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Shepherd's Delight

Shepherd's Delight

Getting up this morning was fantastic, with the sun kissing the rolling hills of Montgomeryshire.
Today is the day that we gather the mountain ewes from the hills and part the lambs from their mothers in order to give the mothers a well earned break!
The Lambs are selected in groups; boys (tups/rams) and girls (thieves/ ewe lambs), and then we select the breeding stock out of them in order to get future tups/rams and the replacement breeding ewes. We then put the lambs down on lower pastures to graze on what we call the aftermath/latermath of the harvest to get fat on clover enriched pastures.
The next job is to take out the mutton (the ewes that are no longer needed for breeding). All the ewes are mouthed to see if any have lost their teeth, because this would make it impossible for them to take on another hard winter as they cannot graze the short mountain grass.
The rest of the ewes are inspected for any medical issues mainly feet and udders. We do take note of their condition and whether they are clean as the blow fly strike (Maggots) congregate on dirty wool.
The whole gathering and selecting process will take a few days to complete, but so worthwhile.
Jonathan Rees

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