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jacobram-1916There’s a new ram at Mudchute! Our latest addition is a young Jacob ram and he is currently entertaining our three Jacob ewes. Jacob sheep have been known in England since the 1750s are easily distinguished from our other sheep breeds with their spotted, piebald fleeces. You’ll notice both rams and ewes are horned in this breed, but some Jacob rams can have as many as six horns.

At the moment, our new ram is wearing a harness. This is a raddle, which contains a chalk block on his chest. This will allow us to monitor his attentions to the ewes and give us a better of idea of if and when we might expect the pitter patter of little Jacob hooves! A sheep’s pregnancy lasts approximately 5 months, so if our new ram and ewes get on well, we’ll hope to make more introductions in April.

You can find out more about the sheep breeds at Mudchute on our website and more about Jacob Sheep from the Jacob Sheep Society.


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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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