jeudi 26 décembre 2013

Christmas Knits

Well, Christmas  was quiet enough to get started on my next knitting project. The yarn is single ply from on my bobbin #5. I wanted to spin a woollen yarn and one that was relatively chunky. Ok I don't think I exactly succeeded on either count  but it is satisfying to have something to be able to knit up.

There is a way to go until my spinning skills are refined enough to produce a yarn that looks anything less than rustic but its all practice. The stitch I have chosen is designed to complement the textured yarn. A tutorial on how to knit yourself a scarf in bramble or trinity stitch  was all that was needed to get me started. This video makes it very easy to follow!Although mine doesn't have quite the same accomplished look to it :-)

I am hoping to add a little twist to my scarf to  release it  from the rather mundane but that all depends on whether I can produce something that is aesthetically pleasing and workable. It make take me a while but I'll post something when I get there! 

mardi 24 décembre 2013

Have a Woolly Christmas!

This year my project has been to re-interpret what you can do with Ouessant wool. It has been a very busy year, in lots of ways and Christmas is about the busiest time of year for me.  However I still managed to get some wool in there somewhere. If you look closely at the photo you will see the needle felted hearts I made earlier are now decorating the tree. I am more than ready for some rest and recuperation  and if lucky tomorrow will be relatively quiet. I have a little yarn project all ready to start:-) Have a good one!

samedi 21 décembre 2013

Breeding Groups 2013

This year, despite all my resolutions last year, has been the most lengthy for breeding groups. For various reasons, I have staggered  when the rams have gone in their groups resulting in lambs possibly being born over a considerably longer period than I would have usually. Come lambing time I will be exhausted! That said the option to be able to select a group or even a single ewe to put to a ram does have benefits that must be taken into account. Five months or possibly longer....... and counting!!

vendredi 20 décembre 2013


I was going to do a post on the winter solstice which is tomorrow. Unfortunately my photos of the golden sunset, were rather more tarnished than golden! However as I was wandering around putting everyone to bed I couldn't help but notice that on this apple tree there are JUST two apples left! They are beautiful and ripe and yet incongruously were left still hanging on a bare tree. It was too good a photo opportunity to  miss!

Wassailing LINK celebrates the apple and the drink  and passing of the wassail is traditionally celebrated around Christmas. Providence! I will leave  with a  old chant  recounted when wassailing, of course its sheep related :-)

Next crowne the bowle full
With gentle Lambs wooll,

Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
With store of all too,

And thus ye must doe
To make the Wassaile a swinger.


dimanche 15 décembre 2013

Heritage Flock - PNRA Parc Régional National d'Armorique

Recently I ventured deep in the heart of Brittany, it is a magical place, where myth and legend come to life. The area is rich with celtic symbolism and the geography and landscape does much to draw you close to its beating heart.  Its dark corners hide goblins and faeries in equal measure.

Nestled into the landscape is Ménez Meur seat of the Parc Régional National d'Armorique.  LINK here is a flock of Ouessant sheep  whose origins can be established back to the earliest days of the breed.  They are without doubt a flock whose heritage is a long one.

I was fortunate to visit the flock earlier this year, I was able to spend a quite a bit of time with the flocks (one white, one black)  and came away with the  lasting impression that the breed is in sound hands.  I may have also come away with a sheep  or two oops:-)

Gaia (PNRA)
The importance of recognising the connection of this breed with its cultural home cannot be underestimated and is never more in evidence than when you visit their native region. My trip into Finistère ( the end of the earth) was all too short and I will make time to return.

mardi 10 décembre 2013

Picture Perfect

I confess this little girl has captured my heart

lundi 9 décembre 2013


Looking Good Mate x 

dimanche 8 décembre 2013

Winter Regime

I was asked the other day about feeding the sheep in the winter. Everyone has their own thoughts on this subject and opinions will vary.

