. We keep in touch with larger farms and if they have orphan lambs, or a smaller triplet that isn’t feeding too well, we’ll take on these lambs so that our visitors can bottle feed them here. We don’t take our own lambs off their mums, unless there are complications, as this is the most natural and best option for the lambs. We’ll aim to do this again next year, look out for more details in March-April time.

Our sheep are dual-purpose breeds, producing good meat and wool. All the sheep are shorn at our Spring Fair in May, so that visitors can come and watch. We also welcome spinners and weavers to this event to process the wool.

Oxford Down: these have dark faces, and are large with a rectangular body shape. When they are shorn, it is customary for this breed to have a ‘top-knot’ of wool left on their head. They are a rare breed, originally from Oxfordshire, and the largest and fastest-growing sheep of all British breeds, ideal for meat.

Southdown: As the name suggests this breed originates from the native sheep which have roamed the South Downs in the South of England for many hundreds of years. They are a white-faced, white-legged sheep with a tight fleece, known for their docile nature.

 

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