Saturday 6th August 2016

Fern, Bell and Burr; Muckle, Skerry and Ness
Today we drove all the way to the outskirts of Exmoor and then back via Colebrook and arrived home with these beauties: three Whiteface Dartmoor sheep (Fern, Bell and Burr) and three Shetlands (Muckle, Skerry and Ness). When we used the DASH page to once again ask for available livestock (in this case a starter flock of 3-4 sheep) we were INUNDATED, and for the last week or so we have been a welter of indecision as to what to go for. Rachel from Market Vets suggested we buy what we liked the look of and that is in fact what we had decided to do. We were also of course swayed by the fact that we now live in Devon and the Whitefaces are a local (and rare) breed.
Relaxed At Home
Our plans are to breed pure with the Whitefaces and so we have also purchased a Whiteface Ram. We asked the breeder if it was okay to pick him up later though as we want to either have 4-acre set up for him (so he is away from this year’s ewe lambs) or have taken our lambs to the abattoir. We are debating whether to keep this year’s female lambs (which are Badgerface crossed with Beltex) in order to potentially get larger meat carcasses. Mrs Brown’s lambs in particular (the ewe lamb AND the wether) are VERY tame and very cute.
The Dartmoor girls ran off down the field as soon as we let them out of the trailer and started to munch whilst the Shetlands sort of followed them but then got chased a little by Neptune (who is taking his cria guarding duties VERY seriously).
Eventually everyone got used to everyone else and aside from the Whitefaces, we all had a lovely ‘bonding’ time when a bit later, we took down a few pellets for a late supper. The Shetlands are definitely bucket trained and Muckle (white/fawn colouring) almost ate out of Jack's hand.
Despite having 10 acres now, we still want all our animals to be tame, bucket trained and easy to lead in and out of the field/ barn etc. At times of illness or lambing/ kidding this will prove pretty crucial and it’s also huge fun to be able to interact with them all.