Our lamb boxes sold out in record time and we are delighted that The Egg House Charcuterie - the butchers in Quainton are selling our lamb too. Here is a photo of one Ricky cut earlier - think you'll agree that it looks pretty darn splendid (although we say it ourselves!). This came from a Wiltshire Horn x Texel lamb finished on grass. The Wiltshire Horn is a great choice as a crossing sheep - with our ewe flock giving us good frame sizes, excellent milkiness and great mothering and the high EBV Texel sire adding that bit more eye muscle and meat.
We are hoping that there will be some more later in the season - so if you want some, please do make contact.
Bucks County Show
We've not done much showing with the sheep, but Steve was highly chuffed with this shearling ewe (by Millwood Dylan ex a Kislingbury ewe) who finished 2nd in a class of 11 at Bucks County Show. She was the first lamb out of her dam, who we bought from Thame Smallholders Sale.
We also had a 4th for a ewe lamb, also by Millwood Dylan this time out of a Gorse ewe that has been producing well for us since we bought her in 2010 as a shearling from the Stoneleigh Wiltshire Horn sale.
2013 lambs a cracking bunch
It has to be said that this year's lambing didn't go to plan. It was meant to be sunny and Spring-like and the ground was meant to be good under foot. Instead, it was so wet and cold that we brought all the ewes in to the shed so that we could get them off the ground and make sure that they were fine prior to lambing. They've all lambed inside and we have been lucky enough to have had the space to keep them and the lambs in for a few weeks, which has no doubt saved some lamb lives and helped the ewes. Nearly mid-April and the land still looks like the Siberian wastelands as the winds and the frosts have burnt the grass. Lambing, as last year, started on 7 March!
We have used Millwood Dylan on the shearlings and on the pedigree ewes with the best 2012 performance and a Texel tup (with very good EBVs) on the rest.
Tasty lamb and new additions
Our lamb boxes went down really well with customers eulogising about the flavour. It is sad that we have become used to bland meat, but so reassuring that you can taste the difference when eating traditional breeds produced off grass (Quainton grass!). We have added some Kislingbury theaves to the flock and a Ventonglidder ewe lamb. Millwood Dylan is the ram lamb tasked with repeating Celyn Pedro's job last year of siring decent vital lambs within a tight lambing period.
2012 lambs are arriving!
Two healthy ram lambs arrived 7 March mid-morning. These are our first pure-bred Wiltshire Horn lambs (lambs are 24 hours old) and it was immensely pleasing that they arrived unaided and were up and on the teats pretty quickly. We bought Mum as a theave (she was born in 2010) at the Exeter Wiltshire Horn sale in October 2011. She obviously found Pedro irresistable!! There will be more pics on the Gallery as and when I have time to add them between keeping my eyes on the sheep and the cattle and dashing back to the PC.
We purchased our male for this year and next from the Wiltshire Horn Society Sale at Stoneleigh in September 2011. He is called Celyn Pedro, and was a winner at the Royal Welsh show as a ram lamb. The Royal Welsh is still a proper agricultural show and classes are always hard fought.
He was introduced to the females on 15th October and took to his task manfully and diligently.
Pedro has 18 ewes that hopefully he has impregnated, 16 of which are pedigree Wiltshire Horns.
Tasty, tasty, very very tasty
Our produce of 2010 amounted to four ewe lambs and four males that we rubber-ringed to castrate. The ewe lambs (predominently Wiltshire Horn x Charollais) have grown on well and will be sold in the Spring. The males were taken early one September morning on their final journey to the abbatoir. Later that week they were taken to the butcher who cut them, packed and boxed them for our lucky first customers. The butcher said that the lamb was the best to cut that he had had this year. Our clients also commented favouably: 'Top farmer-your lamb is **!** delightfulx' 'Wow - this is far and away the best lamb we've ever tasted'
It is great to know that if you treat an animal well, it eats as nature intended and it has a stressless and well executed end, that you can really taste the difference in the meat on your plate.