A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Friday 29 July 2011


You may like us have seen small groups of sheep recently, often around the farmyard. Tups (rams or male sheep) are separated from the larger flocks of ewes (females) at this time of year. This helps the farmer in a couple of ways. The longer daylength and giving of supplementary feed means that they will be in good condition when their busy time comes to be put with the ewes. Keeping them nearby and giving this extra food means that they become used to human contact. In turn this makes it easier for the shepherd to put on the "raddle" a harness with coloured grease which marks the ewe's back showing that they have been served.

Sheep have a 5 month gestation period so the farmer is keen that the lambs will be born at a time to suit him either early in the New Year if he wants to sell the lambs for the Easter market or in the spring when the weather is kinder and there is more grass for them to eat.

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