The ewes are currently getting a bucket of windfall apples a day between them. I''ll know when they are fed up of them as they'll start to leave them. For now I view it was a welcome addition to the grass and hay provided over the winter. The rams have their own supply of windfalls  and this years bumper crop of apples means that the ground under the tree is still a carpet of apples.

A salt lick is always available and periodically the sheep will take advantage. I prefer to use one specifically manufactured for sheep to ensure that the mineral content is balanced for them.

Hay is self serve and I have racks  dotted around the place, so that even the less forward sheep can find a rack to browse from.

Feeding grains is personally not something that I like. I find that Ouessant  sheep really don't need the high protein content. I will supplement and a base of luzerne granules can be used with the addition of ewe nuts and or afalfa and molasses as a coarse mix when needed. This mix can be varied according to the specific requirements of the group of sheep being fed and is more sensitive to individual needs than a highly concentrated commercial feed supplement.

vendredi 6 décembre 2013

Feeling Felty For Christmas

Needle Felted Christmas Hearts - Ouessant Sheep Wool 
 Coeurs de Noël Feutré à l'Aiguille - Laine Mouton d'Ouessant

Well, after some heartache ( groan) I finally finished the christmas felty decorations in time for Christmas!! Needle felting is very forgiving of mistakes and if things don't work the first time they are easy to adjust and adapt and still obtain a good result. I liked the use of ribbons and embroidery to embellish the basic idea and this type of added decoration can be taken in many different ways.

A quick search will throw up lots of excellent ideas. One such search provided a tutorial and many different ways to decorate felt ornaments. This uses wet felting as the basic method   but needle felting should also be  possible. 

LINK - Judy Coates Perez Blog

mercredi 4 décembre 2013

Country Stroll

Santa taking a quiet stroll before things get hectic.

Needle felted Santa - 100% Ouessant Wool  / Père Noël feutré à l'aiguille 100% laine Mouton d'Ouessant

dimanche 1 décembre 2013

2013 - A Little Later...

Spered Breizh Ushant
Around this time last year I found myself speeding across Europe and an appointment with a ram in Germany for a selection of ewes from my flock. A one way trip was over 1000kms and it was necessary to do there and back in two days.........twice!  Yuk!! The driving was a headache, the paperwork was officious  but necessary,  it must have been some ram!!

 Christian de Brioux - owner J Schneider - photo courtesy  J Schneider
Meet Christian de Brioux, a much loved ram, originally bred in France by C Coutant and exported to Germany some three years later. Aside from being a dual champion GEMO and IGOU, he is one of a rare few  individuals whose origins can be traced back to the very earliest beginings of the restoration of the breed. Yep he is definately some ram!

I am grateful to both his owner J Schneider and also A Bergmann for accommodating my ewes in Germany to allow for this mating to be possible.

Ushants dam Spered Breizh Nimue, a home bred ewe was selected for her origins and type to go to Germany, she was narrowly placed ahead  of a very nice ewe at the GEMO national show at Brécé this year to be given Prix d'honneur brebis blanches.

To be able to reach deeper into the breeding of Ouessant Sheep than purely the aesthetic and to be in the fortunate position to look towards conservation of the heritage of the breed and its Breton roots is a priviledge. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me along that road. 

dimanche 24 novembre 2013

Horn Comparisons Autumn 2013

I have tried a number of time to get this rams horns from a head on view, without success. This is Minimax. I wanted to make a comparison not with another of this years rams but one of the earlier posts on development of rams horns. LINK This post from  2009 features Faolan as a youngster.

