Finally we have had our sheep sheared today - this year's cold weather has delayed it from the traditional time at the end of May, to be fitted in around the Suffolk Show, until nearly the end of June. They look beautiful and sleek without their wool and it really shows off the structure of the Suffolk breed.
Tim our shearer also shears several other flocks in the area; he and his son Ben show their own sheep very successfully and are also called to judge shows too. Later this week they will be taking their sheep to the Royal Norfolk Show. This morning it was lovely to watch them being sheared, Tim talks to the sheep whilst he works, keeping them calm and making the whole procedure look so effortless! We know, however, how big our pedigree Suffolk girls are though and also that there is a real knack to turning them.
Our flock comes from the 'Kersey Flock' of R Partridge & Sons which I believe dates back to 1927 and is the 4th oldest pedigree Suffolk flock in the country. The breed evolved from mating Norfolk Horn ewes with Southdown Rams and were first recorded in 1797. Chris Partridge manages the Kersey flock, which is currently one of the largest flocks in East Anglia and his rams, ewes and lambs regularly win prizes at the shows.
The Suffolk breed are a particularly good meat breed. This year we have not had lambs, but when we do have them they are very engaging, amazingly black when they are born, gradually changing to white bodied sheep with black face and legs. We enjoy maintaining our small flock of this local special breed!