The trend of acquiring animals with “border” in the breed name was totally not on purpose but with our recent sheep purchase, it’s super obvious. Border Collies- our working dog breed of choice, Border Cheviots- our first sheep purchase and finally, Border Leicesters- our most recent sheep purchase. Ah, a trend is forming! “Border” is referencing the border of Wales and England which is where the two sheep breeds originated.
The Border Leicester sheep breed is a dual purpose breed known for both meat and wool; like our cheviots. They’re a little larger framed than the cheviots however they’re generally more docile and calm than the cheviots. (Big plus!) Our goal for the next few years is to produce some cross-bred lambs to market for meat and find a decent market for the wool from the breeding stock. Fortunately, Pennsylvania is home to some wool mills so I am planning to see about getting our grease wool processed into yard to then resell.
The two new ewes, “Cora” is the 3 year old mature ewe and “Rose” is the spring ewe lamb. Not a mother/daughter pair but since coming to our place, they’ve bonded together like family. Both Carson and Cora are calm and docile enough to lead on a halter. We can approach them with out them running from us. Thank heavens!! The goal is to not get run over every time we need to work with the sheep.
Last June we had 3 ewes, the Border Cheviots…by October we had 5 with the acquisition of North Country Cheviot/Texel ewes, by April we were up to 8 with the birth of Border Cheviot/Dorper lambs and this fall we’re at 11 with these Border Leicester sheep. Later this fall we’ll be down to 9 since two of the ram lambs have homes in freezers. If it sounds like we have 5 too many breeds of sheep going on, we probably do. It never hurts to shop around and explore some new breeds! In this ‘growing and expanding’ phase of our new flock, we’re trying to settle on a bred(s) that will suite our fancy.