 There are some noticeable differences particularly the spread of Minimax's horns which are far more horizontal to each other and they have a rotation which gives them greater starting height than those of Faolan. However there are sufficient similarities to make a comparison. As I still have Faolan today I am able to compare not just on the early development but also on the possible outcome as an adult. On a number of points I think there is an improvement.  However there is still a long way to go towards producing reliable hornsets with the right attributes. This years rams and their range of horn variations have given me a much broader base to work from. Not withstanding luck which is always a nice bonus, finally I can see some direction to take. 

samedi 23 novembre 2013

Automne en Bretagne

The rich reds and golden sunshine of autumn  in Brittany. Punctuated by fluorescent orange jackets of the huntsmen....... so hopefully they avoid shooting each other .............they are *mostly*  successful. Two hundred metres from  taking this photo a magnificent pheasant made his way across the road, we looked at each other, nodded and he went on his way. The joys and madness of living in Brittany...

mercredi 20 novembre 2013

Boyish Charm

Brothers, who are in many ways quite similar and yet in others quite different. This photo has offered me several insights, what I enjoy most about it is the relaxed shared space of the two youngsters.

dimanche 17 novembre 2013

Selection - Breeding Groups

The nursery group, the ewe lambs that won't be bred this year. These ewe lambs either bred by myself or brought in from outside flocks  are destined for an appointment with the ram next year. However the selection process began from before they were even born. Last years choices of matings has dictated the genepool that I want to work with. To this end I have considered the available blood lines and worked to maintain  representation  of each bloodline within my flock. This is conservation breeding and is dealt with under another heading. In addition to conservation breeding I am looking to retain those sheep that fit within my parameters for the breed. It is good at this point to ask yourself what is the ultimate aim, not the short term aim of the lamb that is in front of you next year or the year after that, in the case of these ewes, but the longer term aim for your flock. Where do you see things going?

If you were to fast forward your flock by five or ten years using the current goals how would the flock look?.................................

Within this grouping of five ewe lambs there are four different  unrelated ram bloodlines in the first generation and five different  unrelated ewe bloodlines in the first generation. The selection criteria that I have used over the last few years is designed to retain maximum variability with regards to alleles present within the flock and yet  selection criteria has been towards set goals for producing animals of sound construction that represent the breed standard and reproduce those results consistantly. This has been hard at times and there have been moments when I have found the decision making process difficult. In those moments I return to the question what is my long term goal?

samedi 16 novembre 2013

Ramly Headaches

Ti'beau has a set of horns that would give anyone  a headache,  but I was thinking more along the lines of keeping rams and unbred ewes on the same site.  A recent conversation reminded me that I am lucky to be able to house my rams seperately to the ewes when needed, in such a way that the rams cannot stress over not getting to the ewes when they are on heat. This isn't the case for everyone and keeping rams and unbred ewes apart, fences in place and stress levels down when they are in close proximity can be difficult.

Owning a ram comes with a set of responsibilities, no matter how calm and docile out of breeding season the hormonal influence cannnot be under estimated when an on heat ewe is around. They can become dangerous and even a Ouessant ram can cause injury. Think carefully what the reasons are behind a decision to own a ram, if you really want to breed then there is no reason not to look at the options for  the loan of a ram for a breeding season. Problems associated with in-breeding can be avoided and you still have the option for lambs without the difficulties of a testosterone fuelled set of horns for more than a few weeks at most.  The alternative is to own and all male flock, bachelor groups of rams work very well provided there are no ewes in the vicinity to upset the balance.

This years breeding groups will be together for a maximum period of six weeks, long enough for the ewes to cycle a second time if not bred the first time around. After that the rams will all rejoin the bachelor group and peace and tranquility will be restored for everyone.

Il est parfois difficile quand vous avez le ou les béliers au même endroit que les femelles  surtout s'il y en a que vous voudriez pas reproduire pour un raison où l'autre. Malheureusement souvent ceux qui débutent avec un couple ( mâle et femelle ) tombent sur ce problème  assez vite à cause du consanguinité et le fait qu'il est souvent plus difficile  à placer les mâles. Un bélier même si c'est un mouton d'Ouessant peut être agressif s'il est frustré et qu'il sent une brebis en chaleur.  A devenir propriétaire d'un bélier n'est pas sans responsabilité. Un troupeau des moutons constitué des femelles et les mâles castré peut être un solution. Si vous voudriez des naissances,  à trouver quelqu'un à vous prêter un  mâle peut être un option à fin de limiter les difficultés . 
L'option d'avoir un troupeau constitué seulement des mâles  est impressionnant  à voir et moins  turbulent  qu'un mâle séparé des femelles. Il n'est pas obligatoire à prendre un mâle  avec une femelle surtout si vous n'avez pas l'expérience, soyez prudent, mais n'oubliez pas un mouton seul est un mouton malheureux il faut au mois deux.

