vendredi 16 juillet 2010
Yep we're going chicken! This year the national competition will be held at the Parc de L'Abbé Engrand Cormont 62 300 miles from Brittany, we're going to make a weekend of it!
The event is a poultry exhibition, I do hope I'm not too tempted to take a few home. I understand a few other breeds of sheep as well as around 100 ouessants currently entered.There is also a regional market.
Currently I'm looking over the sheep to see who will be good enough ( hopefully) to go. The sheep are fully vaccinated against blue tongue ( serotype one and eight) and are blood tested as free from brucellosis. I have decided to travel in comfort rather than the old van who is getting rather tired and has a lot of mileage on her so look out for the plush sheep mobile en route. I have no idea what to expect this will be new territory for me, a chance to see some of the ouessant sheep from the east of France. How much dutch influence will there be and hopefully there will also be the chance to meet up with some breeders. Calais isn't far away it would be nice to see some come over from the UK as well as being close to the Belgian border making it far easier for breeders to come from Holland and Germany, should be good!
mercredi 14 juillet 2010
As supplied by Shearwell UK
Last week I got my letter through from the EDE (Bretagne) explaining all about electronic identification
( microchipping) of sheep and the regulations. For all lambs born after July 2010 its compulsory...... OK so here's the rub After all the information and blurb in the literature my attention was drawn to this phrase.
Link to explanation and regulations in French
What a complete waste of time!
Having sat through several GEMO meetings each time the subject of electronic identification was raised we were assured it wasn't a problem and that ouessants would be able to be tagged without the risk of having to put in oversized tags now the best we can get is something suited for cattle and large breeds of sheep. I rang my EDE and explained "only got tiny sheep blah blah" disembodied voice replied "no choice large tags are obligatory". No point arguing with an automaton, so I ring my DDSV now renamed DDPP I'm still waiting for them to return my call.
I thought that the UK was behind, there has been lots of discussion on the lists of lambs ripping out the larger tags ( these are standard sized lambs) and some models of smaller tags appear better than others but it will take time to shake down. In the meantime.... I cannot retag any sheep who have lost tags with smaller plastic tags unless I renumber them.
My aluminium tags are supposedly no longer valid and the only bolus currently available in the UK( nothing in France) is not reccommended for use in ouessant lambs. Not to mention there is a history of them being found in the field having been regurgitated. What a mess.
The Warmwell blog has listed the european parliaments discussions and how they arrived at this legislation. The sharp eye amongst you may spot that those two little black ewes in the photo are infact ouessants. In the UK electronic identification is already underway for this seasons lambs I can only hope ( and pray) that by the time we get to next year something will have been done as at this rate I see my sheep going tagless...
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.