Monday, July 24, 2017

Blackface Sheep


"This type of blackface sheep have evolved and adapted to the mountains of Connemara and West Mayo. The rugged sometimes harsh conditions that they survive in have shaped them to what they are today. In stature they are slightly shorter with good width standing with good ground clearance. They sometimes can have some black wool appear through their strong warm fleece but it is their head that clearly distinguishes them from their Blackface cousins (Scotch, Lanark, Swale dale, Perth and Kerry Hill). The head is lighter with a nice balanced set of horns usually with a black face but can have the occasional speckled face as well. The nose can turn grey as the sheep ages but not as pronounced as the Lanark or Swale dale breeds.

They are a low input breed that converts the heathers and a variety of grasses on the mountains into a sustainable diet. They are superb mothers that offer the lamb’s great protection at birth and within a few minutes the lambs are up and about. They longevity is a key part of their makeup and it is not unusual to see ewes leaving 8 or 9 crops of lambs after them. 'In lowland situations' they are a good ewe to rear from a terminal sire or crossed with a Leicester ram leave a very desirable mule lamb" (http://mayoblackface.com).

10 comments:

  1. I still am sorry to see those color markers and the yellow earmarks on such lovely creatures.

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  2. The lamb looks she has dived into her mothers make-up box!

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  3. "Low input" made me smile! ;-)

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  4. They certainly look like characters.

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  5. Bucolic scene with some sheep very attractive

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  6. Looks some what gothic...Coffee is on

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