dimanche 10 novembre 2013

Plan B

Irritatingly blogger seems to want to automatically lighten this photo no matter what I do!!
Originally this yarn which is from on my bobbin # 4 was destined to be alot more funky than it is. However I wasn't adventurous enough and instead I got a yarn which is chunky and textured. Thats OK, plan B.  I haven't crochet'd since I was in my teens :-o still, it isn't difficult and I picked a knot which is so simple to do how could I go wrong? Well I did a couple of times but lets gloss over that :-).

Thanks to the internet and youtube to be precise I found an eloquent and easy to follow guide to how to do this knot and make a shawl. LINK Now let me tell you I had resolved not to make a shawl,  however plan B and all that . That being said I am pleased it has turned out as well as it has and I have learnt from doing it. 

This is more the actual colour of the yarn
So I can tick off one more project completed, more learnt and I have found inspiration for the next project, but for now back to christmas decorations!!

Un châle au crochet  de laine de mouton d'Ouessant! Enfin , ça me fais plaisir d'avoir réussi à filer la laine de mes moutons. Les moutons que j'ai élevé, tondu et maintenant peux dire qu'ils sont pas uniquement pour tondre l'herbe c'est  vraiment un bête à laine, on retourne au débuts de la race.  Même s'il  y a du travail encore pour l'apprentissage du filage, je suis contente.

samedi 9 novembre 2013

Gary and the Giggly Girls

 Gary having a back scratch
This years ewe lambs are not being bred, one reason amongst several is because of  Schmallenberg disease. It falls to Gary  then, the long suffering wether to keep them company. Gary is extremely paternal and takes his duties seriously, however he is long suffering, the giggly girls are so named because they can behave like a group of hysterical teenagers at times. Gary offers them a stable influence always  calm and collected, when the time comes I'm not sure how we'll do without him. Neither are the giggly girls.

Tonton Gary ( mâle castré) reste avec les agnelles de l'année qui seront pas mise à la reproduction, à cause de la risque du virus schmallenberg. Elles lui adorent, il est doux, calme et toujours là au moments d'angoisse. Bon continuation Gary et bon courage!

mardi 5 novembre 2013

A Christmas Affair

These are not yet finished but are shaping up nicely for christmas decorations
Ils sont pas encore fini mais ils me semblent d'être pas mal  comme décorations de noël

dimanche 3 novembre 2013

On My Bobbin #5

There is an advantage to growing your own fleeces and that is that you will have a  selection available to choose from when it comes to selecting for specific projects. Here I specifically wanted a woolly fleece and wanted to spin a fat yarn. In truth I would have liked the yarn to be fatter but my spinning skills are still being honed. This will form part of a black and white project if all goes well..

J'ai choisi une de mes toisons plus laineux pour un projet en noir et blanc, l'avantage d'avoir un troupeau de mini-moutons est qu'il y a plus de choix par rapport à la laine.  Je cherchais  à filer un fil assez épais on verra plus tard si c'est suffisant.....

samedi 2 novembre 2013

Rich Russets

Autumns bounty is plentiful this year with an early start to the chainsawing, this is mostly cherry.
Nous profitons des cerisiers d'automne!

 Apples in abundance...... Its'ok we have enough, no, really more than enough!
 Pommes en abondance,  vraiment, on a suffisent.....


dimanche 27 octobre 2013

Getting Fresh

The rams are in full rut and even though they are still no ewes in sight they jostle between them for position. No harm done, the bachelor group is a tight knit community of rams of a range of ages. Each has learnt their place in the hierarchy and even if there is always a youngster willing to chance his luck with one of the mature rams, for the most part the group is peaceable.  Soon I will put the breeding groups together, the final decisions are not yet made and probably won't be until the day the rams go in. Tonight the wind is also freshening, I suspect there will be more damage than the ramly scuffles of last night.

