Riddlesden Jacobs

A site about a West Yorkshire flock of Jacob Sheep


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Kevin and Snuffles’ Adventures – 1

The bottle fed twins decided they wanted to live and have been little hooligans ever since. They
IMG_3834 (640x480)spent their first night in our shower room which is easy to clean but can be kept warm as it has a radiator in it (we put the thermostat in there and turned the radiators off in the rest of the house). After that first night we moved them to the utility room, lined the floor with newspaper and made a bed with straw. They flooded it several times a day. As we’ve mentioned before – lambs pee a lot.

Kevin and Snuffles quite liked being in the house I think and they were good as gold really. They seemed to understand being put to bed and they slept through without a peep from midnight until 6am. In fact most mornings Kath had to wake them when she got back from her early morning field check. They spend a lot of time bouncing around the house and following Kath around. Snuffles learned how to climb the stairs and then taught Kevin. Retrieving lambs from under our bed became a thing to do – as did running up and down our driveway being followed by lambs or muttering ‘please don’t pee in my shoes’ or ‘Kevin, don’t mount your sister’…20170321_102410 (480x640)

There are a few videos and pictures of them at home over on our Facebook page and they are cute and they do make me smile but having lambs at home is relentless. During the day you don’t get a second’s peace. They are learning all the time, they are figuring out life and so you can never assume they can’t or won’t do something. There were the stairs, the nuzzling cat biscuits, the curling up in the cat litter tray, the pulling pizza off my plate and getting stuck down the side of the garage. There were meetings with the cats, the difficulty of getting four legs to work together on wet slippery laminate flooring and there was the learning how to pee on the fresh IMG_3821 (640x480)newspaper as soon as it has been put down. A special skill Snuffles soon perfected.

Kevin and Snuffles had adventures in our house but it was definitely time to get them out. Our cats need therapy and we need a rest. They now go longer between feeds during the day so now they need to learn to be sheep. We took them on to the field on Friday afternoon. More on that in Adventures – 2.

 


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Registration Day

We said on our Facebook Page that today was a big day for Riddlesden Jacobs and it was. Today was our inspection to see whether or not our ewes can be registered in Appendix B of the Jacob Sheep Society (JSS) flock book. In other words – can we register them as pure bred Jacob sheep. Now, we know they are pure bred pedigree sheep but without registration there is no way to prove that! The flock our sheep came from used to be registered but at some point Malcolm stopped registering his lambs so eventually it all lapsed.

We have been going round in circles about whether to try and register or not. We don’t show our sheep and tend not to need to sell at the society sales – we sell the lambs we don’t keep as meat… With possible registration in mind though and to make sure we keep our sheep pure bred we have always bought a registered tup. When we bought Dino we were told that the Appendix system – the system by which an unregistered flock can become registered – was being phased out so we thought what the hell – we don’t have anything to lose and it may be useful to have the proof that our sheep are pure bred, genuine Jacob sheep.

The process started a little while ago with us sending photos of all the ewes to the field
officer. We did that in early October – we sent pictures of all 8 of our breeding ewes and 7 of the 8 were provisionally accepted and could go on to be inspected. Our number 1 black faced ewe was not accepted as she has a slightly forward growing horn. The inspector had a good look at her today, too and said she was very borderline but we saw little point in arguing about her. She’s a lovely little ewe but her horn clearly grows very slightly forward which is not a 20160402_171837trait you want in a sheep. It looks a little odd but more importantly it makes them much more difficult to handle if it’s more extreme. While this ewe is really really borderline, some of her lambs have had issues with horns – cute as they were just after birth (as in the picture).

The inspection was scheduled for today.We penned the ewes so they were ready. Our inspector, Gavin, was lovely and took time to learn about our flock and explain what he was looking for and why. Basically he was following the guidelines applied at JSS shows and sales which are based on the breed standard:

  1. Eyes: Check for split and raised eye lids and reject any sheep showing these faults.
  2. Mouths: Check mouths are correct in all lambs, shearlings and two-shear sheep. Aged sheep (i.e. three shear or over) which are a little forward on the pad will be passed but this must be announced by the auctioneer when selling. Vendors must adhere to this or sheep will not be allowed to be sold.
  3. Horns: Any sheep with forward or fused horns in 4-horned sheep or close horns in 2-horned sheep (one fingers width) will be automatically rejected.
  4. Pasterns: Must be correct in all sheep.
  5. Testicles: All males of any age must have two testicles of even size and free from abnormalities.
  6. Udders: If the udder in any ewe has any minor faults like lumps this must be announced by the auctioneer when selling. Vendors must adhere to this or sheep will not be allowed to be sold. Ewes with more serious problems, i.e. lost quarters, will be rejected.
  7. Blaze: All sheep must have a clear white blaze running from the top of the head to the muzzle.
  8. The inspectors’ decision will be final.

After checking all the ewes over Gavin agreed that all other 7 ewes were fine and put the JSS eartags in. We have a random number B80 but the others are from B140 – B145. So there we are. Our ewes are now Appendix B or Foundation Ewes. How exciting!