Thursday, September 5, 2013

More for the Menagerie.

We have recently acquired two more animals for our farm flock. I've always wanted Black Face Suffolk sheep, so having seen two for sale on a friends Facebook page I just had to have them. Sheep are one of my favourite animals and years ago we had loads on our property in far western Queensland. These were the Merino breed of sheep well suited to the hot dry arid conditions of the far west. I used to love laying in the wool bins after shearing and taking in the smell of wool and lanolin. 

Clover and Gwendoline

My new Black Face Suffolk sheep are both Ewes, they are in lamb and due sometime in November. I have named them Clover and Gwendoline. We've been meaning to get sheep for awhile now so I'm a bit excited that we finally have some. I know it's only two but we will grow the numbers. For the moment the girls are in the house yard mowing down the lawn for me. They do look very James Herriot-ish running around with the green valley as a backdrop. Our new Wessex Saddleback piglets have introduced themselves to the girls and I wondered what each of them were thinking at the time. The piglets scampered through the gap in the garden gate and proceeded to race over to the sheep en masse. It was a funny sight so I had to go inside and grab my camera. 

The new piglets say Hello.

Pinky, Perky and Petunia, our Wessex Saddleback Sows had piglets in August. At the moment we have 35 little piglets running around the place. They have good colour and markings, Horatio did a good job. They are at that exploring stage now which means they are going under fences everywhere. It can be a bit of a problem if they get it into their heads to go for a wander over to the main road. I tend to keep an eye on them during the day for this reason. Thank goodness our road isn't all that busy. Night time is fine they are asleep in their beds under the heat lamp as it's still a bit cold here at night. 

My Black Face Suffolk Ewes.

So, now I am waiting for the lambs to arrive, the countdown has begun. How I love little lambs, so cute and photogenic. They may have twins, Tasmania seems to produce lots of twins in sheep. Maybe it's the high nutrients in the pasture. My girls will keep me in enough wool for spinning, which I like doing when I have a moment or two. Black Face Suffolks are an old breed from Britain and in the 1600's Norfolks were crossed with Southdowns and originally known as Southdown Norfolks or Blackfaces. Then in 1774 an agricultural writer decided they should be called Suffolks. In 1810 they were accepted as purebreds and the name Suffolk was used for the first time. Yet another old U.K. breed to add to our farm, we do love our old breeds.

I just stopped by to say Hello.