Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My thoughts as lambing draws near.

When I bought my first little crossbred ewe 25 years ago I did not know how much sheep would mean in my life. I have experienced lambing every spring but one since then and it seems as much a part of the year as Christmas or Easter to me. Another lambing season is about to begin here at Thistledown Croft. As always I look forward to the new lambs and the time when I spend allot of time in the sheep shed. We raise Scottish Blackface sheep and do not try to time our lambs for the Easter market. We try to avoid the very worst, winter weather by waiting until March and April. Western New York has a harsh climate and it can be very hard on the ewes when it's bitter cold so we avoid the worst storms and deep cold spells by waiting a couple months latter than commercial producers. Often we put our ram in with the ewes around election day in early November. Our flock is a homestead flock. We breed to produce breeding stock and to provide meat for our own table. In the USA Scottish Blackface Sheep are a minor breed where as in the United Kingdom they are the most plentiful breed. We really enjoy this smaller hardy breed that is so very resilient and tough. It suits our climate and we also find them very aesthetically pleasing. There is no breed that produces finer tasting lamb and mutton than the Scottish Blackface.

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