We’re excited to have a new Whitefaced Woodland ram at Mudchute. He joins us from Derby and can be easily spotted among the flock by his gorgeous spiraling set of horn. Both male and female sheep of the breed are horned, but the ram’s impressive horns definitely stand out. Like all our tupping rams, he’s also wearing a raddle, a chalk pad on a harness, which gives us an idea of which ewes he has serviced. This helps us get a better idea of which ewes are likely to be in lamb and if/when we might expect lambs. A warm welcome to the new boy and best of luck. We hope to have a rather busy spring!
Our Tamworth girls have a handsome new visitor. The dark ginger boar is visiting the gilts at Mudchute and we hope their time together will be productive. (Bit of pig terminology: a gilt is a female pig who has yet to have her first litter, after that she is known as a sow. The boar seems to be getting on well with our gilt so far. They make a happy, chatty pair, greeting visitors enthusiastically (and rather noisily!). We hope to be welcoming some ginger piglets next Spring if things continue to go well. Gestation (pregnancy) in pigs lasts about 115 days (just over 3.5 months). In the meantime, it’s lovely to see the pair together. Can’t wait to see Tamworth piglets? You can take a trip down memory lane and look back at how tiny the two sows once were!
Juliet is a Manx Loaghthan sheep who joins us from Buster Ancient Farm in Hampshire. She is pending some time in Pets Corner as she gets used to life at Mudchute before joining the rest of our flock.
You may meet this lovely ewe when she is out for a walk with our staff and volunteers. Juliet walks brilliantly on a lead and many visitors double take when passing what they must first perceive to be a dog with horns!
Manx Loaghthan are a primitive short-tailed sheep breed that have grazed the slopes and uplands of the Isle of Man for generations. However, the breed declined drastically by the 1950s due to the introduction of other hill breeds.
The colour of Juliet’s fleece is called “moorit” (brown). She is only a young ewe (born last Spring), but will only grow to approximately 40kg. Even when fully grown she will retain a long-legged slim appearance typical of primitive sheep breeds.