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All raddled up.

All raddled up.

Love is in the air on our big field as our Oxford Down ewes meet our stunning new Oxford Down ram. Mudchute has been home to Oxford Down sheep for many years and we’re excited to be able to bring new bloodlines to or flock with our new ram. The newcomer has a lovely temperament and is a fine example of his breed. He’s only a young ram, but already showing lots of interest in the ewes. The characteristic lip curl is known as flehmen and helps him to detect pheromones. This will tell him when his advances might be welcome! We hope the introduction continues to go well and that we’ll be introducing you to his sons and daughters in the spring. To find out more about the Oxford Down sheep breed, visit the Oxford Down Sheep Breeders’ Association.


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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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Last Friday, Mudchute Frankie, our strapping Oxford Down ram left the farm for a bit of city farm matchmaking! Frankie is off to stud at Surrey Docks City Farm, where he will be spending some quality time with a few of their lovely Oxford ewes. I made it down to Surrey Docks to visit him and had the chance to see meet some of his new girls! Frankie should be back at Mudchute some time next month and if all goes to plan, his sons and daughters should make their debut next April. Continue reading