C'est la saison de lutte, on  le voit bien. Les béliers bousculent entre eux. Il n'y a pas de danger, la hiérarchie est bien établi, même si  ça n'empêche pas les jeunes à taquiner les adultes. Il  y a encore du temps avant que  je  mets les béliers avec les  brebis, les décisions sont pas encore finalisé, entre temps soit gentil.....

jeudi 24 octobre 2013

Something's Needling Me

Needle Felting Punch - White Ouessant Wool ( Flick Carded Locks)
Manche pour les aiguilles de feutrage - Laine blanche à mouton  d'Ouessant

This year my mission has been to explore some of the ways of using Ouessant fleece. To that end I have been experimenting with the various  methods  to prepare the fleece and also how it can be worked. One way is needle felting and it is one which in the right hands can be beautifully creative despite a simple ( if murderous ) looking tool. 

The  needle/s stab the wool,  leading to the wool felting. No messy wet blobs  of wool that  look more like an item the cat would sick up, drying around the place. Take a look at the video below to get an idea of how it works. The needles detach and fit comfortably in the handle of this nifty little tool making this a hobby that you can take almost anywhere. My first attempt at needle felting used a modified needle for injecting the sheep!! Now I am fully tooled up and ready to go. Whilst making cute little felty animals may be some peoples idea of fun I thought I would start with something that can decorate the cristmas tree so watch this space. I only hope I can find the time to finish it before the tree goes up!!

Le feutrage à l'aiguille coût presque rien et  une fois que vous avez acheté les aiguilles vous êtes prêt à commencer. Ceux qui connaissent la race  bien savent que la laine du mouton d'Ouessant a une tendance  à  feutrer très facilement. Donc, quoi de mieux qu'un feutrage créatif! Pour savoir plus comment faire,  un petit recherche sur l'internet vous donnerez des idées mais pour commencer 

 c'est à vous.

dimanche 20 octobre 2013

Conservation Breeding - Choices

 Pick Me!
As the year turns and once again it is time to consider planning this years matings. I am reminded that the topic of conservation breeding has been simmering on the back burner of my mind. Each year my choices are directed by a certain premise which may include colour, size or a myriad of other selection criteria. So given that this topic is about conservation breeding its direction is clear. .... but where to start.

First, is to identify  from which genepool you are looking to make your choices.  I considered the very basic grouping into cohorts as proposed  by Prof  Weaver ( see previous article LINK) The idea of dividing into cohorts is one consideration but to circulate only with breedings within your own flock seems unnecessarily limited and it is helpful then  to consider the larger "breed" grouping. Given that the breed is a french native the first and primary criteria would be to stick to  Ouessants of native origin.

Within this grouping it is possible to sub-divide along several criteria and here it begins to get a little more convoluted. Within the breed history there is an identification of several "souches" or groupings  of bloodlines. Divided roughly into the originating areas in which the various flocks were found. Geographically diverse, it is reasonable to assume  that these "souches" were also genetically diverse, indeed some of their characteristics and differences were recorded by those who sought to establish the breed society.

Whilst some of these "souches" exist today the generalised descriptions of the past did not always clearly define or identify individual flocks or if they did their path to the present is  not easily discerned.  There is a second sub set of groups that can be taken into consideration and this would be those breeders or flocks who have sufficiently long a history to be considered within  the breed founder flocks. Despite some who feel that it is no longer possible to identify theses founder flocks or descendants of those original sheep it is in many cases possible to do this to a sufficiently high degree as to retain a  valid and tangible link to the past, genetically and also historically.

