dimanche 30 septembre 2007

Ouessant Sheep and Breton Horses


This region like many in France has its own specialities when it comes to livestock and the Breton horse has to be one of the most spectacular. A heavy horse kept mostly these days by enthusiasts and lovers of the breed is often to be seen benignly munching in fields and my visit to pick up a couple of new ewes the other day was only improved by seeing the owners collection of Breton Horses, just stunning!

The reason for my visit was of course to follow up on the flock of ouessant sheep I had spied the other week and if at all possible buy a couple, well lucky me!!! After a couple of phonecalls I was able to buy two adult ewes from a completely different line to those I currently have. The rams have great horns and the ewes are all well boned and with good toplines and the one in particular is just so petite. Pics when they get into the isolation paddock.

I have looked long and hard for some nice names and they will be Amandine and Rozenn. They are in this pic somewhere!

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The Ouessant Sheep originates from the island of Ouessant, part of a tiny archipelago just off the north coast of Finistere, Brittany. The island of terror as it was known to some, was swept by the full force of the atlantic’s weather, the hardy sheep adapted to survive on poor grazing from salty clifftop meadows. It was the women of the island that raised the sheep, renowned for their black wool to weave into cloth known locally as berlinge and their meat with its sweet and delicate taste.

La race "Mouton d'Ouessant" est originaire de l’île d’’Ouessant qui fait parti d’un petit archipel au large du Finistère, Bretagne. L’île de l'épouvante comme c'était connu par certains était balayé par les intempéries de l’atlantique, ces moutons rustiques s'adaptaient à survivre sur les pâturages pauvres des falaises salées. C’était les femmes de l’île qui élevaient les moutons réputés pour leur laine noire à tisser « la berlinge » une étoffe régionale et leur viande avec un goût doux et délicat.

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