I've been really lazy about posting on here this past week. I apologize - I imagine you've all been holding your breath as you wait to hear about sheep and pigs and maple syrup, right? ;P
(The maple syrup production has slowed back down, by the way...my jugs are currently buried in snow!)
So, anyway, I was just researching the animals from my visit to Grazing Hill Farm last week, and the Clun Forest Sheep sound like an interesting breed.
First, Clun Forest apparently wasn't actually much of a forest...it was a grazing area near a town named Clun (in England, near the border of Wales). It's a mountainous region, and with the guidance of shepherds, the Clun Forest Sheep became a hardy, prolific breed.
Ranging from 130-200 pounds, this breed is alert and active, but docile (even the rams!), hardy, and it lambs easily.
To keep the focus away from mere outward physical characteristics, the breed association doesn't allow the sheep to be shown competitively (interesting!!), although they do have a breed standard.
Their wool is of good, consistent quality, or they can be used for meat.
They're easy keepers, thriving in climates ranging from harsh and cold to hot and humid. They work well in small, grass-centered farms and homesteads.
Sounds like a potential good breed for Butterscotch Farm, if I decide to get into sheep!
Sorry I didn't get a ton of pictures...I took these on a ridiculously cold day - plus all the sheep except the ram kept hiding on the far side of their shed.
If you want to read more, here are the sources I consulted:
Happy Friday!! :)