Biddlesden Warrant

Just before Christmas, we welcomed back the handsome Whitefaced Woodland ram, Biddlesden Warrant, who previously visited some our ewes last January. Warrant is back at Mudchute to spend time with some of our Whitefaced Ewes.

Both male and female Whitefaced Woodland sheep have horns, but those of the ewe (on the right) are far less ornate than those of the ram.

Both male and female Whitefaced Woodland sheep have horns, but those of the ewe (on the right) are far less ornate than those of the ram.

A fine looking ram!

A fine looking ram!

You’ll notice he is wearing a raddle, a harness that holds a crayon. By changing the colour of the marker regularly, we can monitor if and when he mounts a ewe. This will give as indication of when the ewes may conceive. We’ve only just introduced the ram and ewes, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for Whitefaced lambs in 5-6 months!

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Hope all had a very happy Christmas! Here on the farm, our goats have been enjoying Christmas Treats of Christmas trees! The trees provide lots of fibre and offer a bit of enrichment. Our goats love a bit of forage and the trees are no exception. They were curious and cautious at first, but that didn’t last long!

We’d like to remind visitors that we do need to ensure our animals receive a balanced diet, so please refrain from feeding any trees or branches to our animals yourselves. And if you are visiting us over the holiday period, don’t forget to check our holiday opening times, which can be found here.

Our Anglo Nubian goats were the first on the scene.

Our Anglo Nubian goats were the first on the scene.

A quick sniff.

A quick sniff.

And they're off!

And they’re off!

Happy goats!

Happy goats!

All tucking in.

All tucking in.

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IMG_6644Our handsome Oxford Down ram Bertie has been enjoying the company of the lovely Jacob Ewes of Stepney City Farm as well as a few of our own ewes. He’s all raddled up and wasted little time! Putting a ram to the ewes now in November should mean lambs will arrive in April if all goes to plan as the typical gestation in sheep is 5 months.

The harness Bertie wears is called a raddle. This holds a crayon which marks the ewes as he services them. These markings allow farmers to keep track of which ewes have been covered and by changing the colour of crayon, when this occurs. By monitoring the marks, we can work out if and when the ewes have come into or gone out of season.

Mudchute Bertie seems to be doing a fine job, so we hope to welcome new lambs in the Spring. If any Oxford breeders are interested in his tupping services, please do get in touch via farm@mudchute.org.

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