As I move along the path of conservation breedings within my own flock  the identification of as many different branches of the tree reaching back to the trunk will formulate  an integral part of  not just  my  approach to conservation  breeding but also of  maintaining the diversity and health of the breed nationally.

vendredi 18 octobre 2013

A Days Catch

Avenie ( Coutant)
Its always a pleasure to welcome a newbie into the fold. Avenie has settled in very nicely. 
C'est toujours un plaisir d'accueillir une nouvelle agnelle au troupeau. Avenie a vite s'habitué a la vie en Bretagne.

samedi 12 octobre 2013

IGOU meeting 2013 Pölzig

Erik - IGOU  Bester Bock aller Farben Pölzig 2013
 Overall winner all rams with his Breeder / Owner E Hübner

Thanks to some great photos once again it has been possible to share in this years IGOU show. Sheep at this years show would  not look out of place  at the national show here in France but as these photos demonstrate the breed has clearly made  a comfortable transition to Germany and German breeding. Great stuff.

Some of the rams entered in the two year old black rams category.
The traditional colour black predominates and the overall standard is clearly high. 

Black yearling  ewes and hat competition;-)

A selection of brown ewes getting the judgely laying on of hands. There is something to be said for individual presentation of the sheep. It does make it easier to compare the sheep especially across a group.

Emile and Lavall

These two rams are close to being celebrities. Originally purchased by IGOU on behalf of the breed club members from France. They have been made available to club members, indeed  the ram Erik  Overall winner all rams  this year was sired by Emile.

Remus 7 vom Tannenhof  Breeder  A Jansen  Owner J Schneider
Winner Adult Black Rams

(L)  Enigma Breeder H Roller Owner F Starzman  (R) Marile ( runner up ) Owned and bred by J and A Bergmann
Enigma was judged Winner Adult Black Ewes and Overall Winner All Ewes

Photos courtesy of J Schneider 

vendredi 11 octobre 2013


I rather like the soft focus on the picture. Minimax looking dreamy

J'aime bien  le flou de cette photo, Minimax rêveur

jeudi 10 octobre 2013

Early Morning Lie-ins

Getting some clear photos of the ram lambs developing horns has been impossible. However with chillier later morning starts the rams are not so keen to get up in the mornings and I am able to catch them napping before they start the day. Finally an updated photos of Eusa the watch word for this season is definately horn symmetry and his are just perfect. I will get some photos for horn comparisons on the blog soon but this years horns are definately ones I will be watching for some time to come.

Il à été presque impossible à photographier  le développement des cornes des jeunes béliers mais je profite des graisses matinées. Enfin une photo à jour de Eusa, à suivre mais j'aime bien le symétrie de ses cornes. Dès que je peux je ferai un article à comparer ses cornes avec les autres de l'année.

mardi 8 octobre 2013

On my Bobbin # 4

This yarn is two halves of the same fleece one was carded and then spun the other combed and then spun. It is possible to tell the difference by eye although the camera and flash tends to flatten everything. The top bobbin is combed the bottom carded. No reason to do it this way other than I was interested to see how much of a difference it made. This is once again a trial to see whats what and how things work. Plying tonight.

Deux moities de la même toison une était cardée puis filé l'autre peignée. Juste parce que je voulais voir si vraiment il y a une différence.  On peut la voir  la différence à l'oeil mais pas si facilement en photo et avec flash. Le retors ce soir

dimanche 6 octobre 2013

You're never too old.......

I choose not to force weaning of my lambs, except for the ram lambs who are seperated at four months in order to prevent an unplanned accidental mating. For the ewes and their ewe lambs the maternal bond remains. Whilst it isn't that common to see lambs still suckling at this time of year it does happen occasionally. Hasnie is quite happy to let her lamb suckle and shows no signs of trying to rid herself of a nuisance pushy youngster, quite the opposite she seems ( perhaps anthropomorphically) to enjoy this intimacy with her lamb.

