Friday, August 19, 2011
The New Portable Sheep Pen Set Up
We will be displaying our Blackface Sheep at the Celtic Festival in Mayville Park in a week in this nice little pen. It was given to us by our old sheep shearer, Steve Sandle who used to do demos in places like shopping malls. I am pleased it is so tall because Blackies can jump high!
Scottish Blackface Sheep
Monestery records show that monks in the Twelfth Centruy raised sheep that are the progenitors of the modern Scottish Blackface breed. The monks used the wool of the dun-faced sheep, as they were often called, for their own clothing and exported large amounts to Europe. Latter records show that in 1503 James the IV of Scotland established a flock of 5,000 Scottish Blackface Sheep in Ettrick Forest. Today the Blackface is the most important breed in the British Isles.Thirty percent of all sheep in the UK are Scottish Blackface! The Blackface epitomizes the mountain sheep. They have long coarse wool that shields them from moisture and biting winds. They are able to survive the harshest winters in the most extreme parts of Great Britain
Blackface ewes are excellent mothers and will often attempt to defend their lambs against predators. They are good milkers and are able to yield a lamb crop and a wool clip even when on marginal pastures. The breed spread from the border areas during the Ninetieth Century to the highlands and the islands and also to Northern Ireland and the US. There are small flocks scattered across the USA but this robust little breed has remained a minor breed. Its potential has never been realized in the "States" where it's stamina and tolerance of cold would be most valuable.
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