Sheep – and a Goat

On Friday we headed a few miles up the road to visit the Bluefaced Leicester sheep whose fleece will form part of our Yorkshire yarn.

I’m always happy to see sheep, and on this visit there were several extra attractions.

The Bluefaced Leicester fleece we’re using comes from Riggmoor Reindeer – a truly lovely example of how farmers are looking to diversify. Becky and Richard have lots of different livestock, and spent much of their time doing school visits with a mobile farm.

The website mentioned reindeer and pygmy goats. It failed to warn us how absurdly cute the pygmy goats were.

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This is Little Goatie. She was hand reared as she was one of twins and her mum didn’t have enough milk for them both. So she’s very, very tame.

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Despite lots of opportunities she didn’t nibble any knitwear (although swift action was needed to rescue the biscuits)

Becky and Richard are planning to move in the new year so they can expand the business further – and I reckon that coffee and knitting with goats could be a popular attraction.

It was fantastic to get to chat to Becky, and to find out that she’d always wanted to keep Bluefaced Leicester sheep. She comes from a farming family who kept Swaledales, and when a Bluefaced tup was introduced (to breed mules) she hoped that more of the breed would follow. Instead when she left home she was able to have the sheep she really wanted.

While we were chatting Richard went (or was sent if you listen to Richard!) to bring one of the Bluefaced sheep down to meet us. This is when we learned that Little Goatie isn’t a fan of sheep (especially when they try to sniff her bottom), and her looks of horror were comical. Clearly she feels she’s a class or two above the rest of the livestock.

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This is Becky with one of the Bluefaced sheep. The fleece on this girl was glorious – very fine with masses and masses of crimp.

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Let loose in the garden, the sheep decided that a rose bush looked tasty.

Bluefaced Leicester sheep have the most chiselled faces, and this one was a beauty.

There are more sheep, reindeer, alpacas, cows, turkeys, ducks and chickens. We could have stayed all day.

Something that I hadn’t considered when I started down the route of having a yarn from two Yorkshire flocks was that I’d manage to meet some truly amazing people along the way. It’s been a huge bonus, and it makes the yarn and what it stands for even more special to me.

 

 

 

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