Les agnelles sont pas  forcement sevrées, les jeunes béliers sont séparés des brebis à l'âge de quatre mois afin d'éviter une saillie accidentelle. Je préfère où c'est possible qu'il soit fait naturellement,  il est rare quand même à voir une agnelle si tard dans l'année téter sa mère. J'ai l'impression que Hasnie n'est pas malheureuse.

mercredi 2 octobre 2013

Autumn Has Arrived

Its been a while since I've had the chance to spend some time with the sheep. This year the summer has been long and hot and dry, so very dry. Its still very warm and the grass is positively roaring away, the sheep content themselves with a little hay to balance out the  fresh flush of growth.

Ca fait un petit moment depuis j'ai  eu du temps à rester avec le troupeau. L'ambiance d'automne, bienvenue  après un été très sec.

dimanche 29 septembre 2013

Strike One!

I didn't have the presence of mind to take a photo so this character will have to do:-)
For the first time since I have been keeping sheep one of the ewes has been struck by flies.  The weather has been warm and positively muggy with little wind. Ideal conditions for those irritating little flies who just love to hang around the sheep waiting for an opportunity to lay a few eggs. To be honest I count myself lucky that I haven't had a problem previously and even today it was little more than a slightly grazed patch on the surface although I suspect there is more damage under the skin itself. Knowing your sheep and being alert to any changes in their usual behaviour certainly helps and in this instance I knew something was amiss the ewe was trying to hide from herself as well as flicking her tail quite vigorously.  Catching her up wasn't too difficult as she was preoccupied with trying to get at the little wrigglers and a close inspection of the fleece soon revealed the source of her irritation.

When faced with flystrike first shave off a wide area of fleece around any areas that look affected to ensure that you have fully got to the bottom of all the affected areas on the sheep. This produced a number of wriggling maggots and a raw patch of skin about the size of a 2 euro piece. I treated topically with antiseptic and also gave a long acting injectable antibiotic to ensure no residual infection would add to any problems. I also treated with an injectable systemic  parasiticide. I don't have any topical products suitable for this type of use and the injection will ensure that any maggots that have retreated under the skin to avoid removal are well and truly dealt with.

Followed by a liberal application of a topical preperation to keep flies off. Hopefully not to return any time soon.!

Quel horreur! Les myiases............ avec ce temps humide la risque est forte élevée. Aujourd'hui j'ai trouvé une de mes brebis s'est cachée dans un coin. Elle avait l'air fortement perturbée  et c'était pas trop difficile à trouvé le problème. Avec quelques petits bestioles dans la laine, j'ai vite commencé  à tondre l'endroit pour que je puisse voir la taille du problème.  Heureusement elle n'était pas fortement affectée et j'ai réussi à retirer le plupart  des asticots. Elle avait une plaie que j'ai traité avec du bétadine puis elle avait un  injection contre les parasites externe qui tue les asticots, surtout ceux qui je n'ai pas réussi à trouver parce que ils se cachent dans la peau :-( 

D'habitude mes moutons sont pas affecté par  ce genre de problème mais c'est importante à rester vigilante quand même.

samedi 28 septembre 2013


From this..
From the day I first sheared one of my sheep I have been fascinated by their fleece and its properties.  To hear that most Ouessant  sheep fleeces are binned just seemed plain wrong and I set about the challenge of learning how to convert a fleece to a useable product. There are LOADS of uses!! One has been to learn how to spin and with that the various process that go into preparing a fleece, washing it, dyeing it and oh so much more.

I have only just begun to put my foot on the ladder but I set myself an exercise to produce a finished sample which would encompass many of the processes I want to learn and here it is.

To this!
OK, so its not sooo impressive, I mean it doesn't overwhelm me but trust me there are a lot of hours and blood, sweat and tears put into producing this little swatch.  Despite the Ouessant being traditionally a black sheep I started with a white fleece I wanted to work on the process of dyeing as well as spinning etc. What I have learnt is that there is much more for me to learn and I am looking forward to the next project.... I confess its already in progress.

lundi 23 septembre 2013

View of The Ewe's

Coooeeeee! ( click to enlarge)

dimanche 22 septembre 2013

Bon Dimanche


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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